Motherboard: Gigabyte GA8TRS300M Review :: Integrated Graphics

02-17-2004 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun

One of the big selling points of the GA-8TRS300M is the integrated graphics. While Intel is still stuck on DirectX 7 class graphics with their Extreme Graphics 2, ATI has moved on. Hopefully with Extreme Graphics 3, due later this year with Grantsdale, Intel will move to the DirectX 9 era in preparation for Longhorn.

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA8TRS300M Review

In any event, while this is interesting to the graphics phile in me, it really doesn't have much to do with the integrated graphics of the GA-8TRS300M. I thought it would be interesting however to give a starting point for the 9100IGP for comparison.

The 9100IGP is based upon ATI's RADEON 9100 chip. This chip supports Pixel Shaders 1.4 and Vertex Shaders 1.1 of Microsoft's DirectX 9.0 API (Application Programming Interface) and is the first integrated graphics core to do so. While SIS has a few boards with Xabre class graphics, the IGP9100 has the opportunity for a lot more success. Basically the shaders are capable of 22 pixel shader instructions per pass and 128 vertex shader instructions per pass.

The 9100 IGP is manufactured on TSMC's .15 micron process (this is the same process as used on their RADEON 9700/9800/9800XT level VPUs). The memory is shared between the CPU and the integrated graphics via a 128-bit memory bus. If you use 400 MHz DDR this offers a memory bandwidth of 3.2 GB/second for the integrated graphics and 3.2 GB for the CPU on 2 64-bit channels.

The clock speed of the 9100 IGP is 300 MHz for the core with 2 pixel pipelines. This gives a maximum fill rate of 600 Mega pixels per second which fits nicely with a 3.2 GB/second memory bandwidth. One nice thing to notice about the 9100 IGP is that ATI didn't try to fit the 4 pixel pipelines of the retail 9100 card which would be starved for memory bandwidth.