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SW T&L

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June 2, 2012 4:06:24 PM

I have a netbook that has a Intel GMA 950 video card and I saw the specs for this video card and it says it has "Transform and Lighting supported in software through highly optimized Processor Specific Geometry Pipeline (PSGP)". Now does this mean that with this PSGP thing does it make the video card perform like a video card that has a hardware T&L? If not is T&L in software very close to hardware T&L?

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a b U Graphics card
June 2, 2012 4:20:07 PM

Intel is basically saying that their graphics accelerator sucks and can't perform HW T&L so it needs to be performed via software on the CPU which is slower. In other words it's just marketing mate!

I also believe the GMA 950 does not support vertex shaders either.
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a c 117 U Graphics card
June 2, 2012 4:23:23 PM

What whooleo said is correct, it's purely marketing talk

The GMA 950 is a piece of crap
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June 2, 2012 4:57:11 PM

Well here are the specs for the 950.


Technical Specifications
Intel GMA 950 Graphics Core
• 400MHz 256-bit graphics core
• Up to 10.6 GB/sec memory bandwidth
with DDR2 667 MHz system memory
• 1.6 GPixels/sec and 1.6 GTexels/sec fill rate
• 192 MB maximum video memory
• 2048x1536 at 75 Hz maximum resolution
• Dynamic Display Modes for flat-panel, wide-screen and
Digital TV support
• Operating systems supported: Microsoft Windows* XP,
Windows* XP 64-bit, Media Center Edition, Windows
2000; Linux-compatible (Xfree86 source available)


High Performance 3D
• Up to 4 pixels per clock rendering
• Microsoft* DirectX* 9 Hardware Acceleration Features:
Pixel Shader 2, Volumetric Textures, Shadow Maps,
Slope Scale Depth Bias, Two-Sided Stencil
• Microsoft* DirectX* 9 Vertex Shader 3.0 and Transform
and Lighting supported in SW through highly optimized
Processor Specific Geometry Pipeline (PSGP)
• Texture Decompression for DirectX* and OpenGL*
• OpenGL* 1.4 support with ARB extensions
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June 2, 2012 4:59:23 PM

I just wanted to basicly know that has anyone ever tried playing a game like The Sims 2 that uses T&L on the Intel 950? Since Intel says they have the PSGP feature so I thought that it will work like a hardware T&L or maybe close to it. Also 950 has vertex shader 3.0 it says.


Also btw Intel says it only has 192MB of video ram but my netbook has 256MB so it's better.



On notebook check website it says "Compared to the GMA 900 it now supports Shader Model 3.0 (instead of 2.0) and can decode 2 HD Streams simultaneously."



I just assumed that since The Sims 2 is an older game it will work great. But just wanted to know if others have played this game on the Intel GMA 950. Or have played other games that use T&L. The PSGP must be a feature to make it work close to hardware T&L. But I don't know of cource that's why I' am asking if someone has really tested this card and see if it performs close to hardware T&L.


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a b U Graphics card
June 2, 2012 7:19:32 PM

Dustin_Broke said:
I just wanted to basicly know that has anyone ever tried playing a game like The Sims 2 that uses T&L on the Intel 950? Since Intel says they have the PSGP feature so I thought that it will work like a hardware T&L or maybe close to it. Also 950 has vertex shader 3.0 it says.


Also btw Intel says it only has 192MB of video ram but my netbook has 256MB so it's better.



On notebook check website it says "Compared to the GMA 900 it now supports Shader Model 3.0 (instead of 2.0) and can decode 2 HD Streams simultaneously."



I just assumed that since The Sims 2 is an older game it will work great. But just wanted to know if others have played this game on the Intel GMA 950. Or have played other games that use T&L. The PSGP must be a feature to make it work close to hardware T&L. But I don't know of cource that's why I' am asking if someone has really tested this card and see if it performs close to hardware T&L.


The software T&L used is garbage as well as the software vertex shader because it relies on your CPU which is not meant for that type of work. Overall the GMA is as good as a GeForce 256 which is very poor. You might be able to play The Sims 2 but it won't be pretty or very playable.

I've played Halo on a GMA 950, the highest FPS I got at the lowest resolution and settings was about 30, the average was 10-25.
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June 2, 2012 10:09:58 PM

Well is the SW T&L better than the ones without it? Like for example the Intel 82865G doesn't have it so won't the GMA 950 run games like Halo and The Sims 2 better on the GMA 950 since it has SW T&L?
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a b U Graphics card
June 3, 2012 1:00:35 AM

Dustin_Broke said:
Well is the SW T&L better than the ones without it? Like for example the Intel 82865G doesn't have it so won't the GMA 950 run games like Halo and The Sims 2 better on the GMA 950 since it has SW T&L?


Having T&L is better than not having it but that doesn't change the fact that software T&L is just a crappy implementation.
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June 3, 2012 1:25:26 AM

So if I were to compair two cards like one is the Intel GMA 950 and one is the X3100 that has hardware T&L will there be a huge difference or will the X3100 be a little better than the 950 that has SW T&L? I just don't know how much difference will it make just because one has SW T&L and one has hardware T&L for games like Halo or The Sims 2. I am just trying to learn the difference between SW and hardware T&L and know how they perform on games. Thank you for helping me so far btw.
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a b U Graphics card
June 3, 2012 3:12:47 PM

Dustin_Broke said:
So if I were to compair two cards like one is the Intel GMA 950 and one is the X3100 that has hardware T&L will there be a huge difference or will the X3100 be a little better than the 950 that has SW T&L? I just don't know how much difference will it make just because one has SW T&L and one has hardware T&L for games like Halo or The Sims 2. I am just trying to learn the difference between SW and hardware T&L and know how they perform on games. Thank you for helping me so far btw.


The performance difference is big, running T&L is much slower on a CPU than GPU. A X3100 blows away a GMA 950 (I've used both to play Halo and the X3100 is actually playable with full settings and low resolution while the GMA 950 is not).
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June 3, 2012 6:10:03 PM

Well also come to think of it the X3100 has a faster clock speed and more features I think so that could also be the reason Halo runs better too. But maybe it is just because of HW T&L that the X3100 has makes it run better.
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a b U Graphics card
June 3, 2012 7:38:30 PM

Dustin_Broke said:
Well also come to think of it the X3100 has a faster clock speed and more features I think so that could also be the reason Halo runs better too. But maybe it is just because of HW T&L that the X3100 has makes it run better.


It's a combination of the aforementioned.

It's also like how the PS2 Graphics Synthesizer didn't have T&L or vertex/geometry functions just pixel and texture pipes with all the geometry, vertex, and T&L done on the Emotion Engine. Which isn't as good as say the GameCube with it's PowerPC 750CXe CPU and it's T&L capable "Flipper" GPU.
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June 4, 2012 12:20:39 AM

Well I don't know much about console systems since I don't play them but I guess I could ask how many percent better does the video card that has HW T&L perform compaired to a SW T&L?


Also another question I just thought about after we talked about this but I was wondering that will both the Intel 82865G that doesn't have SW T&L play the same as the GMA 950 that has SW T&L? Since I actualy wonder that if both will use the CPU to do the T&L. I just wonder how does the 82865G or 82845 will do T&L if it doesn't have any SW or HD T&L. Or maybe both the 82865G and the GMA 950 will work the same way and have the same performance. This would be interesting to find out. I know that the Intel 82845 and 82865G doesn't have Processor Specific Geometry Pipeline to do the SW T&L since in the specs it doesn't say it has it.
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a b U Graphics card
June 4, 2012 12:48:47 AM

Dustin_Broke said:
Well I don't know much about console systems since I don't play them but I guess I could ask how many percent better does the video card that has HW T&L perform compaired to a SW T&L?


Also another question I just thought about after we talked about this but I was wondering that will both the Intel 82865G that doesn't have SW T&L play the same as the GMA 950 that has SW T&L? Since I actualy wonder that if both will use the CPU to do the T&L. I just wonder how does the 82865G or 82845 will do T&L if it doesn't have any SW or HD T&L. Or maybe both the 82865G and the GMA 950 will work the same way and have the same performance. This would be interesting to find out.


T&L in itself is not an optional performance booster just a performance boosting feature introduced in 1999. It was used to offload geometry transformations and such from the CPU to GPU (aka the T in T&L) and lighting setup and calculations to the GPU as well (aka the L in T&L). So a graphics accelerator such as the Intel 82865G and the 82845 that does not support any form of T&L will not be able to play any games that utilize and require T&L such as all circa 2000+ games where as the GMA 950 supports it but in software (emulated) done on the CPU which is slower than if done on the GPU. There is one exception to this, early T&L GPUs such as the GeForce 256 which performed T&L functions slower than high end CPUs of the era (Pentium II/III) performing T&L similar functions via DirectX 6 on games that optional supported T&L however, all circa 2000+ games require T&L and this was not emulating T&L just doing the similar functions the older way (DirectX 6). FYI DirectX 7+ implemented T&L.
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June 4, 2012 1:14:07 AM

Well if the Intel 82845 or 82865G won't run on games that use T&L then how come it runs The Sims 2 which uses T&L? Kinda thought this was interesting since I use to own a Dell tower that had a Pentium 4 2.4gHz processor with 2GB ram and a Intel 82865G card and it ran The Sims 2. I can only think that the 82865G or the 82845 has software T&L since if it didn't it should not even run the game. But on Intels site I don't see it say it has software T&L on those cards. I didn't use any software to make the game run I just installed the game and played it and it worked on the 82865G also on the 82845.
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June 4, 2012 1:29:34 AM

Is it possible that The Sims 2 doesn't need T&L and can run without it?


Also if the game needs T&L and the 82865G uses the CPU for T&L then won't it perform the same as the GMA 950? Since both are using SW T&L. Or does the 82865G work differently and doesn't use the CPU. This was something I did always wonder also. Maybe Intel didn't put that the 82865G or 82845 has SW T&L I don't know.

Basicly this is the main reason why I thought the GMA 950 will run close to HW T&L since the GMA 950 has the Processor Specific Geometry Pipeline (PSGP).
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a b U Graphics card
June 4, 2012 1:35:35 AM

Dustin_Broke said:
Well if the Intel 82845 or 82865G won't run on games that use T&L then how come it runs The Sims 2 which uses T&L? Kinda thought this was interesting since I use to own a Dell tower that had a Pentium 4 2.4gHz processor with 2GB ram and a Intel 82865G card and it ran The Sims 2. I can only think that the 82865G or the 82845 has software T&L since if it didn't it should not even run the game. But on Intels site I don't see it say it has software T&L on those cards. I didn't use any software to make the game run I just installed the game and played it and it worked on the 82865G also on the 82845.


Apparently it does support hardware DirectX 7 (which means T&L as well) and software DirectX 9 according to wikipedia and some of Intel's whitepapers on close inspection.
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June 4, 2012 2:38:24 AM

So all the Intel 82845, 82865 and GMA 900 and 950 have T&L? Of cource just software T&L right? I didn't know that though so basicly all have the SW T&L? If so does that mean all will perform the same for games like The Sims 2 and Halo? Or will the GMA 950 still perform better than the 82845 or 65? This is kinda interesting actualy. The thing is I never compaired these cards side by side so I don't know the difference plus when I had these cards I didn't spend enough time using them. But anyways I actualy wonder if all cards are about the same or maybe the GMA 950 is alot better than the 82845 or 65G?


Or were you saying that the 82845 and 65G and GMA 950 use HW T&L since it has hardware DirectX 7? I' am actualy kinda confused now.


Also does the GMA 950 have DirectX 9? Since according to GPU-Z it says I have DirectX 9 and shader model 2.0. Or is the GMA 950 have software DirectX 9 also? Basicly the GMA 900 and 950 are almost the same just the 950 has a faster clock speed according to notebook review website.
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June 4, 2012 2:31:55 PM

I might of missunderstoon you about when you said that it supports T&L but I can only think that it supports SW T&L. But also does the GMA 950 really support Shader Model 2.0? Since it looks like the GMA 950 is DirectX 9 HW. But maybe you were talking about the 82845 or 82865G.
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a b U Graphics card
June 4, 2012 4:12:22 PM

Ok after looking over Intel whitepapers and Tomshardware reviews this is what I got, the GMA 950 supports up to pixel shader 2.0 in hardware and shader model 3.0 completely in software it also doesn't have any geometry processing which means vertex shaders up to 3.0 are done in software and so is T&L. The 82845 and 82865G (aka Intel extreme graphics) support DirectX 7 in hardware except T&L and supports up to shader model 2.0 in software. FYI all these chips are integrated graphics accelerators that are part of the northbridge. The 82845 is part of the i845 chipset and the 82865G is part of the i865G chipset. the GMA 950 is part of the 940-945 chipsets for laptops.
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