Print 17 comment(s) - last by Thorburn.. on Jun 19 at 1:28 PM

Hardware transform and lighting and shader model 2.0 for Windows XP GMA X3x00 users

Intel has released a pre-beta driver for Broadwater G965 and GM965 chipsets that enable hardware transform and lighting. Hardware transform and lighting were touted with the Intel GMA X3000 and X3100 integrated graphics cores, however, current release drivers did not enable the feature, despite Intel demonstrating games running with hardware T&L on GMA X3x00 hardware.

Now nearly a year after the Broadwater launch, users can take advantage of hardware T&L on G965 and GM965 hardware in Windows XP. Windows Vista users need not apply, as Intel does not have the hardware T&L enabling Vista driver ready yet. Intel promises Windows Vista hardware T&L drivers in the “coming weeks.”

Intel has validated the pre-beta driver for the following games:
  • Battlefield 2
  • Battlefield 2142
  • Call of Duty 2
  • Elder Scrolls IV: Obliviion
  • Vanguard: The Saga of Heroes
  • Rainbow Six: Vegas
  • Age of Empires 3
  • Final Fantasy XI Bench 3
  • Unreal Tournament 2004
Despite enabling hardware T&L on G965 and GM965 chipsets, the pre-beta release 14.31 drivers only support shader model 2.0. Intel plans to have production drivers capable of shader model 3.0 by the end of August 2007 for Windows XP and Vista operating systems.

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A "Bearlake" G965? Oh really...
By AmberClad on 6/19/2007 7:18:23 AM , Rating: 3
I might be misunderstanding something, but my G965 board bears the Broadwater codename (just like the P/Q965s), not Bearlake.

In any case, being "validated" for those titles mentioned may not say much. Serious enthusiasts will likely continue to add a real video card on their G965 boards. Low resolution and low quality settings just don't cut it.

(For those who may question why bothering getting a "G" chipset board at all if you're never going to use the integrated graphics, most microATX boards are of the "G" variety.)

By KristopherKubicki on 6/19/2007 7:40:31 AM , Rating: 2
Correct, that shoul dhave read Broadwater. We updated the article.

RE: A "Bearlake" G965? Oh really...
By Lightning III on 6/19/2007 8:51:40 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah but doesn't the X16 slot only really give you 8x lanes with a IGP mobo

but what choice do SFF people have just about all micro ATX mobo's have IGP

Wich hamstrings alot of attempts to custom build small portable gaming solutions.

By AmberClad on 6/19/2007 9:04:23 AM , Rating: 2
Not so. I have the dual slot 8800 GTS running on a G965 board on my SFF system, and it performs up to spec.

RE: A "Bearlake" G965? Oh really...
By jebo on 6/19/2007 12:19:05 PM , Rating: 2
I suppose it's possible that an X16 slot will only give you 8 lanes if the IGP is currently active, but AFAIK, most/all IGP mobos provide full 16 lanes to an X16 slot, especially if the IGP is disabled.

good idea
By omnicronx on 6/19/2007 10:10:25 AM , Rating: 2
this is definatly a step in the right direction, if intel can move these into the business market, this well definatly help in windows vista, where dx9 is required for aero graphics, not that it would run smoothly yet, but its a step. hell its even good for the normal consumer who just wants a computer that can do all the stuff they need (music, video, internet, data input) and still have windows looking nice and not being hindered by a crappy video card that skips when playing a video and surfing the net at the same time ;)

RE: good idea
By Thorburn on 6/19/2007 10:25:23 AM , Rating: 2
where dx9 is required for aero graphics, not that it would run smoothly yet, but its a step.

Aero runs smoothly on my GMA950 based system at 1280x1024.

RE: good idea
By omnicronx on 6/19/2007 12:23:03 PM , Rating: 2
how fast is your system though, most office workstations dont have the cpu power most home workstations would have.. less ram etcs.. In my office most people's desktops are not faster than 2.8ghz (intel, if that) with 512ram maybe depending on your position..

if you haev a c2d processor, it would help a hell of a lot with performance no matter what vidcard you use

RE: good idea
By Thorburn on 6/19/2007 1:26:49 PM , Rating: 2
Its a spare system I keep for testing stuff out on:
Pentium D 930
1GB DDR2-533
G965 chipset

Most systems you can buy these days will outpace that.

RE: good idea
By Thorburn on 6/19/2007 1:28:10 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, that should read 945G. Its a Shuttle SD31P.

Uh, ok
By bighairycamel on 6/19/2007 7:10:05 AM , Rating: 1
I guess this is good news, but here's the problem: even with T&L and updated shaders integrated graphics still suck, in a big way.

RE: Uh, ok
By Targon on 6/19/07, Rating: -1
RE: Uh, ok
By Thorburn on 6/19/2007 7:41:58 AM , Rating: 3

The key is DirectX 9 in HARDWARE, something that Intel still doesn't provide.

Thats the whole point of this story.
The X3x00 IGPs performed T&L and SM3 support in software.

This is saying that now its running on hardware (albeit in SM2.0 not 3.0 form) - the IGP hardware - so CPU utilisation will fall and performance should go up.

The hardware functionality has always been there, these are just the first drivers to utilise it.

Not likely
By FITCamaro on 6/19/2007 8:53:31 AM , Rating: 2
An integrated graphics chip has about as much ability to run Vanguard: Saga of Heroes or Oblivion as a Radeon 7000 does. I have a 3.0GHz P4C laptop with 1GB of RAM, a 60GB 7200 rpm hard drive, and a 128MB 9600 Pro Turbo GPU and it could barely run Vanguard with every setting turned down to its lowest. And Oblivion isn't any easier to run either.

RE: Not likely
By DublinGunner on 6/19/2007 9:24:13 AM , Rating: 1
Well its a step in the right direction.

I have no idea what you're moaning about, as this quite obviously isnt aimed at hardcore gamers, but to give (most likely OEM builds) those with the IGP solutions extra functionality.

BTW, there are plenty of passively cooled, low power solutions for those building SFF machines, such as the recent 8500GT.

Sure, most of the mATX and similar boards have IGP's, but they most also have PCI-E x16 slots

By Imaginer on 6/19/2007 11:47:18 AM , Rating: 2
Because I am tired of big honking heatsinks from both the red and green sides of the battlefront. Time for the blue team to show some change to the industry.

By Myrandex on 6/19/2007 9:37:04 AM , Rating: 1
Just call them alpha drivers. Anyways I am surprised more people weren't upset about this with all fo the fuss over nvidia and ati not including support for their video acceleration. Just think what kind of shit thsoe two companies would get if they tried to do something like this with something that impacts 3D performance.

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