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My suspicions confirmed? The upcoming G965 driver...

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 8, 2007 1:54:59 PM

Article: "Intel to improve video, vertex shading in its IGCs" http://www.tgdaily.com/2007/03/08/gdc2007_intel_g965_in...

Alright, many people have disagreed with me about my predictions of Intel's graphics chipsets really picking up steam in the mainstream graphics industry. Based on this article, it would seem that Intel really will have some competition against integrated graphics from nvidia and amd, it seems.

Also, please do not read anything into this that I have not said: Even Intel will admit there is absolutely no substitute for discrete graphics, but in the integrated graphics market, Intel is looking to compete against nvidia and AMD.

Now--is this a smart move? Won't this be something that NVIDIA could have taken from Intel and they could combine their efforts against AMD? Nah, I doubt it. This is a smart move, and here's why:

Intel makes most of its money from its chipsets as well as its processors. To have Intel form an 'informal' alliance with NVIDIA against AMD will hurt Intel in the long run. Intel needs to either merge with or acquire NVIDIA outright--a shakey and unlikely scenario--or they need to BEAT AMD/ATI's integrated graphics chipsets with their own graphics chipsets. The latter scenario could gain Intel wins over the integrated graphics market while they have control over the processor market, ending in a clear win for Intel except for discrete graphics market. That being the case--why go through the trouble of an alliance with NVIDIA at all? If anything, allign with them by offering strictly SLI capable chipsets rather than crossfire, but as far as integrated chipsets, Intel can get their own share as they have been doing for a while now.

If my predictions are correct, we should expect Intel graphics to really pick up some steam in the near future.

(edit: sorry for the quick title change guys, I just kept looking at it and it didn't give the right impression. If you were posting and it refused your post, that's why. I am OK with it now though :wink: )
March 8, 2007 2:46:56 PM

I'm not sure what you think this confirms, other than Intel sticking to its word to have a mature driver out by March of 2007. This driver update has been mentioned ever since the 965g debuted. People who looked at the IGP benchmarks and saw the GMA950 outpacing the x3000 were told to take the results with a grain of salt, as Intel would not have a driver out to fully exploit the x3000's graphical capabilities until March 2007.
March 8, 2007 2:52:43 PM

Quote:
I'm not sure what you think this confirms, other than Intel sticking to its word to have a mature driver out by March of 2007...


It just confirms that Intel is acting quickley to outperform ATI and NVIDIA's integrated graphics solutions. Many (not all) people here have said that Intel will never compete in this area and just continue to provide "useable" integrated graphics solutions at a "cheaper" price, but to me, this indicates that Intel is aiming much higher. Their after the AMD/ATI Radeon Xpress IGPs as well as nForce chipsets, too, it seems.
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March 8, 2007 5:20:11 PM

I don't think Intel has a choice. With AMD owning Ati, they are probably throwing some serious money in the direction of graphics hardware and driver development.

They can't afford to ignore it. This is just another sign that they are getting serious about graphics.
March 8, 2007 6:17:00 PM

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To have NVIDIA form an 'informal' alliance with NVIDIA against AMD will hurt Intel in the long run


...sure..
March 8, 2007 7:02:40 PM

Quote:

...sure..


What do you mean by that? If it's sarcasm I'm not sure why, Nvidia is a competitor to Intel.

In the short term Intel needs them to put the hurt on Ati/AMD, but you can be sure that Intel will definitely be butting heads with them for market share in the future.
March 8, 2007 8:10:16 PM

IMO intel is only "aiming higher" b/c they have to. Vista requires the hardware. Intel makes all their money in graphics on IGP's in OEM machines. They cant sell chips that can't run vista. Simple economics. That driver looks good on games that are already old. That article showed HL2 and CoD2. Neither of which is very new, and both scale well on low-end systems.

Regardless, they need this not to gain market but to keep what they have. w/o a chip capable of running all of vista OEM's would get one somewhere else. Intel can't afford that.

Just my 2 bits.
March 8, 2007 8:55:30 PM

Running Vista and running HL2 at 30fps are two totally different things. The whole deal that it supposedly has better image quality than a radeon x1600 card is one huge accomplishment too IMHO (if you're not sure what I'm referring too, read the THG article). However, you are correct for the most part, except that Intel has finally made HARDWARE T&L support on their chipsets for a change, and technically they COULD HAVE gotten away with software t&l for Aero Graphics to work--after all, Vista is certified for the Intel GMA 900 is it not?
March 8, 2007 8:57:31 PM

You do know that the GMA950 will run the Vista Aero interface right? It's not like the absolutely had to make the x3000 in order to be Vista aero compatible.
March 8, 2007 9:01:34 PM

Quote:
Running Vista and running HL2 at 30fps are two totally different things. The whole deal that it supposedly has better image quality than a radeon x1600 card is one huge accomplishment too IMHO (if you're not sure what I'm referring too, read the THG article). However, you are correct for the most part, except that Intel has finally made HARDWARE T&L support on their chipsets for a change, and technically they COULD HAVE gotten away with software t&l for Aero Graphics to work--after all, Vista is certified for the Intel GMA 900 is it not?


Nothing new about that really. Intel's IGPs have always been extremely strong when it comes to media playback (DVDs, and now HD video). Intel's old extreme graphics 2 utilized less CPU cycles for DVD playback than many competing solutions, despite having only HMC.

Quote:
It just confirms that Intel is acting quickley to outperform ATI and NVIDIA's integrated graphics solutions.

I don't think taking 7 months to produce a decent driver qualifies as "acting quickly". And lets not forget that this is still in beta stage. How much longer until it is downloadable from Intel?
March 8, 2007 9:20:31 PM

It uses a somewhat unified design. Maybe not as great as nV or what ATI's will be, but it's still a better advancement than what the competition has to offer in some respects. That will change once nV and ATI bring their unified designs to the integrated market but that could be a ways off from now. Intel beat them to the punch in what is probably the largest graphics market there is. The OEMs will sell it like hotcakes as it will be enough for the average user/casual gamer.

Still I question the claim against a discrete X1600 and would prefer to see some real world testing and not a controlled test done by Intel. I also imagine a discrete card would still pull ahead in the newer more stressful titles.
March 8, 2007 9:21:57 PM

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You do know that the GMA950 will run the Vista Aero interface right? It's not like the absolutely had to make the x3000 in order to be Vista aero compatible.


yes, but well enough for their OEM partners to be happy? For OEM's to be happy they need happy customers. (read: no increase in service calls) My $ is still on OEM pressure for them to make it good enough to sell comps. If everyone had to run Vista with full eye-candy on a gma950 we would see alot of pissed off ppl. ;) 


again, was just another opinion to throw on the pile. you don't have to agree w/ me on it. 8)
March 8, 2007 9:26:24 PM

Quote:
Running Vista and running HL2 at 30fps are two totally different things. The whole deal that it supposedly has better image quality than a radeon x1600 card is one huge accomplishment too IMHO (if you're not sure what I'm referring too, read the THG article). However, you are correct for the most part, except that Intel has finally made HARDWARE T&L support on their chipsets for a change, and technically they COULD HAVE gotten away with software t&l for Aero Graphics to work--after all, Vista is certified for the Intel GMA 900 is it not?


image qual is very nice yes. Good that they caught up/surpassed the competition. Still, software t&l and shaders only kills performance on everything else. Like I just said above... trying to run vista w/ all candy (absolutely everything on) on the gma chips now is not going to be a nice experience. You need the hardware to get the performance, otherwise those nice core2 chips start running like (gasp!) athlonX2 chips! ;) 
March 8, 2007 9:27:34 PM

no problem. :)  I understand where you're coming from. Intel's newest IGP can play Lego StarWars now, which should make many parents happy.
March 8, 2007 9:46:10 PM

yes indeedy.
a b U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
March 8, 2007 9:52:18 PM

Cleeve, just a quick question for you before I leave work, do you think that in the Clearvideo versus Avivo, that the demo didn't bother to go into the drivers and select autodetection, as you noted in the AVIVO/PureVideo comparo? I wonder if that would make a dif there. don't have time to look at the benchmark again but I thought the flag one was de-interlacing, not AA.

Quote:
I don't think Intel has a choice. With AMD owning Ati, they are probably throwing some serious money in the direction of graphics hardware and driver development.

They can't afford to ignore it. This is just another sign that they are getting serious about graphics.


Yeah, Agree completely, especially since this is the transition needed, and the impact that the FP performance of graphics has, I don't think they could ignore it for long or else AMD would blow by them. Heck AMD bought ATi for that very reason.

BTW, Bourgeoisdude, I don't think this is just a driver update, I think this is a refreshof the G965, there are 2 versions the GMA3000 and GMAX3000, I doubt they'd leave the vertex shaders in there dormant so long, unless maybe they had WHQL issues, but it makes no sense. Most DELL I've seen had the GMA 3000, not X3000.
March 8, 2007 10:11:14 PM

According to this, the difference is GMA X3000 is more entertainment and home oriented and supports SM3.0, & Hardware T&L. The GMA 3000 is office oriented and does not support SM3.0 or Hardware T&L.

As far as I know, the GMA X3000 has been available for awhile. Motherboards like the Gigabyte GA-965G-DS3 (all revisions) have had the GMA X3000 on it for some time.
a c 112 U Graphics card
a b å Intel
a b Î Nvidia
March 8, 2007 10:32:46 PM

Budget computer will suck allot less.....good work.....
March 9, 2007 1:01:18 PM

Quote:
Cleeve, just a quick question for you before I leave work, do you think that in the Clearvideo versus Avivo, that the demo didn't bother to go into the drivers and select autodetection, as you noted in the AVIVO/PureVideo comparo? I wonder if that would make a dif there. don't have time to look at the benchmark again but I thought the flag one was de-interlacing, not AA.


Yes it's called de-interlacing in the driver, although from a descriptive standpoint I guess it could be called antialiasing.

Regardless, I believe certain types of de-interlacing on by default in AVIVO, in truth you can't turn it off... what you have to enable is 3:2 pulldown detection (which could also be called de-interlacing after a fashion, and Nvidia calls it Inverse Telecine)

Yuck. Too many terms and too-similar meanings, but the long and short of it is I believe the flag test should work without setting a special option. Still, it'd be something I'd test if I had that intel chipset around here...
March 9, 2007 2:15:02 PM

Quote:
but the long and short of it is I believe the flag test should work without setting a special option. Still, it'd be something I'd test if I had that intel chipset around here...


agreed, I have yet to understand why BOTH drivers (ati and Nv) don't enable the best possible settings by default. You would think that n00bs would benefit more from the "good stuff" being enabled, and we all no that the techno-phites are the ones that move the market for both companies. Things that make you go hmm...


honestly, it is fair for intel to test against "default" driver settings, but my guess would be that once you enable the 3:2 pulldown (regardless of name) on the other drivers then the disparity between qualities would be removed. :?: JMO of course ;) 
March 9, 2007 3:09:11 PM

Quote:
To have NVIDIA form an 'informal' alliance with NVIDIA against AMD will hurt Intel in the long run.


I'm not being sarcastic, but am I the only person who doesn't get this? Surely NVIDIA already have a pretty 'formal' alliance, called 'being the same company'?
March 9, 2007 6:28:02 PM

Quote:
To have NVIDIA form an 'informal' alliance with NVIDIA against AMD will hurt Intel in the long run.


I'm not being sarcastic, but am I the only person who doesn't get this? Surely NVIDIA already have a pretty 'formal' alliance, called 'being the same company'?

Oh--lol. I see...I meant Intel :oops:  :oops: 

It's fixed now... :D 
a b U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
March 9, 2007 7:28:04 PM

Quote:

Regardless, I believe certain types of de-interlacing on by default in AVIVO, in truth you can't turn it off... what you have to enable is 3:2 pulldown detection (which could also be called de-interlacing after a fashion, and Nvidia calls it Inverse Telecine)


Guess I'm just not understanding what is enabled and disabled by default, I usually keep myprofiles from driver to driver (only an issue with the new package for 7.2 when I had to reset everything).

I thought from the way it was described in the AVIVO/PV review that it was disabled. Iusually manually set it to vector adaptive which I find works better than automatic for me. But I was thinking that it was defaulting to none based on the review.

I just rarely trust vendor tests, and considering that ATi, nV, and S3 are pretty similar in the jaggies and flag tests, I'd be surprised if intel were that significantly different.

Guess we'll see once it hits the wild.
March 11, 2007 1:49:27 AM

Quote:
To have Intel form an 'informal' alliance with NVIDIA against AMD will hurt Intel in the long run. Intel needs to either merge with or acquire NVIDIA outright--a shakey and unlikely scenario--or they need to BEAT AMD/ATI's integrated graphics chipsets with their own graphics chipsets.


I disagree. All Intel really needs to do is hire some good engineers from nVidia or ATI. Or they can do it the old fashioned way: hard work. Either way, Intel isn't going to buy nVidia, even if they wanted to. nVidia is not for sale and Intel, frankly, doesn't have a good reason to buy nVidia. Like I said, all they need to do is steal a few choice engineers and license some tech from nVidia.

I'm not worried about nVidia being able to stand up against discrete graphics from Intel... it's AMD who I worry about. If Intel enters the discrete graphics market (which looks inevitable), there won't be enough room for 3 competitors. There never has been. The last time 3 competitors existed together was 3dfx, ati, and nvidia... which was very brief... and we all know what happened to 3dfx.
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