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  • Curious about PRIME / HTPC builds

    EDIT Apparently I've misunderstood, and PRIME is just the solution for NVIDIA hybrid graphics. I'm actually interested in knowing more about building a HTPC box that uses AMD hybrid graphics and whether this is possible or likely to become a possibility in the near future.

    I've been watching the progress of AMDGPU with interest, especially coupled with Vulkan. I'm starting to wonder about a possible future HTPC / SteamBox configuration but figured I'd ask people with more experience using hybrid integrated / discrete AMD graphics setups than I.

    Are hybrid graphics limited to laptop dual-gpu setups? or is it possible to setup APU + Discreet Graphics in a muxless configuration? (and, will Vulkan make this easier). I'm dreaming of a HTPC setup that uses the integrated GPU in a Carrizo or Kaveri processor, but arcs up a much more powerful Radeon card (or possibly, with the aid of Vulkan, Crossfire) when it comes time to run games.

    Am I dreaming, or is this a setup that may be possible either today or in the near future?

    Last edited by Notavi; 06-16-2015, 03:12 AM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Notavi View Post
    EDIT Apparently I've misunderstood, and PRIME is just the solution for NVIDIA hybrid graphics.
    PRIME is Linux name for GPU offloading implementation and it's named this way by Dave Airlie who initially developed it.
    So it's have nothing to do with Nvidia except they're now partially support it in their proprietary drivers.

    Nvidia's name for this is Optimus, AMD's is PowerXpress.

    Originally posted by Notavi View Post
    Are hybrid graphics limited to laptop dual-gpu setups?
    Theoretically PRIME will work with any combination of hardware as long as you use open source drivers. Personally I'm using it on desktop with Intel HD4600 + AMD HD6950. Also tested offloading with Nvidia GTX 260 (Nouveau driver).

    Originally posted by Notavi View Post
    and, will Vulkan make this easier
    It's hard question nobody going to give you answer on at least until specification released.

    Even with identical GPUs, on Windows both SLI and CrossFireX don't work for all games, have a lot of issues like higher input lag, stuttering, etc. Also for D3D / OpenGL they're always require support (pre-defined profiles) from vendor. Hybrid CrossFireX give even less advantages.

    Originally posted by Notavi View Post
    Am I dreaming, or is this a setup that may be possible either today or in the near future?
    It's possible here and now with difference that you won't able to poweroff dGPU completely like on laptop because it's require hardware support.
    Though dGPU working on lowest frequencies shouldn't drain too much of power.
    Last edited by SXX⁣; 06-16-2015, 08:56 PM.

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