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Integrated VGA & How Good Is ATi's Radeon 9100 IGP?

ATi Radeon 9100 IGP, Continued

Since this article's primary focus lies on the integrated graphics of chipsets, we would like to leave the remaining details and features of this chipset aside and concentrate on its graphics core. Its specifications are similar to those of ATi's discrete Radeon 9200 desktop chip:

  • 256-bit GPU
  • Core Frequency: 300 MHz
  • Memory: 128 MB max. (8/16/32/64 or 128 MB)
  • Available Memory Speeds: Dual-channel DDR266/333/400 (motherboard settings)
  • Pixel Pipelines: 2x1 (one unit per pipe)
  • DirectX 8.1 Pixel & Vertex Shader
  • Hardware T&L
  • SuperSampling FSAA
  • Anisotropic Filtering (max. 16x)
  • Hyper-Z
  • TV-Out Encoder
  • 32-bit color, Z/stencil buffering
  • Dual Display
  • 400 MHz RAMDAC
  • OS Support: Windows XP / 2000 / NT / ME / 98SE / 98 / 95 / Linux / MacOS
  • 3D Support: DirectX 8.1, OpenGL

Future versions of this chipset will allow a three-monitor configuration when used in conjunction with (ATi) Dual-Head capable graphics adapters. In this mode, both VGA outputs of the graphics card as well as that of the motherboard would remain active. With this move, ATi is making a move on a segment that has been dominated by Matrox thus far. This would make expensive graphics Triple-Head graphics cards à la Matrox largely unnecessary (for the home user). For now, though, this new mode, which ATi has christened "Surround View", is not yet supported by current motherboards.

In the following benchmarks, we tested two motherboards based on ATi's Radeon 9100 IGP chipset. One of them was a prototype board that ATi was kind enough to send us, while the other was a retail version of Gigabyte's GA-8TRS300M. We were unable to test the DualView capabilities of our two candidates, since neither of them came with the necessary AGP adapter.

The Gigabyte GA-8TRS300M uses the very small uATX form factor. It has four memory slots, three PCI connectors and can be upgraded using an AGP graphics card.