Integrated Graphics Performance & GeForce Boost

As expected, AMD's 780G manages to outperform NVIDIA's integrated graphics steadily across the board:

  AMD 780G NVIDIA 780a/GeForce 8200 % Performance Advantage (AMD)
Half Life 2 Episode Two (10x7) 43.1 30.2 42.7%
Microsoft Flight Simulator X (10x7) 24.6 21.4 15.0%
Company of Heroes (10x7) 29.4 19.4 51.5%
Unreal Tournament 3 (10x7) 22.9 16.8 36.3%
Crysis (10x7 LowQ) 20.3 16.9 20.1%


Once again, although this comparison matters more for the nForce 730a and GeForce 8200 motherboards, NVIDIA's mGPU just doesn't compare to AMD's.

The performance advantage ranges from 15% to just over 50%, and the only surprising part here is that AMD doesn't do better given the theoretical advantage it holds over NVIDIA. As we mentioned before, it's doubtful that many will buy a nForce 780a board and use its integrated graphics to play games but the AMD performance advantage holds true for 750a and GeForce 8200 platforms as well. For a company that has been criticising Intel's integrated graphics performance as of late, we would expect nothing short of the best scores here.

If the mGPU performance of the nForce 780a (or any of the other new NVIDIA chipsets) isn't enough, you can simply toss in a low end discrete GPU (dGPU) and NVIDIA's latest drivers will enable GeForce Boost. GeForce Boost is nothing more than SLI but between a mGPU and dGPU. Given how slow the mGPU is, GeForce Boost will only actually improve performance with a low-end dGPU and thus NVIDIA only supports GeForce Boost with either a GeForce 8400GS or GeForce 8500 GT.

With GeForce Boost enabled, the display driver also comes up with a new name for the mGPU + dGPU combo. If you combine a nForce 780a with a GeForce 8400GS you get a GeForce 8500 and if you pair the 780a with an 8500 GT the driver will report the mix as a GeForce 8600.

NVIDIA 780a + GeForce 8400 GS Half Life 2 Episode Two MS Flight Simulator X Company of Heroes Crysis Unreal Tournament 3
mGPU alone 30.2 21.4 19.4 16.9 16.8
dGPU alone 41.2 39.6 38.7 20.3 21.4
mGPU + dGPU (GeForce Boost) 50.3 39.6 45.5 30.1 22.2
% Increase due to GF Boost 22.0% 0.0% 17.6% 48.3% 3.7%


With a GeForce 8400 GS we actually see decent scaling from a dGPU to the GeForce Boost mode. The added performance is large percentage-wise but in raw numbers it's nothing huge. You're basically getting a smoother gaming experience with GeForce Boost enabled, at least in those games where bridgeless SLI is supported.

NVIDIA 780a + GeForce 8500 GT Half Life 2 Episode Two MS Flight Simulator X Company of Heroes Crysis Unreal Tournament 3
mGPU alone 30.2 21.4 19.4 16.9 16.8
dGPU alone 47.5 35.3 48.6 24.8 33.1
mGPU + dGPU (GeForce Boost) 47.7 37.8 49.3 26.3 27.3
% Increase due to GF Boost 0.0% 7.0% 1.4% 6.0% -17.5%


GeForce Boost does next to nothing with an 8500 GT and in the case of Unreal Tournament 3, performance actually decreases. Of course it's a safe bet that future driver updates will improve scaling and performance from GeForce Boost.

AMD supports a similar technology with its 780G:

AMD 780G + Radeon 3450 Half Life 2 Episode Two MS Flight Simulator X Company of Heroes Crysis Unreal Tournament 3
mGPU alone 43.1 24.6 29.4 20.3 22.9
dGPU alone 51.6 30.2 36.8 23.3 28.5
mGPU + dGPU (Hybrid CrossFire) 61.4 37.3 54.3 31.4 32.7
% Increase due to Hybrid CF 19.0% 23.5% 47.6% 34.8% 14.7%
Integrated Graphics High Definition Video Decode Acceleration


View All Comments

  • SiliconDoc - Monday, July 28, 2008 - link

    Very glad this happens : " The good news is that ASUS has replicated several of our problems and we expect a new BIOS release shortly for use in the motherboard review. "
    That's what I call useful review that isn't a waste of time. Glad you have the reputation and the pull. ( one wonders what they do at Acer - I guess they wait for you guys to tell them...)
  • piroroadkill - Sunday, May 11, 2008 - link

    I agree with the guys who are saying they need to make discrete (not discreet, jesus) GPUs consume much less power when idling, even if that means a hybridpower style segmentation of the gpu, but it should be done all on the hardware, completely transparent to the chipset and system Reply
  • KGR - Saturday, May 10, 2008 - link

    Maybe hybrid sli doesnt help frame rates too much , but it can make sense when nvidia integrates the Ageia pysics in gpu, then the mgpu can take the load of physics and the dgpu the graphics in hybrid mode, i dont know if it is possible but i think it is... Reply
  • duploxxx - Thursday, May 08, 2008 - link

    Always like to read the reviews and comments from your site, but why don't you just provide proof with real data instead of a hit in the dark. You already have big parts of the data in an other review.

    " Whether or not this price tag is worth the premium over the nForce 750a SLI boards is up for debate. It's not really in our opinion as we do not believe the current AMD processor series is capable of the required computational power needed to support 3-way SLI or Quad SLI configurations. This is not a knock against NVIDIA as AMD has the same problem with Quad CrossFire; it just reflects the current state of the processor offerings from AMD."

    why don't you just put 9750-9850+790fx+2-3way crossfire against q6600/q9300+x38+2-3way and compare total price/performance/power but perhaps need to add a x48 board since the lack of pci-e lanes on the x38

    you could do the same with lower spec P35 but then again this board has no decent feature set against current amd chipset offerings when you talk about multi gpu setup but would still be interesting to read what happens when using CF on this board against amd770
  • gipper - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 - link

    So why isn't the 750a going to be the perfect HTPC motherboard?

    Aren't the two requirements for the perfect HTPC motherboard native 1080p output via HDMI and 7.1 LPCM audio on the same HDMI connector? Also, the post processing with a phenom matches the AMD 780 chip feature set.

    So, I don't understand why you would say that the AMD 780 is better for HTPC's.

    Or are you guys suggesting that it's best to wait for the AMD 780 refresh that includes 7.1 LPCM because the integrated graphics perform so much better?
  • Gary Key - Thursday, May 08, 2008 - link

    I personally believe the 750a would make an excellent HTPC system if you utilize a ATX case design, might plan on using it for gaming with a discreet video card, and can afford it. The GF8300 board that just arrived is a better solution at first glance (if a uATX design and not having SLI capability is important) and compares favorably to the 780G from a price to performance viewpoint, more so than the GF8200. We will have an update on it next week.
    We received the 175.16 drivers right after the article went live and will have some post-processing comparisons (174.14s did not handle this right) this weekend between the two chipsets. Right now, it is a toss up in my opinion, and due to that fact, I would go NV for the multi-channel LPCM.
  • The Jedi - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 - link

    A couple of points here:
    This is absolutely unacceptable and would prevent us from recommending the 780a as anything more than just another SLI motherboard. HybridPower is quite possibly the best feature for a high-end SLI user and if it won't work with 30" displays then its usefulness is severely degraded.
    I'll tell ya I use a 26" LCD TV on my desktop and it's big enough. I don't need 2560x1600. 1080p (1200p) is fine and matches the pixels on HDTV. Anything 1080p capable is completely reasonable. Just up the AA or AF if the FPS are too fast for ya. Just because Dell or Apple says Uber-users need a 30-inch LCD to be cool doesn't make it true. 24", 26", 27", these are great on today's desks. I really think a 30" LCD on my desk would be too big.

    Gary Key, you da man, seriously, but proofread the article for typos.

    Last point, and this goes for all of Anandtech's staff: Respect due, but seriously: NO dGPU. Call it A VIDEO CARD. Or -- A GRAPHICS CARD. Also, no calling a product from a CPU or GPU company a 'part' . Call it a chip -- or a CPU or a graphics chip, etc.
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, May 08, 2008 - link

    I'd love to see a 2560x1600 24-26" display, the more resolution the better. If that 9 megapixel LCD weren't several thousand dollars it would be sweet. Reply
  • Wolfcastle - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 - link

    The author should clean up the grammar a bit. Anandtech has a large audience. Reply
  • James5mith - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 - link

    Maybe I'm just foolish here, but for the extreme overclocking crowd, I see an immediate and tangible benefit:

    If you happen to fry your video card while OC'ing it, you can use the onboard video as a stopgap until you get it repaired.

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