Integrated Graphics: Xpress 200 vs. GMA 950by Derek Wilson on May 26, 2005 12:00 AM EST
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Half Life 2 PerformanceOnce again, we were quite surprised by Valve's Source engine. These numbers are quite good for integrated components. The visual quality did not disappoint on either ATI or Intel hardware. The hardware support for the GMA 950 was listed as DX 8.1 rather than DX 9, but as we saw when we looked at the older NVIDIA hardware, the only real difference between the two rendering modes is in the water quality.
The fact that Intel's hardware performed the same at all three resolutions tested makes us think that Valve has built in some sort of minimum frame rate maintenance mechanism into Source. Playing on higher resolutions made it more difficult to interact smoothly with the world, but visually, there weren't many sacrifices. Again, nothing that a gamer would touch with a 50-foot pole, but casual home and business users who may want to play a game will be able to do so. And surely all parties involved will be hoping that the taste of what could be will inspire computer users everywhere to upgrade their hardware and software.