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The Competitors

Blu-ray Done Right: How Does Your Integrated GPU Stack Up?
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Let’s have a closer look at the technical differences between these integrated graphics processors.

IGPs for AMD CPUS:

Integrated Radeon HD 4200
Chipset Name: 785G
Process: 45nm
Platform: AM3
Universal Shaders: 40
Texture Units: 4
ROPs: 4
Memory Bus: 64-bit
Core Speed MHz: 500
Memory Speed MHz: 667 (1,333 effective)
DirectX / Shader Model: DX 10.1 / SM 4.0

A revamped 780G, the AMD 785G is a new chipset with some appealing features for HTPC enthusiasts under the Universal Video Decoder 2.0 marketing blanket, including picture-in-picture acceleration, dynamic contrast, HD flesh-tone enhancement, and HD color vibrance. Unfortunately, the 785G lacks eight-channel LPCM audio over HDMI, just like its 780G predecessor, although it's capable of playing back lossy six-channel audio such as Dolby Digital or DTS over the HDMI connector.

Integrated Radeon HD 3300
Chipset Name: 790GX
Process: 55nm
Platform: AM2+/AM3
Universal Shaders: 40
Texture Units: 4
ROPs: 4
Memory Bus: 64-bit
Core Speed MHz: 700
Memory Speed MHz: 667 (1,333 effective)
DirectX / Shader Model: DX 10.1 / SM 4.0

The 790GX chipset is simply an overclocked 780G, so its performance should approach that of the 780G (assuming GPU clock speed won't have much of an effect on video playback or quality). It is slightly handicapped compared to the new 785G chipset, as it features AMD's older UVD 1.0 standard with none of the capabilities listed under the 785G notes above. However, it should still benefit from drivers that have matured a lot over the last year. The 780G and 790GX are limited to two-channel LPCM over HDMI, like the new 785G. Also like the 785G, they can handle six-channel Dolby Digital or DTS.

Integrated GeForce 8200
Chipset Name GeForce 8200
Process: 80nm
Platform: AM2+
Universal Shaders: 16
Texture Units: 4
ROPs: 4
Memory Bus: 64-bit
Core Speed MHz: 500
Memory Speed MHz: 400 (800 effective)
DirectX / Shader Model: DX 10 / SM 4.0

The GeForce 8200 has been around for some time as the only HD-capable IGP to compete on AMD's turf. While the 8200 IGP isn't as fast as AMD's 780/790 series in 3D apps, it can handle accelerated HD video playback. It will be interesting to see if the 8200's drivers have improved since our last review, when it scored a zero in the HQV HD video-quality tests.

Integrated GeForce 9300/9400
Chipset Name: GeForce 9300/9400
Process: 65nm
Platform: LGA 775
Universal Shaders: 16
Texture Units: 8
ROPs: 4
Memory Bus: 64-bit
Core Speed MHz: 450 (9300) / 580 (9400)
Memory Speed MHz: 400 (800 effective)
DirectX / Shader Model: DX 10 / SM 4.0

Nvidia has provided an excellent chipset with its GeForce 9300/9400, bringing very good HD playback to the Intel LGA 775 platform. This GeForce 9300/9400 chipset has featured picture-in-picture acceleration, dynamic contrast, and eight-channel LPCM audio over HDMI for some time now, so it is ahead of the curve. Note that the only difference between the GeForce 9300 and 9400 is a slight clock speed increase, while all other features are identical.

IGPs for Intel CPUs:

Integrated GMA X4500
Chipset Name: G45
Process: 65nm
Platform: LGA 775
Universal Shaders: 10
Texture Units: 4
ROPs: 8
Memory Bus: 64-bit
Core Speed MHz: 800
Memory Speed MHz: 400 (800 effective)
DirectX / Shader Model: DX 10 / SM 4.0

The GMA X4500 is Intel's best graphics chipset to date, although compared to its AMD and Nvidia competition, it is still underpowered. While it had buggy HD playback on its release, Intel has put a lot of effort into improving its drivers, and the situation has improved a great deal. The G45 is capable of eight-channel LPCM over HDMI too, though it has had some issues in the past as well.

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