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Intel DX10 Drivers; NVIDIA Laughs

By - Source: Tom's Hardware | B 23 comments

Chip giant Intel finally released a driver update that will enable DirectX10 on its chipsets that feature integrated graphics. Intel has been claiming DirectX 10 compatibility since the introduction of the G965 chipset in 2006, but has only recently released driver support for it. The update available at Intel’s website, is naturally a Windows Vista driver only and is compatible with Intel’s G31, G33, G35, Q33, Q35, G965, Q963, and GM965 Express chipsets.

However, NVIDIA has been reportedly been sending tech journalist tidbits on the performance of Intel’s DX10 update – mainly that there is no performance gain.

NVIDIA ran the usual benchmark of games under DX10 settings and to no surprise found Intel’s integrated graphics to be “downright incapable” of being used with DX10 applications.

NVIDIA goes on to say, “Saying GMA 3500 is DirectX 10 capable is kind of like saying Styrofoam is "nutrition capable". I guess Intel’s definition of capable is a lot different than our definition... a lot.” NVIDIA may be patting itself on the back for drawing that conclusion, but PC enthusiast have widely linked Intel’s IGP to poor performance for quite some time now. While NVIDIA should not be worried too much about Intel upping the performance on its IGP, they should be worried about Intel’s upcoming Larrabee project.

Larrabee, due in 2010, is a multicore discrete graphics initiative from Intel based off of the x86 architecture and supports OpenGL and DirectX instructions. Larrabee, has drawn much interest from the technology community and is one of the most anticipated product launches in the industry.

Jen-sun Huang, NVIDIA CEO, and the rest of NVIDIA have been on the initiative of opening “a can of whoop ass”, before Larrabee takes off. This latest act from NVIDIA appears to be just another example of the company’s aggressive PR plan — pushing the consumer to link poor graphics performance with Intel. Conversely, Intel previously stated in a press call that it thinks computer graphics is hitting a severe bottleneck and that is vector based solutions coming down the line will be the way of the future for 3D.

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  • 0 Hide
    joefriday , May 6, 2008 11:59 PM
    While I'm sure the driver update includes the G31, G33, Q33, and Q35, none of these IGPS are directx 10 capable. They are all base on the GMA 900/950 architecture, and as such, technically don't even qualify for directx 7, as they lack hardware TnL.
  • 0 Hide
    nukemaster , May 7, 2008 2:46 AM
    "I guess Intel%u2019s definition of capable is a lot different than our definition... a lot"

    HAHAHA, remember the GeForce fx5200? that was a pile of crap too, but they sold it as DX9 but it could never get good fps in dx 9 games and in dx 8 even the GeForce4 ti4200 beat it most of the time. Its very unprofessional of a company to make such claims.(even when its true, its just not they way you do things)

    joefriday, you may have a point there, if they do not have hardware t&l it kind of sucks. I have never looked into it.
  • 1 Hide
    deminicus , May 7, 2008 4:04 AM
    they keep talking about 2 years from now. That's all nice and all but what is up with todays graphics?? the 9800gx2, basically another 8800. Seems all they are doing is repackaging old tech...2 years of inching forward... this is what happens when nvidia has no real rival due to ati's hiatus during its merger... ATI finally releases something good and nvidia just ups the ante just enough to be slightly on top. Meanwhile i need to put my rig into liquid hydrogen approaching absolute 0 to play crysis at a decent framerate......... who is with me on this?
  • 0 Hide
    justjc , May 7, 2008 5:19 AM
    I still predict a repeat of http://www.news.com/2102-1001_3-230019.html from Intel when Larrabee comes. Situation is more or less the same with the small diffrence that there are fewer competitors to kick Intels butt :-p
  • 0 Hide
    Christopher1 , May 7, 2008 7:13 AM
    Frankly, Intel needs to go back to basics with their integrated graphics offerings and ONLY offer them for businesses who don't need high-speed graphics, and if they TRULY want to offer gamer-quality graphics..... LICENSE NVidia or ATI TECH!
  • 0 Hide
    romulus47plus1 , May 7, 2008 7:14 AM
    It's going to be hell...
    I mean the war between nVidia and Intel
  • 0 Hide
    romulus47plus1 , May 7, 2008 7:14 AM
    It's going to be hell...
    I mean the war between nVidia and Intel
  • 0 Hide
    chaos23 , May 7, 2008 7:54 AM
    I'm not surprised about Nvidia's comments regarding Intel IGPs. I mean, even ATI laughs at the performance of Intel IGPs. They really suck.. and that's the truth to the matter.
  • 0 Hide
    DjEaZy , May 7, 2008 10:10 AM
    ... intel is losing friends along the way... maybe nVidia should cut intel out off hybrid SLI???
  • 0 Hide
    wild9 , May 7, 2008 12:51 PM
    Both AMD and nVIdia currently have IGP's (780g and 780a respectively), that drastically out-perform Intel's offerings. Gets a bit boring reading about 2010 when anything could and most likely will, happen before then. As it stands you can get an AMD-based chipset and run games as well as HD films on it, and that's what's selling not some promise of things to come. These parts are also made on a smaller fabrication process.
  • 0 Hide
    wingless , May 7, 2008 1:34 PM
    Intel is just so awesome when it comes to CPUs it seems, but they fail so hard at graphics. I'm amazed thats even the same company saying nonsense like this.
  • 0 Hide
    killer_roach , May 7, 2008 1:41 PM
    I don't think nVidia needs to link Intel's graphics solutions to poor performance...

    ...Intel's been doing it on their own for years.
  • 0 Hide
    IntelNick , May 7, 2008 2:45 PM
    Hi, I work for Intel. Here is some clarification: The importance of DirectX 10 is that it becomes a Microsoft Premium Logo requirement for all systems WHQL’d after June 1st 2008. Intel is not claiming this driver is a suitable solution for playing available DirectX 10 games. Right now, a discrete card would be required if DX10 gaming is your desire.
    Also, DX10 is only supported by the Intel® G35, Intel® GM965, GL960 Express Chipset products as well as future products. It is also probably fair to point out that according to recent reviews, no DX10 capable integrated graphics are suitable for DX10 gaming.
    Also, Intel's intergrated graphics chipsets excel in video playback. In standard definition some enjoy HQV scores of over 100. the Intel G965 and up are capable of playing HD content (eg: Blu-Ray). My Blu-Ray/HD-DVD media centre at home is based on G965 and it runs beautifully. The upcoming G45 has dedicated HD hardware in it that allows it to decode the top three HD codecs while using only small amounts of power. Everything depends on what you want to do with your integrated chipset.
  • 0 Hide
    crom , May 7, 2008 2:56 PM
    I think even business machines should get at least some 3d chipset support out of the box. Applications like Google Earth, Flash, Power Point, etc. all benefit significantly with a decent gfx chip.
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    IntelNick , May 7, 2008 3:16 PM
    Sure, and Intel integrated graphics are great for those applications. You can even play Battlefield 2 on Intel graphics: http://blogs.intel.com/technology/2007/08/gaming_on_integrated_graphics.php
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , May 7, 2008 3:55 PM
    I'll agree completely with NVIDIA when they'll make a chip fully compatible with x86 istructions set and 1 light year quicker than the best core 2 duo.
    To be real winners they must challenge the enemy on his territory ;) 
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , May 7, 2008 4:07 PM
    is it just me or does it seem like nvidia is just talking **** and might be scared?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , May 7, 2008 4:21 PM
    It'd do Nvidia well to keep friends, Intel's at the forefront of the CPU war and thus their motherboard chipsets are prime real estate. Not only that but Nvidia is stuck with Intel considering AMD is not likely to hurt ATI considering they're the same company now. Not only that, but for all of us that've known and loved Nvidia since the beginning, we know that they're likely to give us a bad family of GPUs for a generation or 2. Best example, the pure power and level of awesome found in Geforce 4 family (TI 4600 was a BEAST for its time) was followed up by the mediocrity of the Geforce FX series, even the 6 series was Meh. They got back on the ball with the 7-9 series, but they'd need to be wary in a market where they're an island on their own. They won't be partnering with AMD for obvious reasons, ATI has AMD backing them and pissing off Intel might just leave them without a friend in the world.
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    crom , May 7, 2008 4:26 PM
    I don't know. I've built a flash application and tested it on a Macbook with the integrated Intel chipset and then on my PC laptop using a 7900gs video card and the difference is very noticeable. It wasn't an OS issue either, since the flash performed equally as well on a G5 tower with an older ATI 9800 video card. Power Point has a difficult time rendering slides with an Intel integrated chipset as well compared to a dedicated card by Nvidia or ATI. Granted I haven't tried these new drivers. What resolution were those games running at? The demo behind that guy seem low res. Also why enable DX10 support on this without the ability to run DX10 enabled games like Crysis and UT3?
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    IntelNick , May 7, 2008 5:43 PM
    Flash and Powerpoint are CPU dependent. The graphics card won't accelerate them.

    Also, the price difference between an Intel chipset with graphics, and one without is only around $10(and only a handful of Watts). If you could run Crysis on a $10 solution, I don't think the discrete graphics card manufacturers would be delighted. The games in the blog video are running at 1024x768.
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