Integrated Graphics Performance Comparison

Doom 3 Performance

The Radeon Xpress 200 does hold an advantage over Intel's GMA 900 in that it actually runs Doom 3, but that's really where the advantages end. The game is not very playable with the integrated graphics core, even at 640 x 480.

The lowly Radeon X300 SE is basically twice as fast as the Radeon Xpress 200, which isn't saying much as the X300 SE is basically the minimum level of playability for Doom 3.

Doom 3 Integrated Graphics Performance

We did encounter a strange issue with the Radeon Xpress 200 in our testing, there are significant image quality issues with it under Doom 3. It doesn't make sense since, architecturally, there shouldn't be any difference between it and the X300 SE we compared it to (other than fewer rendering pipelines but that shouldn't cause the issue).

First, here's what Doom 3 should look like as rendered on our test Radeon X300 SE:

But here's what we get with the Radeon Xpress 200:

We have informed ATI of the issue and they are looking into it for us, but as far as we are concerned even with the image quality issues fixed, Doom 3 isn't really the type of game to be playing on integrated graphics, not even with the Radeon Xpress 200.

Half Life 2 Performance (VST)

Using the Source Visual Stress Test we look at a preview of Half Life 2 performance on these integrated graphics solutions.

The Radeon Xpress 200 manages to perform reasonably well, definitely not as well as the X300 SE, but nothing that isn't playable. We will have to wait another week to see if it actually means that the integrated graphics will be playable in Half Life 2, but if the VST is any indication things are looking good.

Half Life 2 (Source VST) Integrated Graphics Performance

Unreal Tournament 2004 Performance

At 800 x 600 the Radeon Xpress 200 is playable, despite the fact that the X300 SE is 23% faster. Despite the fact that the Radeon Xpress 200 has much more memory bandwidth than the X300 SE thanks to the dual-channel DDR400 interface of the Socket-939 Athlon 64, its performance is significantly impaired by the reduction in rendering pipelines. But with the complexity of implementing fully floating point DX9 compliant rendering pipelines, it's tough to do more than 2 pipes at this stage without increasing cost significantly.

Unreal Tournament 2004 Integrated Graphics Performance

Halo Performance

Also playable, even at 800 x 600 (in actual gameplay), the Radeon Xpress 200 continues to do "ok" in the performance tests. It's better than Intel's GMA 900 in that it is able to offer this level of performance at much better image quality, but the performance isn't anything to get incredibly excited about as the $80 X300 SE wipes the floor with the Radeon Xpress 200. Granted we are comparing $0 to $80, so a performance difference is expected.

Halo Integrated Graphics Performance

Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory Performance

Based on the Quake 3 engine, performance here is important because the types of games that will be mostly playable on integrated graphics solutions will be older titles.

The Radeon Xpress 200 doesn't disappoint, performing within 10% of the X300 SE.

Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory Integrated Graphics Performance

SidePort: On-Board GPU Memory Integrated Graphics Performance Comparison (continued)


View All Comments

  • flatblastard - Saturday, April 9, 2005 - link

    Hmmmm, still no real availability even now...Looks like MSI may be our only chance at this chipset....what as bummer :( Reply
  • philpoe - Sunday, February 20, 2005 - link

    Hmmm, after no real availability (in the US at least) as of Friday 2/18/05, there's suddenly a slew of shops selling the MSI board on pricewatch, including Newegg. Anyone know of a reason why the boards are so slow to trickle out? Reply
  • philpoe - Monday, February 7, 2005 - link

    Is it possible to purchase these reference boards? I seem to see them in retail-looking packages in reviews from Canada.
    If you can get your hands on one, are the BIOSes available to the public, or only to the select HW review sites?
  • Wesley Fink - Thursday, November 11, 2004 - link


    We have added the following update to p.6:

    "UPDATE 11/11/2004: ATI has provided an updated BIOS which corrects the issues of 333 timings with 4 double-sided dimms. With the new BIOS we were able to run 4X512MB DS OCZ 3200 Platinum Rev.2 at 2-2-2-10 timings at DDR400 with a 2T Command Rate. This performance matches the best we have seen with 4 DS dimms on an Athlon 64 motherboard."
  • Momental - Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - link

    #35: I'm right there with ya, bud. Just when I "think" I've made up my mind to do the complete overhaul, the next exit appears on the highway taking me that much closer to the "Best Soft Serve in Town"!!

    The ol' gut tells me to hold out until some time just after the ball drops in Times Square and we'll all be in Fat City, so to speak. ;)
  • callius - Tuesday, November 9, 2004 - link

    Somewhat OT maybe:

    anyone seeing a reason that the next rev of A64 supporting SSE3 (in market Q1/05) coul not be plugged in a 939-mobo (nvid, ati or via) without problems (except any necessary BIOS update) ?

  • callius - Tuesday, November 9, 2004 - link

    Only minus vs nforce4 is that the SB does not support SATA-II's NCQ (for Seagate's upcoming 7200.8 series). Maybe with next SB in Q1/05 though ??? Reply
  • mlittl3 - Tuesday, November 9, 2004 - link

    Completely off topic, but does anyone know why there are four chipsets (two actively cooled, one passively cooled and the other with no cooling) in the SLI Tyan motherboard that #33 gave a link for? Reply
  • xeper - Tuesday, November 9, 2004 - link

    i can't seem to find ANY mention whatsoever of shared memory allocation. can someone help me out here? Reply
  • nserra - Tuesday, November 9, 2004 - link

    Isn’t this very funny, I mean Ati was a very close partner to Intel, and they now bring to intel its one competition product but for the intel competitor.

    I see now no reason for Dell or other companies go for intel, because really intel had (has) the edge with integrated solutions.

    A "part" I thought that there weren’t AMD IGP chipsets because it wasn’t possible to use the integrated memory controller for graphics, at least until AMD64 rev E0 came out?

    If ati is going amd on pcie first, these shows that amd have the best processor and will continue for the time been. Even dothan can do much to turn it around again to intel side. And i bet that new p4 2mb is still with problems (performance, heat, …) and every one is running away from intel because already know this even intel, bringing dothan to the desktop market.

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