Intel Stakes Its Vision of the PC Future with 775 Launch

915G Express Chipset

The launch of the new 915 and 925 chipsets goes hand-in-hand with the launch of a new integrated graphics processor, the 915 Graphics Media Accelerator 900. The GMA 900 is the successor of the 865 Extreme Graphics II and will be available with the 915 chipset.

With the GMA 900, Intel aims to establish integrated graphics as a real alternative to entry-level cards. For this purpose, the now outmoded EGII, based on DirectX 7, was updated to current standards. GMA 900 is the result. It is an advanced architecture, leveraged on previous Intel designs. However, Intel's GMA 900 is a Direct X 9 chip that does not support the complete DirectX 9 feature set in hardware. Only the Pixel Shaders are accelerated by the graphics chip, while the Vertex Shader operations depend on the system processor.

As with its predecessor 865G, the 915G squeezes off a definable amount of memory from the system memory. Happily, in the 915G chipset, this works similarly to its predecessor 865G. Through BIOS, a maximum of 32 MB of memory is assigned to the graphics chip. In games, the driver temporarily takes an additional 96 MB max and returns it to the operating system once the game has ended (DVMT). Therefore, the loss of system memory through the use of integrated graphics remains within a negligible range.