Lucid has confirmed that it's working with benchmarking specialist Futuremark to add detection of the HyperFormance and Virtual VSync functionality of its Virtu MVP system in order to prevent misleading scores from being uploaded.
Virtu MVP, part of Lucid's hardware offering for Ivy Bridge motherboards, offers a range of functionality designed to make games smoother and more responsive. While borrowing many of Lucid's previously released software tricks, it also adds a pair of new technologies of its own: HyperFormance and Virtual VSync.
The former technology, the company claims, reduces redundant rendering tasks in the flow between CPU, GPU and display in order to reduce the load on the system. The result is a boost in frame rates of between 30 and 70 per cent along with an increase in responsiveness.
The technology can also reduce power draw, something that will be of particular interest to laptop users who want to hang on to a dedicated GPU but who don't want the minute-long battery life normally associated with desktop replacements. Details of the HyperFormance technology can be found in a white paper (PDF)
from the company.
Lucid's Virtu MVP will also include Virtual VSync, a technology which is designed to help eliminate texture tearing without capping the maximum framerate of the game to the monitor's refresh rate. According to Lucid's testing, the Virtual VSynch technology provides all the benefits of enabling synchronisation while allowing the game engine to output up to 120 frames per second or more.
Both technologies are likely to be welcomed by gamers, but they are troublesome for benchmarking. Enabling Lucid's various facilities will boost the frame rate of a given benchmark considerably, but at the cost of rendering a 'false' scene which isn't as accurate to the original intentions of the benchmark's creator. As a result, it will be impossible to directly compare the scores from a Virtu MVP-enabled system and a traditional gaming rig.
As a result, Futuremark and Lucid are working together to ensure that Virtu MVP can be detected and noted when benchmarking, to prevent any misleading figures from being entered into the results database.
'Lucid's Virtu MVP can have a significant impact on benchmark scores, but it is not currently viable to make a direct performance comparison between MVP-enabled systems and non-MVP systems using 3DMark,
' explained Jukka Mäkinen, Futuremark's chief executive. 'As Virtu MVP has clear gaming benefits by improving responsiveness, reducing latency and eliminating visual tearing, we are glad to be working with Lucid to help our users understand the performance benefits of Virtu MVP technologies as measured by 3DMark and our other PC performance benchmarks.
Futuremark has confirmed plans to release an update to its benchmarking packages in early Q2 of this year, which will detect the presence of Virtu MVP and note how it was set during the benchmark run. Neither Futuremark nor Lucid have provided a firm timescale for the update's release, however.