Although at first the GeForce 9300 based mainboard looked more promising due to its powerful graphics core, the actual benchmark results turned out pretty diverse. Of course, in those benchmarks where GPU performance matters a lot, Zotac board proved faster than Intel solution. However, there are also tests with a completely different picture: a serious advantage of the Intel based platform. For example, we see this particular outcome in the office Productivity pattern or TV&Movies pattern dealing with video content processing. The reason for this outcome is pretty unexpected and is connected with the different memory subsystem performance of the tested platforms. Although both systems were equipped with DDR2-800 SDRAM modules and formally worked in the same mode, in reality Intel platform boasts higher practical bandwidth and better latency than the other solution.
Intel G45 Express
NVIDIA GeForce 9300
Additional testing revealed that the memory of the GeForce 9300 based system slows down when the integrated graphics core is activated, because it uses system memory for its own needs. And although the GPU integrated into the Intel chipset also has no video memory of its own, it doesn’t suffer from the same performance drop. As a result, the graphics performance advantage of Zotac GeForce 9300-ITX WiFi mainboard can be partially compensated by the advantage of Intel DG45FC in tasks critical to the memory subsystem speed.