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Two chipsets, two graphics cores

DailyTech has received a July 2006 Intel specification update on G965 and Q965 Express chipsets that reveals final details of Intel’s GMA X3000 and GMA 3000 integrated graphics cores. Intel originally intended for the G965 and Q965 Express chipsets to have the same graphics core but have since changed its mind. The result is two separate graphics core—GMA X3000 for G965 Express and GMA 3000 for Q965 Express. As Intel is appealing to the mainstream consumer with G965 Express the GMA X3000 graphics core will have greater graphics processing capabilities.

G965 Express with its GMA X3000 graphics core will support DirectX 9c, DirectX 10 and OpenGL 1.5 features. The supported features include:
  • Hardware vertex shader model 3.0
  • Hardware pixel shader model 3.0
  • 32-bit and 16-bit full precision floating point operations
  • Up to 8 multiple render targets
  • Occlusion Query
  • 128-bit floating point texture formats
  • Bilinear, trilinear and anisotropic mipmap filtering
  • Shadow maps and double sided stencils
There’s no mention of the amount of vertex or pixel shaders available on GMA X3000 graphics cores. However, the shaders are fully programmable which can be adapted to varying amounts of vertex or pixel shaders. As previously reported the GMA X3000 will have a 667 MHz graphics core clock with support for high dynamic range and Intel Clear Video Technology for enhanced video playback.

Q965 Express chipsets will receive a less powerful graphics core in the form of the GMA 3000. GMA 3000 will meet the minimums to support Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Vista Premium with Aero Glass interface with support for DirectX 9c and OpenGL 1.4 plus. The following features are supported:
  • Software vertex shader model 2.0/3.0
  • Hardware pixel shader model 2.0
  • 32-bit and 16-bit fixed point operations
  • Up to 8 multiple render targets
  • Occlusion query
  • 128-bit floating point texture formats
  • Bilinear, trilinear and anisotropic mipmap filtering
  • Shadow maps and double sided stencils
With the exception of hardware pixel shader model 2.0 support the GMA 3000 graphics core has similar specifications as the outgoing GMA 950 graphics core. Since Intel is catering Q965 Express chipsets towards business users as part of its vPro platform initiative it doesn’t exactly need gaming capable graphics power.

Availability of G965 Express based products is expected sometime this month while Q965 Express based products will have a formal launch in early September.


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RE: Comparison
By IntelUser2000 on 8/6/2006 6:59:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
This circumstance was slightly different though since the GMA950 didn't have any hardware VS or T&L which severely limited it's performance (to say the least) even if it had 4PS to the Xpress 200's 2PS + 1VS.


quote:
The GMA X3000 uses PowerVR SGX technology and tiling which isn't as dependant on memory bandwidth and probably includes larger internal buffers to offset that.


Although the tiling based seems similar to PowerVR based architectures, I doubt its based on the latest SGX. The SGX derived ones are supposed to be on Intel's Stanwood, which is successor to 2700G multimedia accelerator used in PDA's. Stanwood is now cancelled however. It was also rumored that next generation graphics core from Intel for PDAs feature shader technology(sounds like SGX). PowerVR mentions

"Maximum effective pixel fillrate performance from 200Mpix/sec to 1200Mpix/sec @ 200MHz with even higher Z and stencil fill rate and polygon throughput from 2Mpoly/sec to 13.5Mpoly/sec @ 200MHz. Performance depends on core and configuration selected."

I highly doubt its the same thing.


RE: Comparison
By ltcommanderdata on 8/6/2006 9:11:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Although the tiling based seems similar to PowerVR based architectures, I doubt its based on the latest SGX. The SGX derived ones are supposed to be on Intel's Stanwood, which is successor to 2700G multimedia accelerator used in PDA's. Stanwood is now cancelled however. It was also rumored that next generation graphics core from Intel for PDAs feature shader technology(sounds like SGX).

It makes sense that the GMA X3000 uses PowerVR SGX technology since Intel already has a license for it. The GMA 950 and before all used Zone Rendering which is an implementation of PowerVR's earlier tiling architectures. PowerVR SGX specifically adds unified shader support and this is exactly what the GMA X3000 adds over the GMA 950 so it can't just be a coincidence.

The Inquirer also reports that the G965 uses PowerVR SGX technology:
http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=33...

Obviously it's an "Intelized" implementation, but it makes sense that PowerVR SGX is used since I can't see Intel spending the resources to develop a completely need architecture from the ground up when they already have a license to a perfectly good one.


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