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Old 09-28-2008, 06:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Minimum GPU to get

What is the absolute minimum GPU to get that is comparable or equivalent to my integrated chipset 82945? Here are the specs from intel :

Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 950 Graphics Core
256-bit graphics core running at 400MHz
Up to 10.6 GB/sec memory bandwidth with DDR2 667 system memory
1.6 GPixels/sec and 1.6 GTexels/sec fill rate
Up to 224 MB maximum video memory
2048x1536 at 75 Hz maximum resolution
Dynamic Display Modes for flat-panel, wide-screen and Digital TV support
Operating systems supported: Microsoft Windows* XP, Windows* XP 64bit, Media Center Edition 2004/2005, Windows 2000; Linux-compatible (Xfree86 source available)


These specs sounds quite reasonable, atleast in theory, because it doesn't accomdate for actual CPU load or requirements which would obviously limit its GMA capacity. A 256 bit, 400mhz speed core, 10GB/sec memory transfer...It sounds very similar to an 8500GT, expect with a greater memory bandwith, 256 bit over 128, for the latter.

If that is the case is it really worth upgrading to a medium-low end card when its performance is not much greater than integrated? I guess the main advantage would be being able to have a dedicated GPU to solely function as what it is best at, performing graphical computations, rather than burdening my CPU with the task, which would reduce system load and performance. It still isn't plausible enough to justify a purchase on its own. if you haven't figured, I am not a hard core gamer, play alot of older games, and some newer ones on modest settings. Not looking to play Crysis or anything like that.
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Old 09-28-2008, 06:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Minimum GPU to get

A equivalent would probably be from the geforce 4 series. Even a 8500gt would be many times faster.
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Old 09-29-2008, 01:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Minimum GPU to get

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Originally Posted by Puddle Jumper View Post
A equivalent would probably be from the geforce 4 series. Even a 8500gt would be many times faster.
Well in that case the option to upgrade is well worth it since a Geforce 4 is antiquated nowadays, having came out in 2002, over 6 years ago. Based on that information, I predict it will be atleast 5-6 years before you start seeing integrated chipsets with current generation Nvidia 8/9 equivalent speeds. Also in that amount of time the mainstream and high end gaming segments will be lightyears ahead, in terms of graphics and video technologies. Nvidia claims that the 8500GT is 5x faster than integrated graphics, with the 8600gt increasing that margin to 13x. I guess there is probably around a 5-10% amount of overclaims by Intel and Nvidia but it is still pretty accurate then.

My main constraints are my 400W PSU and limited budget so I will probably opt for an 8600Gt as they are like $60AUS now and consume very little power(<50watts). However, I would much prefer the DDR3 model because the memory bandwidth is a bit faster. I have modest gaming requirements so it is sufficient for my needs. Of course it won't be future proofed but components are seldom to that fate in the computer world. Ideally, I would save a bit more and get a 9800GT or Radeon 4850, the latter having amazing performance, but i'm constrained by my PSU and to replace it with a high quality reputable brand name one, in addition to the card, is not viable for my budget.
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Old 09-29-2008, 03:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Minimum GPU to get

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Originally Posted by jmoussa87 View Post
Well in that case the option to upgrade is well worth it since a Geforce 4 is antiquated nowadays, having came out in 2002, over 6 years ago. Based on that information, I predict it will be atleast 5-6 years before you start seeing integrated chipsets with current generation Nvidia 8/9 equivalent speeds. Also in that amount of time the mainstream and high end gaming segments will be lightyears ahead, in terms of graphics and video technologies. Nvidia claims that the 8500GT is 5x faster than integrated graphics, with the 8600gt increasing that margin to 13x. I guess there is probably around a 5-10% amount of overclaims by Intel and Nvidia but it is still pretty accurate then..
There are some good integrated graphics now that rival low end dedicated cards they just aren't from Intel. The ATI HD 3300 and HD 3200 are actually pretty decent at gaming.

You should look at the HD 4670. It is allot faster than a 8600gt but still has low power consumption.
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Old 09-29-2008, 03:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Minimum GPU to get

+1 on the HD 4670. It is about $80 or less (USD).
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Old 09-30-2008, 02:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Minimum GPU to get

HD4870 X2____________##########¦)#####################}| 88W-262W !
HD4870 ______________########¦)¦]######| 65W-80W-130W ²
HD4850 X2____________############################}| 230W %
HD4850 OC____________#######¦)########}' 64W-133W § (800/1250)
HD4850 ______________#####¦)#¦]#####}| 41W-61W-110W ²
HD4670 ______________#¦)######}| 10W-70W %
HD4650 ______________#¦)######## 10W-80W %
HD4470 ______________#¦)####| 10W-50W %
HD4450 ______________#¦)#}| 10W-30W %

HD3870 X2____________#######¦)¦]#############|' 58W-66W-171W ²
HD3870 ______________##¦)¦]######' 19W-25W-81W ²
HD3850 X3____________###################} 156W §
HD3850 X2____________######¦)###########' 54W-145W §
HD3850 ______________#¦)¦]####}|' 14W-20W-63W ²
HD3690 ______________##¦)###}' 21W-51W §
HD3650 ______________#¦)###| 12W-42W ² (512MB)
HD3650 ______________##¦)###}' 19W-53W § (256MB)
HD3470 ______________#### 32W
HD3450 ______________##¦)#} 18W-36W §

The 4670 actually uses more power than the older 3850 according to this power consumption chart. Note, i am also replying to a similar thread i created about a new GPU which you recommended the 4670 over the 3850.
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Old 09-30-2008, 03:01 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Minimum GPU to get

Quote:
The ATI HD 3300 and HD 3200 are actually pretty decent at gaming.
What about the Intel X4500?? Its meant to be the same as the 3200.

EDIT: I retract my statement: AMD Says Intel X4500 Graphics Don't Cut It
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Old 09-30-2008, 01:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Minimum GPU to get

The newer Intel IGPs are a big let down. Whereas ATI and Nvidia stripped down production gpus and put them on a mobo Intel tried to shoehorn HD decoding and DX10 into an already crappy architecture.

jmoussa, I'm not sure where you got that chart, but the 4760 is still a good buy. It is faster than a 3850. And beats the Nvidia card that competes with it.
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Old 09-30-2008, 02:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Minimum GPU to get

Integrated graphics never match up to a separate card. They don't have dedicated graphics memory, so it really doesn't do much. And yes, the HD 4670 looks like a sick card for the price. From benchmarks I've seen, It destroys the 8600GTS, and keeps up with the 9600GSO sometimes as well. I'm picking one up this week to replace my 8600GT.
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Old 09-30-2008, 02:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Minimum GPU to get

It not completely cut and dry. i like to use dedicated graphics wherever possible but newer IGPs can and do smoke older dedicated cards. A good example is when I upgraded to an Athlon 64 3400+. The Geforce 6600 had not come in yet so I used the integrated graphics, (sis mirgae 2 or something), and it showed a marked improvement over my previous machine in gaming which had an ATI Rage 128 pro.

A more modern example would be the HD 3300 beating a radeon 9600, of geforce FX 5700.

But any Modern dedicated card will beat any Modern IGP.
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