Everyone has already got used to endless rivalry between ATI and Nvidia in the graphics accelerators market. (as well as some other sites) are regularly publishing reviews comparing performance of the graphics solutions based on the chipsets developed by these manufacturers. Nevertheless, neither ATI nor Nvidia are the real leaders of the graphics market. These companies deal mostly with the development of high-performance graphics solutions that are targeted at gamers or professional users working with 3D modeling applications in the first place.
At the same time gamers and 3D designers are far not the majority. There are much more systems that work in traditional office or multimedia home environments. As a result, over 60% of today's PCs have no discrete graphics solution onboard and use integrated chipsets instead. Although these solutions cannot compete with fully-fledged graphics cards from the performance prospective, they are much cheaper and ensure sufficient performance level for most mainstream applications. Therefore, ATI and Nvidia, who do not devote enough time and effort to promoting their integrated solutions, are still behind Intel that owns over 40% of the graphics market today. It is important to understand though that Intel doesn't offer any discrete graphics cards at all, and retains the leadership in this market solely due to its chipsets with integrated graphics core.
Unfortunately, most computer publications do not pay due attention to integrated chipsets despite the huge market of these solutions. This is mostly explained by the fact that most computer users of the systems on integrated chipsets are pretty indifferent to their features and performance. However, I have to admit that the overall performance level of the chipsets with integrated graphics core has significantly increased lately, and besides, most integrated core logic sets can now boast very decent features and capabilities. In other words, it's time we gave up our traditional snobbism and give due credit to integrated chipsets. Our today's article will be devoted entirely to these solutions: we will discuss in great detail some of the latest chipsets with integrated graphics that are available in the market. Moreover, we will not stick to only one single platform, but will test both: integrated solutions for AMD and Intel processors.
Integrated chipsets are very attractive these days not only because they allow saving some money during PC assembly. Platforms using integrated graphics are much more economical, which has become a very important criterion lately, almost as important as the overall system performance. Especially since the computer power consumption is not only directly connected with the ever growing power costs, but is also proportional to the amount of heat that needs to be taken off the system. Since the power consumption of most graphics cards keeps increasing, integrated systems may become a really great choice for those tasks that do not require high-end 3D performance. In our today's article we will try to answer the question: what integrated chipsets available today offer the best set of consumer features and capabilities.