Integrated Graphics Performance: It's all in the chips

Aquanox 2: Revelation

Aquanox 2: Revelation is the first game that is actually available in stores today that already employs DX9 pixel and vertex shaders. The DX 9 features were implemented through a patch, v2.159, which was released in April 2003. Even before that, several beta patches added DX 9 shaders. Note: The German version of this game has been available since the beginning of the year, while the US-version launched later.

We tested this game using the integrated frame counter and the cut-scene "Lopez' Treasure". The detail settings were lowered for this test.

Aquanox 2 was not playable on any of the integrated chipsets. However, Intel's i865G could keep up to pace with the nForce 2 surprisingly well. Once again, no result was returned for the i865G because to few frames were rendered.

We can conclude that integrated graphics are unsuitable for newer games with DirectX 8 and/or DirectX 9 shaders and for many effects. While none of the integrated GPU's we used was able to execute shaders, the complexity of those games remains a huge barrier.