Integrated Graphics for Gaming or HTPC?


Switching to Direct3D, the performance wasn't any better for the integrated platforms. Neither the Intel X3000 nor the ATI Radeon X1250 could peak over 22 fps at a resolution of 1024x768 with our normal test settings. The two discrete cards didn't have much of a problem at that resolution but started to go below the 30 fps threshold for smooth gaming at 1280x1024. When we let the application select the settings, the detail and effects went way down (see the screenshots below).

Except for one effect setting selected to medium, all the others are either turned off or set to minimum. That is not any way to play a game.

The same happens with the graphics settings. Only one was set to medium when the application determined the best fit for the integrated platforms, while 680x480 pixels is hardly a "gaming resolution" and "minimum" is not a word that should be in any true gamer's vocabulary.

Unlike Doom 3, at this minimized detail and effects level, both integrated chipsets "could" play F.E.A.R. The Gigabyte board with the ATI Radeon X1250 was able to push out 68 fps with a minimum of 42. The Asus was not far behind it with 56 fps on average and a minimum of 30. It did provide smooth frames but with aliased edges or "jaggies" and other unsightly imagery. While they both could play the game, ask yourself this question: Is that the way you "want" to play a video game? I didn't think so.