ATI RADEON 9100 IGP Chipset Preview

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ATI RADEON 9100 IGP Preview
Integrated Graphics for the Pentium 4

By: Chris Angelini
July 7th, 2003


Comanche 4
Real-world DirectX 8 Performance

If something looks funny here, it's probably the one bar on a graph with two platforms, right?  For as quick as the 865G chipset is, we're serious when we say that any enthusiast with a propensity for gaming needs to look elsewhere if they plan to use the integrated graphics - the chipset is tailor made for e-mail junkies and word processing machines.  RADEON 9100 IGP, on the other hand, turns out a fairly decent frame rate.  It looks like we've set the bar here for mainstream integrated graphics performance.

Unreal Tournament 2003 Demo
The Gloves Come Off

Raw benchmark data aside, the difference between RADEON 9100 and 865G in Unreal Tournament 2003 is playable performance versus unacceptable frame rates.  This is a perfect example of ATI's integrated solution pushing admirable numbers in what is generally regarded as an intense game. 



ATI's reputation as a force to be reckoned with in the Motherboard Chipset business, has really only materialized in the past year.  Before that... Well, that's water under the bridge, isn't it?  Not content with its performance in the graphics market alone, ATI has revised its chipset lineup to include the RADEON 9100 IGP, and from what we can tell, this will be the platform to own if you're an entry-level gamer on a budget.  Now that ATI has added official 800MHz front side bus support to its repertoire, our only real complaint is a somewhat-outdated IXP.  Of course, ATI plans to rectify that situation later this year.

And don't think that ATI will stop at the Pentium 4 market.  In a recent chat with ATI representatives, it was divulged that the Canadian firm is currently working on an Athlon 64-compliant chipset as well.  We aren't sure if it will sport an integrated graphics core, though.

For now, dedicated gamers (that is, those who save their pennies for the latest and greatest) should still look for a discrete AGP card to power the coming generation of games.  The RADEON 9100 IGP isn't going to serve up stunning frame rates, but it does show promise as a high-performance platform with graphics that should more than satiate home and business users.

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