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Author Topic: Integrated graphics is better than I thought  (Read 501 times)
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Huw the Poo
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« on: December 15, 2009, 08:24:34 AM »

At the moment my GPU is dead and I'm waiting on XFX for a repair/replace (hopefully).  In the meantime, just out of curiosity, I fired up a couple of games to see what would happen.  To my delight, Gratuitous Space Battles is smooth as a baby's arse.  No problems playing that at all.  Amazed, I loaded Sins of a Solar Empire and, with all the graphics options turned up and at 1440x900, it played fine!  I thought "this can't be right" and quickly built a few ships to send into combat, and still the game was running perfectly well!  I was rotating the view, zooming in and out of ships in combat, everything.  Presumably it would struggle when there are a load of fighters and a few dozen ships on the screen, but still.  I'm gobsmacked that onboard graphics can do this.

It was only when I attempted to load Anno 1404 that I got a message like "failed to initialise DirectX" and gave up.  Nice to know I can still play some games while I wait, though.
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TiLT
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« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2009, 08:59:04 AM »

Integrated graphics chips are good at lulling you into a sense of security, making you believe that they are actually working just like any other graphics card. Your "failed to initialize DirectX" message shows the problems though. The manufacturers don't care about DirectX-compliance. They ditch features that have been standard in graphics cards since the very first geforce (such as hardware transform and lighting) and fail to implement functions that developers expect modern graphics cards to support. The result is that unless the developers tested the game on your specific chip (and perhaps even then), you're likely to run into problems.

I myself ran into this with the Intel chips when developing 3D applications. Both times I just gave up in the end and decided that Intel wouldn't be supported. I won't jump through their stupid hoops just because they don't want to conform to widely accepted 3D standards.
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ravenvii
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« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2009, 10:49:57 AM »

Intel's new(ish) GMA graphics (3100 I think, or some such) has transform and shaders.

But that doesn't matter, the only integrated graphics that's actually decent is the GeForce 9400M. Everything else sucks pony balls.
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