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Intel: Integrated Graphics is Where It's At

Intel is telling developers to consider integrated graphics solutions. Yes, really.

We love our graphics hardware. The offerings from AMD and Nvidia are always interesting to track from one generation to the next, each offering a significant jump from the previous to give us prettier, smoother games.

So what is Intel going on about when it says developers have good reason to be looking at integrated graphics? Well, for one, Intel is currently the biggest vendor of graphics parts, outpacing anything from Nvidia or AMD -- and that’s completely thanks to the IGPs that come with the Intel chipsets.

As first reported by CNet, in a recent video posted on Intel’s site, Aaron Davies, a senior marketing manager in the Intel Visual Computing Software Development group explained why game developers need to be paying the most attention to integrated graphics. "Here's your answer: Mercury Research showed that in 2008, for the first time, integrated graphics chipsets outsold discrete (graphics chips), and in 2013, we expect to see integrated graphics chipsets outsell discrete by three to one," Davies said.

Davies reiterated the point again that Intel wants to help developers capture where it believes the market will be when it comes to mobile gaming and integrated graphics from here on. He cited that with laptop sales surpassing desktop sales in 2008, gaming on integrated graphics are more important that ever.

Intel believes that developers now have a big business opportunity at targeting integrated graphics, which is essentially catering to the lowest common denominator. One thing is for certain: integrated (and eventually embedded) graphics will be even more common with Intel’s Westmere i7-based processors, and the Pineview Atom-based chips.

What do you think? Could this mark the beginning of the end of the need for high-end, $500 discrete graphics cards?

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • LOL, pathetic. Development is relative to the power of the hardware available, hence L337 3d games didn't exist for the 286. I guess Intel wants gaming systems dumbed-down to 1990s standards to make up for their shortcomings. I think they figured out that Larrabee is gonna flop...
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  • zerapio
    I think this can trigger the beginning of the end of the need but not the use for high-end discrete graphics cards. If the market for high end graphics cards shrinks enough I could see developers dropping support. Something like what happened to the sound card market.
    Reply
  • roofus
    A TNT card could mop the floor vs Intel integrated graphics and they really expect developers to swallow this swill they are peddling?? Intel, you may be the biggest but your trying to impose your will where you have never proven yourself capable.
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  • rantarave
    there will always be a market for fast gaming PC's and 500 dollar graphics cards especially now with people doing more with their PC's (picture/video editing format conversions)

    i think we are going to see a spread

    people with exreme low end (intergrated)

    and people with 200+ graphics cards
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  • brendano257
    This is sad, Intel might as well say "Please make your games look like crap so they run on our integrated cards" So much for high end graphics if normal users don't appreciate them...
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  • Hatecrime69
    I personally read this as: 'why not to bother with larabee' myself..If developers seriously considered intel chipset graphics in their games then quake 3 would still be considered 'high end' graphics
    Reply
  • mindless728
    instead of developers, they should tell their customers to play games that predate the IGP by 10 years
    Reply
  • engrpiman
    Hatecrime69I personally read this as: 'why not to bother with larabee' myself..If developers seriously considered intel chipset graphics in their games then quake 3 would still be considered 'high end' graphics
    Quake 3 is fun and look at quake live. if developers stopped trying to Pump more graphics and started to pump more fun we might have better games.
    Reply
  • mindless728
    instead of telling developers to tone down the games, they should be telling their customers to play games that predate the IGP by 10 years or so
    Reply
  • hercules
    woot quake 3 rocked my world... back 1999... I am not to concerned having integrated graphics is a set back in computing... yes making things smaller and smaller seems to be the way to go but sacrificing so much power and ability isn't going to float well they will see this soon enough.
    Reply