Performance Assessment of Optimus or Thunderbolt port for external displays or external PCIe cards using vvvv

I am investing into a new laptop for a festival I am participating in about 2 weeks.

and I am split between xmg p 503 and xmg p723.

I asked schenker and they say that there is no extra gain on USB total bandwidth when an external PCI express card is connected via thunderbolt - for p723 model.

The only advantage of thunderbolt seems to be a potential higher performance on multiple external monitors.

for firewire connectivity (audio interfaces), i have read converting firewire to thunderbolt you face about 5-10 percent loss in the writing speed.

for both models when upgrading, it is possible to upgrade CPU, GPU and harddisks, Paying only for the difference between the older parts for better ones.

SO the trade off dedicated firewire without possible performance decrees, OR more higher performance on the multiple external display.

and this seems to make sense that p723 also is more power hungry, maybe a plusfor the external displays.

I am not really counting on performance gain on the possibility of external PCI express graphics card.

and the harddrive capacity is the same.

but will the external display performance difference matter enough ??

lastly, p723 comes without optimus where as p503 does.

I see some people having problem with optimus technology and also read that SLI/crossfire set up possible iwth p723 doesnt make that much difference at least for vvvv.

and I dont know if it is possible for makes sense to use thunderbolt as recording or monitoring rendering out of vvvv real time, for example with a audio visual.

Anyone have a story/ opinion/ further insight to share on using vvvv with optimus or thunderbolt technology?


hm, chance to read more about the optimus frustration stories…

as it says on the website, p723 works without AMD or NVIDIA Opimus Enduro.;020;015;009;010

with thunderbolt connection and the image ouputing (internal and external) directly from the NVIDIA / AMD graphics card, I have to say I am not a fan of xmg p503 anymore…

Optimus is a pain in the a##. Don’t use it, it causes trouble, and you can’t disable it. I had to sell my almost new laptop and buy a new one without optimus. Just search for optimus here.

I got a schenker u702 and vvvv works great with it. Give Schenker a call which of their laptops work without optimus / enduro.



aha! thx for the confirmation. i am set for the one with thunderbolt, figured it has enough room for upgrades later on. and it says it works without optimus but I will call tomorrow to check.

i also read the issue your were having with duplicate renderers.

since you have a laptop with SLI setup, how far along are you to say SLI or dual graphics card set up lives up to its numbers on the page ? esp when it comes down to multiple external display ?

greetings :)


Sorry, my english is not sufficient. What do you mean by saying “SLI or dual graphics card set up lives up to its numbers on the page”?

As for the displays, you can use 2 more external displays. If you want to go beyond that, you may want to go with triple or dualhead2go solutions, or the club3d displayport hub (anybody got experience with that, btw?)

Greetings drehwurm


hi, sorry for sharing bad english. I m new to using vvvv with a machine with SLI setup, I only had a glimpse of using vvvv with graphic cards like GTX 700 and above, let alone for two at once.

I only read some “reviews” about new laptops with SLI or crossfire setup, and there has been some criticism about the dual graphic cards having mirco stutters on external displays, or delays in framerate esp below 30.

Right now my new computer has some driver issues with either ram or the graphic card and I am not quite there to configure everything and run my patches on a new setup with a machine that has much higher performance in terms of CPU,GPU,RAM and so on.

funny thing I have noticed though, having some experience using external devices that are not only displays, is that with windows how well executed the drives can become a bottleneck issue - take a firewire IO audio interface. It has been reported that on apple the same device runs a little better because of the asio driver written for windows, for example.

and I imagine that with time the drivers will also evolve with SLI or crossfire, although in the audio world as far as I know it is not always the case, because I think many companies move on with their development to new products unless the users take initiative.

thats one thing, but then the drivers (maybe a wrong word?) WITHIN VVVV that communicates with the external devices themselves also needs to be fit, as I would imagine. for example, with my audio interface I get I lot of noise in the FFT node, especially in the higher frequencies. It might be my mixer but I dont hear it with my monitor speakers, unless my mixer is sending pre- eq signals that is somehow doing an exaggerated hi pass filter. which I dont kind of doubt… because it intentionally sends pre-fader, pre-eq signals as default.

without losing the scope here, I am just trying to make a little note about how to improve the experience of using vvvv, esp for working with external displays and audio interfaces. I had experience with vvvv renderers in a projection from beamers just refuse to go full screen, when it goes full screen on my laptop, for example.

I guess Its a very general topic for anyone are interested in designing ones own setup, experimenting with their own combination of devices (virtual and physical in areas of audio signals to geomtry, vice versa, motion or multi touch input to external displays or PAs.) and get reliable, ready-to-show performance out of it that runs realtime. I love the liveness of vvvv but sometimes the debugging part or swimming in the forum for answers does get slow, making me watch a video clip of autodesk softimage or something haha.

but about 9 months into using vvvv, I find the vvvv community a great community of people who are dedicated and resourceful and I am grateful to have found the community to discuss issues that not only alleviate technical problems, but also showcase and shape a direction for developing applications of this wonderful invention. I am not good with textual coding, but my premise has been that I first needed to touch some boundaries of what vvvv is capable of. and indeed it is a large pool :).

rounding up - thunderbolt/DisplayPort and vvvv = for external monitor recording, which would could be a convinient, reliable way to record live gigs without taxing cpu while having enough external displays. there are many modern laptops with high spec graphic cards without analogue video outs at this point.

  • maybe thunderbolt/ display port goes out to multiple displays while HDMI goes to DV in (1394a), i know some really portable sony handycams take DV in besides s video (which I think maybe is more expensive to buy converter for, or also more quality loss in the process). I havent tried how to set up HDMI for live recording and thunderbolt for live performance external displys. so I should try this and report my experience.

one clear advantage of using thunderbolt for multiscreens is that there are also thunderbolt docks that give firewire connections and a bunch of other audio/ visual connectivity. some might also have rca ins or jacks, which could be an easy way to take live audio signals in, unless the machine does have audio jack in, and only if VVVV sees the thunderbolt docks as an audio interface.

although even with high spec laptops, I guess thunderbolt docks wont really give performance bandwitdh for more USB devices (multiple kinects, HD cam, midi controllers and so on), as I learn because that seems to have more to do with the expresscard bus, CPU and the chipset, but it still is probably faster than having a usb3.0. dock as it is.

on the other hand, usually less converters or hubs or daisy chaining is better for quick response, in general with external devices audio and video alike…

thats a long post! a late night, taking a break from fixing driver problems with windows…

optimus-free portable setup