Introduction

Intel, the largest supplier of desktop computer GPUs on the face of the earth, introduced the next generation of its graphics technology with the new 915G chipset earlier this summer.



GMA 900 logo


The new graphics solution, dubbed the Graphics Media Accelerator 900 (GMA900), promises a vast improvement over Intel's previous Extreme Graphics 2 line. Proclaiming DirectX 9 Pixel Shader 2.0 support, Intel indicates that it fully supports the next generation graphics' features of Microsoft's upcoming Longhorn based operating system.



Microsoft's next Windows


Even though Intel graphics aren't generally supported by most games, having a feature-rich, ubiquitous, "worst case" solution to develop for would help push game developers in the direction of using PS2.0 as a base level of compatibility rather than designing a game or graphics engine and then tacking on cool PS2.0 eye candy to the game. Many times, getting new graphics technology into game development houses can be a chicken and egg problem. But the faster the hardware user base is built up, the faster we will start seeing higher quality graphics possible on cheaper, slower systems.

The more improvements Intel makes to its notoriously lacking, widely distributed graphics solution, the happier we will be. Just how well did Intel do this time around with the GMA900? Before we jump into performance numbers and tests, let's take a look at the features and technology behind the latest addition to the integrated graphics market.

Inside Graphics Media Accelerator 900
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  • skiboysteve - Monday, August 02, 2004 - link

    "Gee thats funny i thought Longhorn required DX10 and PS3 minimum."

    longhorn requires DX9
    Reply
  • kmmatney - Monday, August 02, 2004 - link

    I can probably dig up the numbers somewhere, but I wonder how this compares to the NForce2 IGP paired with an Athlon XP. Is there an IGP for the Athlon64? Reply
  • mczak - Monday, August 02, 2004 - link

    "...the ATI 9100 IGP numbers are based on a system running at a 600MHz lower processor frequency. Interestingly, this almost makes up for Intel's lack of hardware geometry processing."
    Well, the ATI 9100 IGP also completely lacks hardware geometry processing!
    Reply
  • mkruer - Monday, August 02, 2004 - link

    Gee thats funny i thought Longhorn required DX10 and PS3 minimum. If tru the artical is a mute point . Intel is try to add value to the chipsete, when infact what is required is simplification of the chipset. Looks lke Blue Crystals to me Reply
  • sprockkets - Monday, August 02, 2004 - link

    With such low memory bandwidth available maybe running a DX9 integrated video system is a complete waste of time. So what if it supports PS2.0, playing a game at around 10FPS is a waste of time. Reply
  • mikecel79 - Monday, August 02, 2004 - link

    "So is this that Intel quality and 'reliability' that someone was talking about in the comments for the Sempron article? "

    Quality and reliability are different than performance. There's nothing here to show that the Intel Integrated graphics are not good quality or not reliable. Performance has nothing to do with quality or reliability.
    Reply
  • tfranzese - Monday, August 02, 2004 - link

    So is this that Intel quality and 'reliability' that someone was talking about in the comments for the Sempron article? Reply
  • cosmotic - Monday, August 02, 2004 - link

    I really like the Intel bashing comments at the end of the review. Intel DOES have the responibility of puting better graphics cards in these computers. If they didn't provide integrated graphics, OEMs would be required to use add-in cards, and since the cheapest add-in card performs better than Intels chip, there is NO reason at all for Intel to be providing such utter crap in their chipsets. It may even be more ecinomical to license nVidia's technology to use inside Intel chips. That would make everyone happy (except ATI). Reply

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