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Home » Gabriel’s Blog

Are Intel chipsets really capable of running DirectX 10 games?
Author: Gabriel TorresDate: May 1, 2008 - 9:52 AM PST

That is the question NVIDIA is asking around. They just sent us some information about DirectX 10 support on Intel chipsets with integrated video. The conclusion is simple: DirectX 10 support isn't relevant as on-board video doesn't have enough performance to run today's games anyway! See below the full e-mail we've got from NVIDIA. If you are interested in learning more about integrated (a.k.a. on-board) video from Intel it is an interesting read.

--- Received from NVIDIA May 1st, 2008 ---

Intel integrated claims DirectX 10...try it out...

Intel promised to have a DirectX 10 driver by yesterday, so keep your eyes peeled.

Last week a new Intel motherboard came out and along with it Intel claimed that their GMA X3500 was DX10 capable.

"The DG35EC Classic series board is built with integrated graphics based on GMA X3500 integrated graphics. It includes HD video playback for movie clips and media streams without the need for an add-in video card and is the first to have integrated Microsoft DirectX 10 capability with OpenGL 2.0 support."

Even though you can see Intel claiming DirectX 10 support as far back as June 2006 for their 965 chipset (NOTE: wouldn't that make those motherboards the first
ones to support DirectX 10?) they still have not released the long, long, long delayed driver, only offering a driver with no DirectX 10 support on their website. The good news for anyone who may have mistakenly believed they could actually use DirectX10 on all the Intel products they claim it for is that a driver leaked on the web.

Since Intel states it is DirectX 10 capable, we decided to try it out on the available DirectX 10 titles that are shipping today, as a preview to the official release of their driver:

  • Call of Juarez @ 1280 x 1024, no AA/AF -- 1.8 fps
  • Crysis @ 1280 x 1024, no AA/AF -- 4.4 fps
  • World in Conflict @ 1280 x 1024, no AA/AF -- 5 fps
  • BioShock @ 1280 x 1024, no AA/AF -- 3.7 fps
  • Company of Heroes @ 1280 x 1024, no AA/AF -- 3.6 fps

5 fps or less on the DirectX 10 titles available today at the meager setting of 1280 x 1024 with no AA/AF. Sounds fun. GMA X3500 does not seem very "capable" to me, in fact it seems downright incapable of being used with actual DirectX 10 applications. Now consider that DirectX 10 titles will only get more stressful on the graphic subsystem as the API matures and game developers continue to add more impressive visuals.

Saying GMA 3500 is DirectX 10 capable is kind of like saying Styrofoam is "nutrition capable". I guess Intel's definition of capable is a lot different than our
definition
... a lot.

Intel DirectX 10, FTL.

System info:

  • ASUS P5E-VM HDMI
  • Intel G35 chipset
  • 7.14.10.1451 video driver
  • Intel Core2 Duo CPU E6550 @ 2337.6 MHz (7.0 x 333.9 MHz) - Conroe
  • 2x1024 MBytes (2048 MBytes)
  • Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 32-bit
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