Thursday, January 17, 2013

Still no proper Lucid Virtu driver for z68 boards on Windows 8

One of the new things Intel introduced with SandyBridge family of CPUs was Intel QuickSync technology. But at first, only the board motherboards with H67 chipset were able to make use of it. Motherboards with P67 chipset – their “then” highend chipset – didn’t get this support, because it would break the support once the system was used with a discrete graphics card. Even on the H67 chipset, you would lose the QuickSync support if you went ahead and bought a discrete video card. Basically, both of these chipsets could not allow integrated graphics (which is used by QuickSync) and discrete graphics to co-exist.

Then came the Z68 chipset. It fixed that issue by letting you use both the integrated GPU (iGPU) and the discrete GPU at the same time. But it required Lucid’s GPU Virtualization software, conveniently named Lucid Virtu. But Lucid’s support has been very slow. They released updates very less frequently. Still, it worked. You basically specify the applications that require use of the iGPU in its control panel and it will detect those apps when they are launched and will provide the iGPU for its tasks. I could encode videos using Cyberlink Media Espresso.

Then Intel released IvyBridge CPUs and it came with a more powerful iGPU than SandyBridge. Lucid introduced more features for the IvyBridge CPUs. They gave it the name Lucid Virtu MVP. Now you could actually boost the frame rate by combining the power of the iGPU and the discreet GPU (in some games). In addition, you could get more than 60fps with V-Sync turned ON without causing screen tearing. Unfortunately, the old Z68 boards were not supported.

Many months have passed and it’s the era of Windows 8. Lucid still doesn’t have a Windows 8 compatible driver for the old Lucid Virtu technology. If you install any of the drivers for Windows 7, it would break Windows. You will not be able to boot back to your desktop. You will have to recover Windows. They, however, do have a Windows 8 compatible driver for Lucid Virtu MVP.

I contacted their support team about this and they told me to install the Lucid Virtu MVP driver. I did, and sure enough, it didn’t break Windows 8.


But there is one big problem.


It only installed as a 30 day trial. This has happened before as well, even with Lucid Virtu driver, when ASRock screwed up something with their UEFI. Apparently there is something that they check in UEFI that would make Lucid driver not to install as a trial. Well, my Z68 Extreme4 board doesn’t have the Lucid Virtu MVP code. It only has Lucid Virtu code.

Now, I don’t know what will happen when the trial period runs out. It might simply give me the Lucid Virtu’s features and simply lock me out of the MVP’s features. I contacted Lucid support team about this and am waiting for their response. I will post back when I hear from them. I just hope Windows 8 didn’t make my Z68 a P67 board. :/

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