Introduction

We spent some time testing ATI and NVIDIA's latest low end parts recently. Today, we are revisiting budget performance. After all, what's more "budget" than dropping the graphics chip on the motherboard?

The real reason for the existence of the 6200 TurboCache and the X300 HyperMemory is to provide an affordable setup up from integrated graphics. Graphics companies have to be quite careful when developing integrated and budget cards to not cannibalize their business for either product. There must be sufficient performance on integrated graphics to run current software so that end users are satisfied, but cheap budget cards also need to provide a sufficient step up from integrated solutions.

It is difficult to get the level of performance that we want to see in integrated graphics, but it is important to consider the fact that users of integrated graphics may not need any 3D support and would certainly not want to pay for it. Cost is a first concern, and compatibility reigns over performance.

So, how does this generation's integrated graphics perform compared to the recent budget cards on the market? Well, that's what we are here to find out.

From ATI, we have the Radeon Xpress 200 for Intel platforms. We will be pitting this solution against the Intel GMA 950 on our 945G board. These integrated graphics cards will be compared to our recent discrete budget graphics tests. Even though the platforms won't be as similar to what we usually want, these tests are bound by the graphics capabilities of the cards almost completely. We should get a good idea of how these parts stack up against each other.

The Test

Our test will involve the Intel D945GTP and the ASUS P5RD1-V Deluxe board. There are a few caveats in looking at these solutions compared to each other and our previous budget card tests. First of all, though the Intel platforms can use the same processor, we are stuck with DDR 400 for our ASUS board. The 945G board uses DDR2 533. As we will see, this won’t change the outcome of our tests. There will be ATI boards featuring DDR2 as well, but the advantage (if there is one) is minimal.

Our setups were as follows:

Intel D945GTP
3.6GHz Pentium 4
1GB 533MHz DDR2 3:3: 3:12
Seagate 7200.7 120GB HD

ASUS P5RD1-V Deluxe
3.6GHz Pentium 4
1GB 400MHz DDR 2:2:2:8
Seagate 7200.7 120GB HD

We will run our tests with high quality settings in order to see if integrated graphics are as capable as the budget add-in cards that we tested recently. This will also demonstrate minimum performance in the games that we test, as end users will likely want to sacrifice some of the eye candy for playability.

Doom 3 Performance
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  • Chadder007 - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - link

    I'd like to see some older cards thrown in to compare....like an ATI 8500 or 9600 and Nvidia 4200ti or something. Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - link

    Plus, including of Doom 3 for benchmarking means that compatibility must have improved, I remember Anandtech didn't for the GMA900 benchmarks. Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - link

    >Another thing is that I remember the GMA 900 >having quite a few graphical glitches when >originally reviewed. I'd have liked a comment >about current compatibility and some comparison >of image quality.

    They do.

    Here: http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2427...

    "Unlike the last time that we tested Far Cry with Intel graphics, we were greeted with the visual quality that we expected to see. This is due to the driver revisions that Intel has made over the course of time."
    Reply
  • BPB - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - link

    My daughter's system uses an MSI RS480M2-IL setup. This socket 939 (Athlon 64 3000+) setup runs great. She doesn't run anything like HL2, so she's very happy. Down the road we'll slap an All in Wonder in there once ATI comes out with a PCI-e version that's worth getting. From what I read their current PCI-e All in Wonder is not worth the cost. Reply
  • ET - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - link

    #2, I agree. I was wondering a couple of weeks ago if the X200 will be a good upgrade for a GeForce3.

    Still, I appreciate Anandtech taking the time to compare integrated chipsets.

    Another thing is that I remember the GMA 900 having quite a few graphical glitches when originally reviewed. I'd have liked a comment about current compatibility and some comparison of image quality.
    Reply
  • Calin - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - link

    I think that choosing an integrated graphics solution makes sense only when the presence of a discrete video card is not an good option. In every other case, one can buy a mainboard that is having everything one desire (or a much more easy to find one). I thought about buying a micro ATX mainboard with integrated graphics for a very small computer. I would still choose one over a discrete solution, but for every other use I would choose something else.
    Or I would use integrated graphics as a stop gap measure until money for a real graphic card become available
    Reply
  • johnsonx - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - link

    Do you have any comparable benchmark numbers available for other integrated graphics past and present? Such as Nforce2, K8M800, SIS 760GX, Intel 915G, 865G?

    Myself, I'm specifically interested in a replacement for the NForce2, as I've got a customer who uses low-cost NForce2 IGP boxes for light OpenGL stuff on their shop floor (MasterCAM and AutoCAD); I want to move them up to A64 and S754 Semprons, but I don't trust the performance or drivers of any of the other integrated graphics available.
    Reply
  • ShadowVlican - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - link

    the ati xpress200 will be a good platform for my uncle, who does mostly office based work and plays the occasional CS.. good stuff ati Reply
  • Cosmic_Horror - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - link

    shame you guys didn't run any benchmarks with an older stand alone cards (eg ti4200, or something with similar feature set) so we could get a comparison of how well they are performing. Reply
  • UzairH - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - link

    More powerful integrated graphics hardware is good as long as the cost is not increased beyond a couple of dollars. The whole poing of integrated graphics is OK performance at the lowest possible cost. Reply

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