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Graphics Subsystem Features and Performance

So, the computer uses Intel i845GV chipset, which implies that the graphics subsystem is integrated into the chipset North Bridge. Of course, integrated graphics is the only solution when it comes to such small dimensions. Anyway, let’s check it out: what is it that they integrated for us?

The name is boastful: Intel Extreme Graphics. I really wonder what the marketing men from Intel found so extreme about it. Extremely low speed in 3D? :)

Intel’s website is rather unwilling to offer any info about the IEG. Here are some facts I could garner:

  • The core frequency is 200MHz (another source within the site says that it is 266MHz :). In short, the core works at twice the system bus frequency. So, it equals 200/266MHz depending on the CPU used in the system.
  • Shared memory architecture. The constant memory amount used by the core is only 8MB. More memory is allotted on demand, dynamically. That is, there is even no BIOS setting for this parameter.
  • Rendering of four textures per clock cycle.
  • Support of bi-linear, tri-linear and anisotropic (!) filtering.
  • Environment Bump Mapping support.
  • A bunch of small but nice trifles (like texture compression support).

According to the specs, the core looks advantageous against the background of integrated solutions from Intel’s competitors: VIA and SiS. As for practice, we will see it in action soon.

Here is the driver settings window:

It’s all too simple. Among 3D settings, we are only allowed to enable/disable anisotropic filtering and do some other not very helpful things.

It’s time see what kind of “extreme” performance this graphics core shows in modern games. We will compare it to MSI’s MEGA and other platforms listed above. First, we ran MadOnion 3DMark2001:

Then, Unreal Tournament 2003, to make the picture complete:

As you see, the Intel Extreme Graphics offers the same performance as SiS 315, even a bit lower. It means you may forget about playing modern games on the ZPC. Something old, like Quake 3 or Unreal Tournament, may run (with minimal settings and low frame rate).

Low performance and memory slowdown are not the only drawbacks of the integrated graphics in the Iwill ZPC. You have no TV-out and no DVI output, the ZPC lacks them badly, I assume.

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