ASRock Z77 Extreme6 Intel Z77 Motherboard Review

LucidLogix Lucid Virtu MVP
One of the flagship features of the ASRock Z77 Extreme6 is its support for Lucid Virtu MVP.

You may be familiar with Lucid Virtu from the Z77’s predecessor, the Z68 chipset. On Z68, Virtu would assign tasks to either your integrated graphics or your discrete graphics card based on which tool was best for the job. For example, in video games Virtu would have your computer use your discrete GPU, whereas if you wanted to encode video or other similar application, it would assign the task to your CPU’s integrated option.

With Z77 and the introduction of Lucid Virtu MVP, the technology now offers Hyperformance too. By enabling Hyperformance, you tell Virtu to remove or replace redundant frames from your video source. For example, if your monitor’s refresh rate is 60Hz, Virtu will take advantage of the fact that you are not going to benefit from any framerate over 60FPS – it can then attempt to instruct your GPU to to not bother rendering certain frames that you’re not going to see, therefore freeing up resources and improving performance.

Once you have Virtu installed, you will be presented with the following screen. Here you can enable GPU virtualization. You need this enabled to take advantage of the other features Virtu MVP offers.

The second screen enables activation of Hyperformance and Virtual VSync. Enabling both of these will grant the biggest performance increase in terms of resources available.

The third screen allows application specific control.

D-mode allows the use of the power of a graphics card, whilst being able to take advantage of specific Intel Integrated Graphics features, such as Quick Sync video transcoding technology. You need to have your display connected to your graphics card for this feature.

I-Mode allows switching between the two technologies, which allows substantial power savings when the use of the discrete graphics card isn’t required.

Checking the H checkbox enables Hyperformance for that particular application.

The fourth screen is a very simple “About” page, detailing release information and other non-functional aspects of the software.

I was unable to get Virtu MVP to function in ANY of the following tests without rolling back the driver for my nVidia graphics card. I had to go with a release from April of 2012 in order to get it to function adequately and without crashes. Also, if I attempted to add a piece of software that wasn’t on the already-supported list (such as PCMark Vantage), it would crash as soon as Virtu attempted to do its thing.

I tested Virtu MVP on the following applications to see if it gave any improvement. These tests were done on the stock 3570k clock of 3.4ghz, once with Lucid Virtu MVP disabled, and once with it enabled.