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Integrated Graphics from NVIDIA Back In Style 109

Hack Jandy writes "After a couple year of silence, AnandTech has confirmed that NVIDIA will be bringing back Integrated Graphics Processors this year. NVIDIA's last IGP chipset was based on nForce2 and received much praise all around. The new IGP, 'C51,' will be based on a stripped down version of nForce4 and includes PCI-Express. The article also goes into some detail about ATI's new IGP chipsets RS482 and RS410."
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Integrated Graphics from NVIDIA Back In Style

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  • by Nytewynd ( 829901 ) on Friday May 27, 2005 @08:10AM (#12653711)
    IGPs are nice when you throw together a server or for the average home user that checks their email or browses the web. I just put together an AMD machine and had to drop $50 to get a GEForce card because the motherboard I wanted didn't have AGP.

    The main problem with IGP for me, is that motherboard technology doesn't expand nearly as fast as graphics card technology. For any kind of gamer, they will have their motherboard way longer than any video card. I usually replace my PC around every 2-3 years. In video card years, like is like 10 decades. I probably replace the video card once or twice in that time, depending on the new games coming out. WoW and Doom 3 forced me into my last video card purchase. Mostly because I don't ever buy the bleeding edge one, so I am already a year behind while I wait for the price to fall a little.

    IGP get nVidia into the lucrative market of OEM machines though. If they strike a deal to toss that chip on Dell motherboards, they can sit back and watch the money pour in. Or if they can make a contract with ASUS or something. Then they don't even have to worry about marketing and sales. The other products sell themselves, and they just get a piece of the pie.
    • take the MSI K7N2G-L. top quality nforce2 board, came in IGP, no integrated graphics and "deluxe variants" - the IGP version cost approx 6UKP more than the non-integrated graphics one, and still had an AGP slot. for a user who's not sure if they need killer graphics, this was great: the onboard Geforce4MX was more than adequate for most stuff, and if they wanted a hot card, they could add one.
      • In my first post I had a typo. Where I said "...the motherboard I wanted didn't have AGP" I meant IGP.

        That was the point of my post actually. It is great to get an IGP mobo for most people. You can always upgrade later, but in the case of my server it would have been more than enough. Like you mentioned, it barely costs anything extra, so you might as well get it.
    • The other day, I replaced my nVidia VANTA 2 that I got with a computer in 2000 due to it displaying dark bands on the screen. But the card's not dead yet: it's in my server, where picture quality isn't a major issue.

      I replaced it with a generic GeForce 4400 with 64 MB of RAM, I think, for $50, with S-Video out (not that I'll ever use that, but it's nice to have anyway). Seems to do just fine!
      • Damn...what am I talking about?

        My point was supposed to be that, in my server, I had to replace onboard graphics with an old nVidia card (which had to be replaced anyway) when the motherboard failed, since the motherboard I was swapping in didn't have IGP. I don't really want to have the extra heat, probably more power being drawn, etc., that the add-on card has over IGP, but short of buying a new motherboard I don't have much choice.

        IGP definitely has some advantages if you aren't doing graphics-heavy w
    • That's why I just caved and got a console. For the price of 1 gaming video card, you can get a console and a couple games. When you have to upgrade your video card every 6 months, and your entire computer every 3 years, it just stops being worth it. Maybe consoles don't have all the games I want, or they don't provide mice and keyboards for controlling FPSs. But at least it makes gaming affordable. This doesn't even mentiond dealing with all the incompatibility and driver issues associated with PC Games
      • I don't understand where people get this "upgrade your video card every 6 months". Sure new cards revisions are coming out at a rate of about every 6 months but that doesn't mean you have to upgrade to them with each release. And noone says you have to buy the latest and greatest videocard either. Just buy the midranged hot card from last year and it should run about $100-$150 depending on how hard you look for a deal. I personnally try to upgrade every two years or so and while that runs about $200-$30
        • I think people complain about this a bit too much. For me, the big draw away from PC gaming (which i did in college) to console gaming (the past year since college) is that my computer is in a room that doesnt have my couch, my TV, etc. To be honest, i havent played a PC game since i got my xbox (last october) NOT ONE. Its just more comfortable to sit on the couch after a long day of programming, than to sit in another office chair infront of another PC. I love pc gaming, i think if you are into FPS (i am)
        • The incompatibilities don't only refer to video card drivers, but also to anti-pirating stuff that vendors put into the games. Many games just don't work because you happen to have a certain CD-ROM Drive.

          Even if you only upgrade your MoBo, Video Card, RAM, AND CPU every 4 years, that's easily as expensive as buying a new console every 4 years, provided you wait a year after the console comes out and prices drop. If you buy it when it comes out, you have to compare PC hardware that just came out, and th
      • Yeah, caved and got a console good idea. I mean, this way you get to play it in less than 1/4 of the computers screen resolution. As a bonus, you get to pay 30% more for every game when it comes out, and have absolutely no chance of getting an expansion pack. Not only that, you can buy special brand name components at 20% markup and need memory cards just to save your game!.... Wow, sounds like such a bargain... think I'll go get one of those.
        • I also get to play on 4x the screen area. And hear the sound in true dolby surround sound. And sit on my couch. And turn it on and play the first level in the time it takes the computer to boot. And not buy a $100 hard drive to store games. And not have to worry ever, about whether it will work correctly.
        • Don't forget the almost nil modifications or user made expansions. Much fun! I had my step-brothers Xbox & PS2 sitting in my room collecting dust for a year & a half. Never even turned them on except to watch him play Halo 2 when I got it for him for X-Mas. I'm just not interested in 90% of console games & the ones I am interested in usually have a PC port anyhow. I mean how could you play something like Galactic Civilizations, Alien Crossfire or Neverwinter Nights on a console? Of course t
        • true, but maybe... just maybe this generation of consoles will change that.

          with all the consoles coming with harddrives themselves, memory cards are probably a thing of the past.

          with MS and Sony pushing microtransactions, expansion packs seem like they are in the works. its just up to the publishers to actually see them through. i mean look at ninja gaiden on the xbox, you have two free expansion packs. console publishers are seeing the light, albeit slowly.

          as for the 30% markup... not really. computer g
    • Don't you have a second hand trader around, who sells you an old ATi Mach or RagePro for $5? That's what I am using for servers. I always have some of them lying around.
      • Somehow I didn't have an extra card anymore. I think I've finally ditched my last one. Between giving old PCs away to friends and stuff, I have finally gotten rid of most of my pre-pentium era hardware. :)

        I didn't have to get such a high end card, but I figured there was an off chance I might want to 2-box a game at some point, and made it match the lowest specs for most games.
    • Mostly because I don't ever buy the bleeding edge one, so I am already a year behind while I wait for the price to fall a little.

      My philosophy differs than you. When I bought my PC back in September of 2002, I bought the bleeding edge graphcis card (the Radeon 9700 Pro), and I haven't had a problem since. I can still play today's bleeding edge games like HL2 and Doom 3 with no slowdown (albeit at 1024x768, but thats fine for me) and I haven't replaced my card (or any other parts in my computer save for HD

    • Upgrade your video card every 6 months? Hardly. My current gaming PC is well over 2 years old at this point, and while I've added storage and optical drives along the way, the core system is still the same as the day I bought it - an Athlon XP 2600+ with a gig of RAM and a Radeon 9700.

      While it wasn't a budget box at the time, it wasn't extraordinarily expensive either. Something to the effect of about $700. And I've yet to find a game that won't run acceptably well on it, up through all the latest - Doom 3
    • Didn't have AGP? Was it PCI Express or something? I can't imagine any other reason a new mobo would not have AGP. Even PC Chips boards have that.
    • I think one of the best things happening recently is that the competition between nVidia, ATI and Intel has resulted in vastly-improved on-board video on the motherboard, something really needed for today's more multimedia-oriented environments.

      Sure, you can get extremely high performance from an AGP 8x or PCI-E graphics card, but how many people out there really need such hardware, especially since most of their computing needs are for business programs, surfing the Internet and light graphics work?

  • A second front for Nvidia to fight on... hmmm.

    I wonder how well Nvidia can keep up with trying to innovate in the high-end market against ATI if they are busy trying to corner a new subdivision of the graphics market. Considering how revolutionary NVIDIA and ATI chipsets have been to high-end gaming in the past few years, it would be a shame if high-end innovation was slowed or delayed due to all the exciting changes of the recent past, present, and projected future.

    Just a thought...
    • ATI has been doing this for years. Or is that your point? That while ATI has been doing it, their other products have suffered? I have never had a problem with ATI hardware per se, but I have had many problems with their drivers. Nvidia seems to have the driver situation fairly well under control and in my experience I have never had a problem with Nvidia's drivers or hardware. Maybe I am just lucky.
    • I think for everyone who makes PC add on hardware, it's interesting to go into chipset design, it's just not affordable for everyone. Especially if the hardware requires high bandwiths and/or low latency, knowing the chipset inside out helps to quench out that last drop of latency the specification allows.

      So if you are already in a position to know chipsets in every detail, why not go and redesign them to better support your own hardware designs?
  • yes! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by metricmusic ( 766303 ) on Friday May 27, 2005 @08:13AM (#12653729) Homepage Journal
    This is awesome news.

    one thing good about igp's is that you don't need to upgrade all your shit at one time. buy a mobo now, and use the igp until you find the video card you want at a nice price. Also if your video card screws up you can use the igp as a backup. Even for troubleshooting the igp back in the nforce2 days saved me more than a couple of times.

    And of course, sometimes the igp can cause conflicts or/and waste resources if not used so rememeber to disable it in the bios if you're not using it.
    • Re:yes! (Score:2, Funny)

      by bassgoonist ( 876907 )
      Yeah, and the nforce 2 igp didn't suck nearly as much as some of the intel crap does. I can finally not feel like a scum bag for helping my friends buy a cheap computer since I don't have to buy them intel igp anymore!
    • This line of thinking didn't work for AGP video hardware because the integrated graphics stuff gets connected directly to the bus making an upgrade out of the question unless you wanted to buy a lower power PCI card. With PCI-X I suppose it won't be an issue though.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Both the nForce and nForce two with IGP (GeForce2MX, and GeForce4MX respectively) had an AGP Slot, and you could simply slot in a new AGP Video Card and the IGP automatically disabled itself.
        • That's neat. Most of the other motherboards that I've seen with integrated graphics don't have another AGP slot for plugging a card into.
          • by Anonymous Coward
            Even the Compaq non-standard machine I have here using an Intel i845 has an AGP slot. Every Dell machine with some form of IGP has an AGP slot. I've never seen a machine using IGP that doesn't have an AGP slot, apart from the Micro & Nano ITX boards from Via.
            • Low-end Dell Dimension desktops (2400 and 3000) don't have AGP slots.
            • Then you've obviously not looked much at retail boxes: Sony's, eMachines, and most of the others don't have AGP slots, on the low or middle part of the market.

              And how the heck have you missed this, practically every integrated video chipset since i810 (that has it, i810 didn't have to have integrated video) has not had an AGP port. That was one of the remarkable things about nvidia's last integrated graphics. Almost all the boards did have an AGP slot. (I don't know of one that didn't, and I heard Nvidia m
    • by dlZ ( 798734 )
      I did this for a friend awhile back. We built him a nice gaming machines, sans video card. The motherboard had an onboard GeForce4 MX and an AGP slot. He used the onboard video for quite some time, then upgraded to a GeForce FX (forget which) card 6 months later when he had the extra cash. The motherboard also allowed us to allocate anywhere from 32 to 128 megs for the video card. He really didn't even need to upgrade when he did, because it was working out great for him and he only had a second hand 1
    • one thing good about igp's is that you don't need to upgrade all your shit at one time. buy a mobo now, and use the igp until you find the video card you want at a nice price.

      As others have pointed out, not all motherboards with integrated graphics have an AGP or PCI Express x16 slot. So if future upgrades are important, choose wisely. However, if you're not a hardcore gamer, I'm guessing NVIDIA and ATI will continue making decent PCI (or PCI Express x1) versions of their low end, current-generation cards

  • Imagine that - two integrated video chips running side-by-side with enough power to run the best of games.... would be nice, if possible.
    • Imagine that - two integrated video chips running side-by-side with enough power to run the best of games.... would be nice, if possible.

      I don't think it could ever get to that point, but it would be nice. The IGPs usually don't have the horsepower because they don't take in extra power and they don't have their own cooling. Running two of these on the mobo in SLI mode, with them being good enough to handle something like Doom 3 at the highest settings isn't likely. I doubt they could fit that onto t
      • The reason they usually lack graphics power is not really electrical power, which is a function of transistor count, mostly. The main factor is memory bandwidth. Last card I had with DDR400 equivalent memory was a Geforce3 Ti-200 (with 128-bit path). That matches the memory bandwidth on my Athlon 64, in dual channel mode. Memory bandwidth is the really big difference between cards. Unless they are something like the Geforce FX series which at least on low and middle was rather pathetic, and slower than prev
    • Excepting that there's no way that the makers of these integrated solutions will allow their motherboards to trump their non-integrated solutions.
  • linux drivers? (Score:5, Informative)

    by pe1rxq ( 141710 ) on Friday May 27, 2005 @08:18AM (#12653752) Homepage Journal
    I wonder if they will release proper specs for it this time.....
    Last time they pretended their integrated ethernet controller had some super-secret part in it that had to be protected....
    For graphic controllers you might get away with such an argument (although I personally don't think it holds even there) but for a simple ehternet controller it just made them look stupid.

    • ugh, yeah that's so annoying. Sometimes it seems motherboards with nice onboard stuff are wasted if you want to use linux.
    • Why is it that on my Dell D800, I've got a 1600x1200 mode under XP, and only 1200x1068 under Gentoo?
      Is there some additional configuration magic buried somewhere?
    • Nah. There is plenty of things that they might be protecting.
      One first thing to protect is from lawsuits. As long as you don't know what they have you cannot sue for it infriging your patent.
      Another is 3rd party IP, they migt use lisenced IP in the ethernet controller which agreament says that they cannot release certain specs.
      3rdly they might have something surpricing done there that must be protected.
      They might have some different offloading engine done a lot less transistors than anything else functional
      • So basicly they did the right thing because by protecting it (and pretending your competitor or some patent owner with a big bag off money is incapable of reverse engineering it within a week) you get the following advantage:

        - You get people on slashdot to think 'there must be a reason, there must some 1337 trick in there somewhere...' which dosn't really help selling anything since the market for these things is cheap PCs

        - You might get away with patent infrigment.

        So you end up with a company that has e
        • Or perhaps they simply see a risk of disadvantages and no significant advantages to doing it and make a rational decision. /. readers who want technical specs and actually care about getting them are a very tiny group of customers who will probably buy their product anyway. Personally I think it would be nice if they did release them, but I can't really blame them for not. I have no problem giving them the benefit of the doubt.
  • I can't belive it as taken them so long. The talk may be about nVidia and ATI fighting for the graphics market, but what people is forget is Intel are trouncing nVidea at the moment! Gamers and graphic workstations are a tiny fraction of the PC market, the integrated marked dwarfes that of the £500+ hot-rod cards.
  • wow, this would be a pretty good chipset for a media center box. espcially for playing back dvds and recording tv shows. however I dont think the IGP chipsets will have enough power to play games. anyone who really wants to play games unless its like starcraft or something will probaly need a higher end vid card. hopefully these will also make it into the blade servers and such.
  • System RAM (Score:2, Insightful)

    by fr0dicus ( 641320 )
    Is not quick enough for games :)
    • So? You can integrate the VRAM into the package of the IGP so that you have memory and graphics card on the same die.
      • Never happens though. The price of Ram is just too prohibitive to make it a worthwhile solution for any reasonable amount of memory. Certainly not on the die?
  • This is good (Score:4, Interesting)

    by springbox ( 853816 ) on Friday May 27, 2005 @08:35AM (#12653853)
    It would be nice to see more modern integrated graphics from someone like nVIDIA. I've been running into one too many of Intel's "EXTREME" integrated graphics chipsets (which are without a doubt the total opposite of extreme in regards to 3D.) It would be nice to get some real quality out there especially for people who unwittingly buy a computer with an integrated graphics and then later decide "hm I would like to play game x now." With decent graphics hardware they could put off buying an actual graphics upgrade until they get a computer with a free PCI-X/AGP slot. This happened to my friend recently, and unforutnately for him, he was stuck with one of Intel's clunkers.
    • ATI is already shipping DirectX 9 class IGPs for both AMD and Intel, and the reviews are looking pretty good: here's an ASUS board [] for Intel CPUs, and a review of the AMD chipset []. If you're looking for very good IGP, these definitely look like a very good option!

  • This is great. I've been using nforce 2 IGP for awhile now with great results. Every computer I've built since its release that wasn't going to be playing games got a Micro ATX mobo with nforce IGP. Now that it's getting an upgrade I think I might hold off on buying new machines until it's available. As far as I'm concerned anyone not playing the latest and greatest games shoudl get an IGP mobo with built in sound and ethernet, MSI makes some pretty good ones. I mean, for the price of just a motherboard you
  • The latest low-budget GeForce 6xxx cards are using just a little "real" graphics memory that caches system memory (where most of the data is residing).

    I wonder if a new IGP will be based on this design. IMO it is the only way to get even half-decent performance out of a system-memory-based solution. It does mean that there have to be at least 16-32MB of additional memory coupled tightly to the chipset. The best solution would probably be to include this memory in the chipset itself (?).
  • Good (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Good when you want a computer for chatting, mail, programming, web, listen music, watch movies, etc.

    But dont need to run the latest high-end games.
  • by gukin ( 14148 ) on Friday May 27, 2005 @09:14AM (#12654076)
    The wife's GF 4200TI croaked so I gave her my FX5900 and went back to the IGP (nForce2 IGP). The nice thing about the IGP is that it's there if you need it, you don't have to stuff it in a drawer when you don't need it and if you ever retire the machine from gaming, your power consumption goes way down without the 1337 g4m1ng card.

    Now if nVidia would release drivers so my GF6200 AGP would work, I'd be back in business gaming under Linux again.
  • Who was silent...? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kaarigar ( 663458 )
    "After a couple year of silence, AnandTech has confirmed that NVIDIA will be bringing back Integrated Graphics Processors this year. NVIDIA's last IGP chipset was...

    I guess nVidia was silent, not the AnandTech, right?

  • I have an ATI IGP in my emachine Laptop. I don't mind integrated video cards, I just wish the DRI/OpenGL stuff would work. I used to have a Via TwisterK that was the same way. You have to search all over the place and find a patch, build you own XServer modules, etc, and then you can finally have 3D support. To me, just provide basic 3D support for these IGP cards so I can play the awesomely fabulous TuxRacer!!!!! (p.s., I fragged a snowball once...)
  • This should never have left style. Integrated graphics chips, even if they are three-four generations behind the latest and greatest should be incorporated. There are many people (especially businesses) who prefer the default onboard hassle of trying to install a card - it just comes on there and it works. Now if someone wants to upgrade, great, if not they have the default. With the exception of some professions (i.e. designers) and gamers - most people are just happy and fine with the onboar
  • I assume ATI's RS482 and RS410 are upgrades to my RS232 port?
    • At first I was thinking of RS485 [], and going why in the world would they bother to put RS485 on a desktop system and why would they bother announcing it and expect anyone to know what it means?
  • Pros and Cons (Score:2, Insightful)

    by eddy_tn ( 144901 )
    The IGP on my small form factor PC was one of the reasons I made the purchase. It was one less thing to worry about. I use my PC mainly for work, development, browsing and the like, with the occasional games and LAN party.

    I had hoped to make good use of the IGP, but unfortunately, the manufacturer went cheap on the analog portion of the output. The screen was very blurry, and caused eyestrain trying to read text. I had to buy a cheap MX440 (a small upgrade, too, ok) to get rid of the bluriness. The ou
  • I built a number of low budget systems for friends using the nForce2. A fantastic chipset!

    The other reason nForce2 rocked was the astounding sound processor. It could decode 5.1 dolby digital, mix in additional streams, and then re encode the whole shebang out to 5.1 again. To this date I know of no moderately priced much less "free" systems which can do this. The sound quality was excellent if you looked for decent A/D, the board had headers so you could run a 5.1 analog system while doing mic/line in
  • I don't care, I just want SoundStorm back!!! Give it to me!!
  • I think Nvidia left a hole opened, they don't offer an integrated DX9 GPU.
    Their competition, ATI, is leading that market(DX9 onboard GPU)

    I buyed the much anticipated Nforce2 chipset mobo and was too sad to see that at the same time, ATI ofered a same priced mobo but with a DX9 GPU.

    Way to go ATI

    An Nvidia fan

Always leave room to add an explanation if it doesn't work out.