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


View All Comments

  • Houdani - Thursday, May 26, 2005 - link

    Whoah. Deja vu. Reply
  • akozak - Thursday, May 26, 2005 - link

    Once again you are benchmarking entry level systems with 1GB of RAM

    This review is useless for someone looking to purchase an entry level system. Guess I'll check out the other sites.

  • gibhunter - Thursday, May 26, 2005 - link

    #13 you get headaches from the 75HZ refresh rate. Change it to 85Hz and the headaches will go away. 85Hz is the bare minimum in my opinion, unless you're on an LCD which runs on a different technology and thus can be run at 60Hz with no headaches. Reply
  • ET - Thursday, May 26, 2005 - link

    > Also throw in games that people with such dated hardware are more likely to play

    I disagree that people who have older hardware stick only to older games. I tend to use older hardware until performance is unacceptable. My brother in law is playing Half Life 2 on a GeForce3. In fact, Valve specifically put a GeForce2 rendering path into the game. My brother in law would not touch Warcraft 3 or Sims2 with a ten foot pole. Seems to me that HL2 runs well enough on the Xpress 200 -- better than the GeForce3 (and certainly with higher quality).
  • Calin - Thursday, May 26, 2005 - link

    flloyd, I can testify that going from an old PCI Matrox video card (4MB) to an GeForce2 MX400 (built by Palit-Daytona), the difference in quality is like day and night. Not to mention the G200 I used some time ago :(
    This is not a problem only for integrated graphics
  • ksherman - Thursday, May 26, 2005 - link

    still amazes me that Intel wases the fab on their video cores... seems like a waste of silicon. they should have just gone to the experts to get their integrated video Reply
  • cryptonomicon - Thursday, May 26, 2005 - link

    damn. on board chips just beat my ti4200. guess i'll have to upgrade now im so ashamed. Reply
  • flloyd - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - link

    I think these integrated graphics chips makers should stop trying to be weak 3D chips and instead work on having top-notch 2D graphics, a la Matrox. Most computer users who use integrated graphics are most interested in a clear, bright, high resolution image rather than playing 3D games at 15 fps. I personally got a GMA 900 as I only use my computer for text, photo editing, video editing and movie watching but am going to have to get a separate graphics card because the image quality is so bad. Even at 1024x768 and 75Hz the image is fuzzy and gives me a headache. I regret the day I upgraded my mobo and can no longer use my Matrox G450, the difference in qulaity is like night and day. Reply
  • yacoub - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - link

    Totally agree - compare these integrated solutions to past generation GPUs like Ti4200 and Radeon 8500, etc. Also throw in games that people with such dated hardware are more likely to play. Sims2, CounterStrike (not Source), WarCraft3, online MMORPGs, etc. Reply
  • iwodo - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - link

    May be Anantech can do a more details Review on Intergrated GFx? Becoz so far i find none on the web and are currently very disapointed with the current reviews.

    Why would anyone want to play Doom3/HalfLife2/FarCry with IGFX? I suppose include one or 2 of these bechmark is ok. But Most people who buy IGFX are cacsal gamers. They play may be games like Sims2. How about online games like WOW?

    And Since most of use have been following computer for at least 3 - 5 years. It would be good to known what GMA950 is equal to. Radeon 9000? Geforce2MX? Of coz they are not Dx9 HW but it will still be interesting to know.

    And did they intentionaly saved the GMA915 vs GMA950 fight?

    And i think Intergated GFX serve another purpose like now. You don't want to buy a GFX becox you may want to wait for ATI next update of GFX, which the lowest gfx will be at least 8 pipline.....

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