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AMD's Hybrid Graphics Unveiled, Tested 90

Posted by Zonk
from the more-than-meets-the-eye dept.
ThinSkin writes "The combination of AMD's ATI graphics division and AMD's CPU division means that AMD often fights a two-front war, directly competing against Intel in the CPU business as well as Nvidia in graphics. AMD's Hybrid Graphics technology allows them to fight against both companies at the same time. Inserting an additional card works the same as CrossFire, which, like Nvidia's SLI, was only capable by having two discrete graphics cards installed on a motherboard. ExtremeTech has put the 780G chipset through a series of gaming and synthetic benchmarks to see just how beneficial this technology is. HotHardware has a similar rundown on the technology. The results indicate that Hybrid Graphics aren't yet ideal for the power-hungry gamer, as driver revisions need to be ironed out at this early stage, but performance looks promising."
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AMD's Hybrid Graphics Unveiled, Tested

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  • They also need to test HyperFlash that is in SB 7xx and how many boards will use the 2 usb 1.1 ports for mouse and key board?
  • More good reviews (Score:5, Informative)

    by Vigile (99919) * on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @03:26PM (#22641356)
    There are some other good looks at RS780 performance:

    http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=527 [pcper.com] - looks at Hybrid CrossFire with several games in real world testing as well as GPU overclocking; also features the new AMD X2 4850e processor
    http://www.techwarelabs.com/reviews/processors/780g-and-4850e/ [techwarelabs.com] - looks at both the chipset and CPU
    http://techreport.com/articles.x/14261 [techreport.com] - good motherboard review
    http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2008/03/04/amd_780g_integrated_graphics_chipset/1 [bit-tech.net] - tests HQV and HD audio systems
  • by imstanny (722685) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @03:28PM (#22641412)
    ...but can it run Aero in Vista?
    • I had assumed that was the point.

      To bring decent-end graphics to the mass consumer market to run Vista's Aero Glass & Friends as well as some games.

      I feel this (in it's current state) is more a shove at Intel's GMA graphics processors than anything.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Guspaz (556486)
      Previous gen onboard graphics (this new stuff is DX10) was capable of running Aero. The requirements for Aero aren't terribly demanding, far less than an actual game.
      • Re:Risky Submission (Score:4, Interesting)

        by PrescriptionWarning (932687) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @03:54PM (#22641804)
        aye, but there's a difference between minimum requirements and recommended requirements. Quality and response time are what you'll notice in Aero between a simply on board accelerator and say a Geforce 5 series or higher
        • Re:Risky Submission (Score:4, Informative)

          by everphilski (877346) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @04:15PM (#22642116) Journal
          Sure, but my $300 laptop has an onboard GeForce 6 series chip. Just got to avoid Intel graphics like the plague and you'll be fine.
          • by merreborn (853723)

            Just got to avoid Intel graphics like the plague and you'll be fine.
            The intel GPU in my macbook beats the hell out of the mobile Radeon GPUs that most comparably-priced laptops have (at least, as of a year ago -- I'm talking about the X200, etc.). Granted, most intel GPUs are going to be weak, but they're not all bad.
          • Or... actively seek them out and install Ubuntu. These days it is actually possible to get a laptop with all hardware supported by open source drivers ( well except the BIOS I guess ) and depending on where you live, without the Microsoft tax.
          • My laptop has an Intel 945 chipset and it runs just fine. My friend has Vista on his and Aero runs no problem (and so it should, Aero is just image compositing, not vertex processing).

            I bought my laptop just for compatibility testing (I write 3D graphics software) and the graphics have been very stable and surprisingly fast. Intel drivers have always been good. I'm still not sure there's working drivers for the latest ATI/NVIDIA cards (I've had an unusable ATI 2600 HD sitting on my desk for the last six mon
    • by Mex (191941) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @03:58PM (#22641870)
      It's "Vista Capable", so... no! ;)
    • by bentob0x (999087)
      Not sure about Aero but I wouldn't be surprised if compiz runs fine.
  • 3-way SLI? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by T-Bone-T (1048702) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @03:40PM (#22641610)
    If SLI can only do 2 cards, what was that when they did 3-way SLI a couple months ago?
      • by T-Bone-T (1048702)
        It wasn't Crossfire. It was definitely 3-way SLI. According to the summary, that doesn't exist.
        • here ya go: http://www.nvidia.com/object/io_1197375200475.html [nvidia.com]

          of course, the article doesn't explicitly say 2 cards are needed.. It's referring to the fact that onboard graphics were previously replaced by PCI/AGP/PCI-E graphics cards, and that the two systems wouldn't work together at all.

          I can't say for sure (i haven't read up on it properly yet), but what AMD appear to have done is made it possible to have an SLI-style system that is capable of using onboard graphics and PCI-E graphics at the same
    • it doesn't say SLI can only do 2 cards, it says SLI needs 2 discreet cards, doesn't mean it can't have more, there's a couple of motherboards due for release soon allowing 4 way sli, though they need a modified case for 4 double width cards and it doesn't leave space for anything else.
      • by T-Bone-T (1048702)
        Yes, it does say it can only do 2 cards:

        Inserting an additional card works the same as CrossFire, which, like Nvidia's SLI, was only capable by having two discrete graphics cards installed on a motherboard.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Gideon Fubar (833343)
          no it doesn't... it say that this system can only be used by having two cards mounted on the motherboard. Necessary and sufficient conditions.

          Perhaps, however, it would have been less confusing if they'd said "two (or more)". Note that they say "like Crossfire", which can certainly support more than 2 cards.

          If you assume they're talking about the difference between two mounted cards and one mounted card working with onboard graphics, it makes a lot more sense.
          • by T-Bone-T (1048702)
            It is amazing what rereading will do for you. I read it as "capable of", not "capable by". My mistake.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by djtachyon (975314)
      Well I have a 3-Way SLI nVidia motherboard now. The only current chipsets to support it are the nVidia 680i/780i/790i chipsets. Only catch is that no PCIe2.0 nVidia cards support Triple-SLI. So you have to use either the nVidia GeForce 8800 GTX or Ultra. Not sure why TFA is vague on this.
  • Perhaps this may be AMD/ATI's crack at the science rendering market that nVidia has locked down pretty well. If I remember right AMD/ATI released the specs on some of their cards for this kind of work, maybe developing this is a logical step for them in gaining this part of the market as well as a simple way to diversify their products by, counterintuitivly in a way I suppose, combining two of their markets.
  • by archen (447353) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @04:35PM (#22642410)
    AMD is in competition with Intel
    ATI is in commpetition with Nvidia
    AMD + ATI is in competition with INTEL

    Which video chipset manufacturer has the majority of the market? ATI? Nvidia? Matrox? No, Intel does. In fact Intel has more market share then ATI and Nvidia combined. I highly doubt the gamer market will be very high on the uptake of not being able to upgrade their video card. As such this must be aimed more at the integrated mainboard chipset market where Nvidia isn't even a very big player.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I highly doubt the gamer market will be very high on the uptake of not being able to upgrade their video card.
      You can add a video card of your choice, and you can even set it up in a hybrid crossfire configuration with compatible cards, with good results [tomshardware.com]. As a gamer on a budget this definitely grabs my attention.
    • IIRC Nvidia was one of the major suppliers of on-board graphics for AMD based motherboards and since AMDs purchase of ATI they are now focusing more on competing with Intel in that space.
    • by Whiteox (919863)

      AMD + ATI is in competition with INTEL
      I doubt that, otherwise Intel would not be producing the X38 chips and their variants.
      I just recently built a custom system with an X38 chipset optimized for ATI crossfire with and Intel CPU socket.
      LOL And I had to put in a NVidia 8800GT!
      Works really well, especially with 4GB of 1200MHZ ram :)

    • AMD is in competition with Intel
      ATI is in commpetition with Nvidia
      AMD + ATI is in competition with INTEL

      First, AMD and ATI are the same company, and the company is named AMD. ATI is a brand used for AMD's graphics solutions.
      Second, AMD and NVIDIA are very much in competition, both in discrete graphics AND in core logic (chipsets).

      In fact Intel has more market share then ATI and Nvidia combined.

      Incorrect. AMD and NV both have around 28% of the market, Intel has about 40%, and the balance is controlled by VIA

    • by DrSkwid (118965)
      Please learn to discriminate between then and than. Thanks.
      • by Nicolay77 (258497)
        Actually, I would say 'relearn'.

        This mistake was totally non-existent back in 2003. Don't know why it caught up.
  • I thought that hybrid graphics was the cpu and gpu on the same die. Integrated graphics is pretty much the norm, with predictable performance increases each year.
  • by benow (671946) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @05:40PM (#22643298) Homepage Journal
    I picked up a HTPC with onboard nvidia gfx and while it's great for everything else, it has a hard time with 1080p. I just kind of assumed it'd be able to do fullscreen video at 1920x1080, but it is very choppy. Something to consider when looking for an HTPC. There must be reviews of onboard graphics out there...
    • The ATI HD Radeon 3xxx series video decode accelerator is in this on-board graphics chip, and will do MPEG 2/4, H.264 and VC1 for you.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Pulzar (81031)
      I just kind of assumed it'd be able to do fullscreen video at 1920x1080, but it is very choppy. Something to consider when looking for an HTPC.

      That's the whole "point" of AMD780 -- it's the first one that can do it, and do it very well. It has built-in video decoders to handle even the most demanding blueray DVDs. On top of actually being able to play most new games, and pretty much all new DX10 games when you add a $50 video card and run them together.

      So, yes -- beware of onboard video, but only before thi
  • I understand that they are merging to similar things, however this is not necessarily good for them. Sure they have consolidated their products (to some extent), however this only puts a greater managing burden on them selves. Do they err on the side of the processor, or the graphics processor? Which gets more attention and money?

    Since they can't drop the original architecture just yet, I see this as now fighting a front on 3 sides.

    Someone should smack them with the Wealth Of Nations, we divide labour aroun
  • by DraconPern (521756) <draconpernNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @01:54AM (#22646788) Homepage
    None of that hardware matters if the drivers suck. Please hire some good driver developers.
  • No future in it (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tacocat (527354) <tallison1.twmi@rr@com> on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @05:27AM (#22647514)

    I was in a rather lengthy conversation last week about the future of gaming on computers. Conclusion is that games are not going to survive long on computers for the primary reason that they are far too costly to support. The natural development is to move into highly specialized hardware and better manage the video requirements.

    Here's the core of the problem: The video card becomes the single most expensive piece of hardware in a workstation chassis. Within six months I am buying games that marginally run on the equipment and at the end of the year I'm pretty much out. Even at the time of purchase, some video games won't run on the hardware. And gaming is the only segment of the software industry that is pushing against this hardware limitation. Office products, web browsers, email applications do not require this heavy hardware.

    There is an increasing movement from desktop to a more distributed/mobile environment of notebooks and central workstations that act as servers for print, file, proxy applications. Notebooks are not built with 100W video cards. But notebooks are what you get when you go to college.

    With the advent of PS3, Xbox360, Wii there are specialized pieces of hardware that are intended for gaming and have fixed hardware capabilities. These are the new gaming environments that people are moving into. The issue now is for them to solve how to do MMORPG and similar game constructs under this hardware platform. But by moving game development into this environment there is zero work they have to do in order to get the hardware compatability solved like they do with computers. It's a fixed environment.

    • by mpeskett (1221084)
      I look at it this way, I have a reasonable PC sat under the desk, does all the normal tasks plus some moderate gaming. To push that up to the level of a top-class games machine I'd need to get myself an expensive graphics card. To get a separate games machine, I'd need to get myself an expensive games console... which is more or less the same cost to me (depending on exactly which card and which console I hypothetically go for) But upgrading the PC still has the advantage because I'd rather just have the
      • by drsquare (530038)

        To push that up to the level of a top-class games machine I'd need to get myself an expensive graphics card. To get a separate games machine, I'd need to get myself an expensive games console...

        The problem with the PC is, to plug in that video card you also need a new PCI-X motherboard. Which means you also need a new processor, new RAM, and it's SATA so your old hard disk and DVD drive don't work, so you need to buy them again. Then you need a new power box with all the new fangled connectors to get it all

    • You make valid points, and that scares me. I realize I'm a niche market, but I travel quite a bit for business. Usually away 5 out 7 days a week. I'm a gamer and use evening gaming as entertainment and stress relief. I do not want to have to haul a big, heavy (X-Box 360/PS-3) console with me and have to fight to hook it up to the hotel TV just to game. The Wii is surprisingly portable, but even then, it's one more set of things (Wii, brick, controller, game disks, sensor bar, and RF modulator+cables (for TV
  • I wondered how long it would take them to find a way to truly lock in their products all the way to the graphics card. If this catches on, they finally have. Remember back when you could put any brand of processor in your motherboard? Then they got rid of that. Then they started releasing their own north bridges and spread rumors that if you used their brand of north bridge with their brand of graphics card it could run faster. Then, they tried to go even further and tell everyone that if you used thei

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