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ATI's Radeon 9100 Pro IGP Takes Aim at Intel's Chipset Launch
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From a benchmark point of view, the new Radeon 9100 Pro IGP chipset from ATI does not perform much better than the non-Pro version. Benchmarks with the additional Radeon 9800XT graphics card turned out to be marginally faster, but the ATI chipset still remains at the second position behind the Intel chipset if a discrete graphics board is what you desire.

According to ATI, a lot of effort has been put into increasing memory compatibility. Its media presentation talks about 120+ qualified memory modules. This is, of course, a statement difficult to test with only a prototype board that does not necessarily run as smoothly as a final product, so we have to prorogue the judgment here.

In terms of integrated graphics performance, Intel is light years behind. Depending on the benchmark you pick, the Pro IGP is noticeably or even considerably faster. If and how that may change with Intel's upcoming 915G chipset remains to be seen. We expect Intel's new device to be at least as powerful as the ATI solution, as the Santa Clara based chip giant does not take competitors attempting to gain share lightly.

Although overall 3D performance is still pathetic when compared to dedicated graphics solutions, the performance level is actually high enough to play lower-end games and to enable web-based 3D applications.

The real question is: Will ATI be able to convince long-term Intel customers? At this stage, the Radeon 9100 Pro IGP is definitely an alternative in the low-end multimedia and corporate market, as the performance handicap under non-graphics applications is likely to be absorbed by a better price point and the advanced branded 3D graphics accelerator. But ATI will have to add faster versions soon, as the Grantsdale-G chipset could easily catch up to ATI's current graphics advantage.

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