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MicroATX with IGP + discrete GPU Question
http://silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=41551
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Author:  Zaucube [ Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:48 pm ]
Post subject:  MicroATX with IGP + discrete GPU Question

Hi Everybody :D
I'm a French speaking guy from near Montreal, Canada, so please excuse my English.
My old Athlon 900 is showing signs of his age a little more everyday and I'm getting ready to build a new PC. I did my homework, read a lot of articles on hardware, including those that I found here in SPCR which are probably the best. In depth analysis the way I like it.

Half the time doing CAD, Photshop, playing a little game here and there I guess I should consider myself a Power user.
The other half of the time, chatting, surfing the net, using Word or Excell I'm not a power user at all.

Also I don't use 12 thousands hard drive, or peripheral device or anything like that. Just the regular stuff I suppose.

So I figured that the best fit for me would be a MicroATX, they all got an IGP as far as I can see, and add a discrete GPU powerfull enough for the 3D. With that I got the best of both world I said to myself, power saving disabling the GPU when not needed, and enabling the GPU for 3D when necessary right ??

Well maybe not, today I read this little article here ... oups it seems that I can't post a URL so....the article is on X-bit labs and the title is Nvidia Readies Hybrid SLI Technology...and from what I understand, it doesn't seems easy at all to switch from power saving mode to Performance mode as they call it, on an actual existing microATX motherboard.

It doesn't even seem easy to just disable the GPU for the sake of power saving!

I need some light on that subject please cause i'm a little bit in the dark since I read that article....and if it's realy so complicated to just switch mode, or if the power saving is minimum, then the idea of having a system like that is pointless.

Thanks for your help :D

Author:  dragmor [ Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:04 pm ]
Post subject: 

In a desktop computer no external cards are turned off when not in use, they all draw power, etc. In addition they dont redirect the video signal so you need the cable plugged into the right output.

AMD's 690g based boards are decent for low end gaming.

Both AMD (ATI) and Nvidia are working on technology for laptops that in the future will allow them to switch between graphics cards as demand requires. But that wont be for a year or two. I belive Sony has a laptop that does this but it requires a reboot to switch the graphics.

Ideally graphics cards will become more like CPUs and throttle themselves when idle/desktop/2d environments. Some already do this but at levels that dont really do much.

Author:  psiu [ Wed Jun 27, 2007 1:58 am ]
Post subject: 

You basically get either/or: If there is a graphics card plugged in, the onboard will be disabled. Depending on how graphics intensive the little games here and there are, modern integrated graphics are probably as powerful, if not more so, as whatever you have paired with an Athlon 900.

I think the latest AMD/ATI integrated graphics chipsets were roughly comparable to a Radeon 9700 in performance, which is very useable in even modern games. Not sure about the Nvidia ones though I think they weren't far behind.

Author:  Max Slowik [ Wed Jun 27, 2007 11:18 am ]
Post subject: 

Salut,

Intel graphics are better than NVIDA as far a onboard is concerned. . .

http://www.thetechlounge.com/article/38 ... 0+Chipset/
http://www.thetechlounge.com/article/39 ... Vs+nVidia/

ATI is great all-around, with motherboard performance on par with NVIDIA 590 chipsets. Those little AM2 boards are awesome. You can even overclock if you have Biostar's 690 board. Asus, too, to a lesser degree, though I have some issues with its layout and features.

You can always try the integrated graphics, and if it's not enough for you, you can later purchase a discrete card.

Author:  dragmor [ Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:56 pm ]
Post subject: 

psiu wrote:
You basically get either/or: If there is a graphics card plugged in, the onboard will be disabled. Depending on how graphics intensive the little games here and there are, modern integrated graphics are probably as powerful, if not more so, as whatever you have paired with an Athlon 900.

AMD(ATI) allows you to use the onboard as a source for a 3rd monitor.

psiu wrote:
I think the latest AMD/ATI integrated graphics chipsets were roughly comparable to a Radeon 9700 in performance, which is very useable in even modern games. Not sure about the Nvidia ones though I think they weren't far behind.

More like a 9600 (non pro).

Author:  Csoszi [ Thu Jun 28, 2007 3:49 am ]
Post subject: 

psiu wrote:
think the latest AMD/ATI integrated graphics chipsets were roughly comparable to a Radeon 9700 in performance, which is very useable in even modern games. Not sure about the Nvidia ones though I think they weren't far behind.


I am afraid you have overestimated the 3D power of the latest IGP solutions. The AMD690G is weaker than a Radeon 9200!
I have just upgraded my PC. Although I'm not a gamer, I did some testing with 3DMark2001 (default settings).

Before: Asus K8N (nForce3 250), A64 2800+ Newcastle, Radeon 9200 with 128 MB/128 bit memory: ~7000 points.
After: Asus M2A-VM HDMI (AMD690G, 64 Megs allocated to IGP), X2 4400+ Brisbane: ~5500 points.

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