There have been numerous product sessions at IDF this week, some sexy, some interesting, and some about as exciting as watching Uncle Burt fall asleep in the recliner. Certain technical sessions on subjects like i7/X58 had long lines of people waiting anxiously to see and learn about the "It" product at IDF 2008, while other sessions on Intel's new SSD, Larrabee, and CE3100 SoC products generated a great amount of interest and attendance.

While those sessions were interesting. exciting to some degree, and even thought provoking at times, we noticed one particular session on the calendar that became center point on our radar screen. It had a very bland title that could easily be overlooked, "Enhancing the Media Experience with Intel Integrated Graphics", but we knew it really meant a G45 overview or so we hoped. Turns out, we were almost right on the money.
We wanted to understand more about this media experience enhancement offering, but most of all we wanted to get some answers about Intel's latest IG chipset. You know, the chipset that was late to market, promised a change in how we would view/experience high definition content, offer a superior gaming experience compared to previous IG solutions, and generally solve world hunger problems. We knew most of these attributes were marketing speak, but we have been very excited about Intel's first IG solution that offers hardware accelerated playback of high-definition content.

Why might one ask is an IG chipset so interesting to an editorial group that tends to be on the bleeding edge when it comes to hardware choices? Well, most of us are HTPC users and chipsets that offer accelerated high-definition playback, multi-channel LPCM output over HDMI, and a low-power envelope sounds just as sexy to us as the upcoming X58 chipset. However, our primary reason is that we wanted face time with the personnel responsible for the G45/GS45/GM45 series of products.
You see, the last three weeks have been extremely frustrating for us after receiving our sample G45 motherboards. We will not dwell on all of our problems as that conversation is saved for the chipset launch article. Suffice it to say, we have encountered every problem ranging from 1080P/24Hz support, lack of receiver repeater capabilities, compatibility problems with BD software playback programs, and the list just goes on. After numerous phone calls, emails, and meetings with Intel support personnel over the past few weeks, we finally had the opportunity to meet them in person.
We had our knives sharpened and ready as we wanted answers or there was going to be a fight. But before we could discuss and address our problems, there was this matter of sitting through a presentation. One that we just wanted to skip through so we could get some answers. Turns out the presentation answered several of our more pressing questions but left just as many unanswered at this point.
So without further delay, here is a recap of the presentation and some commentary about where Inel is at with the G45 product.
Just the facts please...


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  • ianken - Sunday, August 24, 2008 - link

    Intel has notoriously sucked for HTPC applications. They constantly promise all this awesome media-centric stuff then deliver integrated solutions that just don't work.
  • ianken - Sunday, August 24, 2008 - link

    Replying to my own post: one more thing: dymanic picture adjustment BS features are lame.

    Video is a well speced technology. How you decode and render broadcast video is not up for interpretation. Any "dynamic" bs feature is just that.

    As long as they allow you to turn it off, then fine. Anyone who's struggled with AMDs "AVIVO" video mangling noise reduction knows what I mean.
  • LoneWolf15 - Friday, August 22, 2008 - link

    "Unlike previous Intel chipsets, the G45 series offers full hardware decode capabilities for MPEG2, VC-1/WMV9, and now AVC/H.264. CPU utilization rates are down significantly now with H.264 dropping down around 20% compared to 75% in our testing, results similar to Intel."

    Don't you mean "results similar to ATI"?

    (P.S. I'd have used the Quote button, but it doesn't seem to be working for me).
  • ltcommanderdata - Friday, August 22, 2008 - link

    I believe they meant that their own independent results were the same as Intel's. So Intel's claims about the G45 are accurate. Reply
  • iwodo - Thursday, August 21, 2008 - link

    I hope a few questions can be answered in the G45 article.
    Using 20% CPU for full decode is a lot better then previous Intel iGfx 75%. But that is under which CPU unit? A Core2Duo E8xxx? Or a Celeron?

    Compare to other iGFX which can decode 1080p with a single Digit CPU usage it isn't that much better.

    And did Intel promise to put more resources into driver development? Their hardware can only ever be as good as their drivers. Even tough Intel have nearly 50% of graphics market share they are putting the LEAST effort into their drivers.
  • gwynethgh - Thursday, August 21, 2008 - link

    "However, 1080P/24Hz playback support is still not working properly"

    Any clues when this will be corrected? Is it a G45 hardware bug or just software
  • Badkarma - Thursday, August 21, 2008 - link


    I'd like to see an option for Desktop levels to be set to 16-235 as well as Video levels to 16-235. With current drivers for ATI/Nvidia and I assume Intel, Desktop levels are always 0-255, and Video can be set to 16-235, however when connected to a TV that is expecting Video levels(16-235), Desktop work or playing games will always be clipped. It'd be great to have the option to set everything to Video levels when sent to a TV set.
  • sprockkets - Thursday, August 21, 2008 - link

    Intel seems oblivious to the fact that the CoreAVC codec in software has been beating "hardware" solutions for sometime. Not saying I'd rather have that than a G45, cause Intel has a G45 mini-ITX board for $150. Reply
  • Chriz - Thursday, August 21, 2008 - link

    Did Intel happen to mention at these meetings why their Intel branded P43/45 and G43/45 motherboards are not available from anywhere while most other motherboards manufactured by other companies are? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, August 21, 2008 - link

    "Also featured is version 4 of DPST (Display Power Saving Technology) that dynamically controls picture brightness by influencing backpanel lighting."

    So I have to ask, is there *anyone* out there that likes dynamic contrast/backlighting algorithms? Every display/laptop I've tested that offers the technology results in an unpleasant darkening/lightening of the screen. It's extremely distracting and one of the first things to get shut off if it comes enabled by default.

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