IGPs are cheaper and more power efficient, but they also deliver less performance
The graphics cards market is led by Intel Corp., which accounted for about 49.4 percent of the total shipments of graphics adapters in the third quarter of the year. The solutions provided by the chip maker are integrated graphics processors (IGPs), yet the company does not believe that these would be able to prove a future substitute to discrete graphics processing units (GPUs). The Santa Clara company seems rather interested in exotic graphics technologies that could fit performance-demanding markets, and not in pushing IGPs towards them.
“Graphics are being integrated into the processor in the a future Nehalem processor – but I can’t see the need for discrete graphics cards going away any time soon for those who demand the best 3D performance,” Nick Knupffer, an Intel spokesperson for all graphics technologies, is reported to have said in an interview with X-bit labs.
According to Knupffer, Intel would have little chances to see demand for an IGP that would be developed for the software and hardware level for professional applications, although NVIDIA has its Quadro FX 470 IGP in the field. The demand for IGPs on that market segment would rise only if the integrated solutions became more powerful, and Intel does not intend to make a move in the area until this happens.
“CAD users tend to need huge 3D capabilities in their hardware – they will likely use discrete cards. [The creation of IGPs targeting professional market segment] is not our primary design target, but we are always assessing opportunities in new market segments,” the Intel representative is stated to have said.
Integrated chipsets come with a range of advantages such as low price and lower power consumption compared to a traditional combination of core-logic and a GPU. On the other hand, a standalone solution delivers higher performance levels when it comes to graphics intensive applications. Given this state of facts, many users choose to opt for both ways, and they also rely on an external graphics solution to boost the capabilities of their machine when needed.
“Potentially, [external graphics card] is a terrific idea. Imagine being on the go using integrated graphics, benefiting from excellent battery life and small form factor – then coming home and plugging your high performance laptop into an external card and getting its full hardcore 3D gaming benefits. I think quite a lot of mobile power users would like this scenario – especially when coupled with a mobile Intel Core 2 Extreme processor,” said Knupffer in the interview.
Intel Believes IGPs Can't Substitute GPUs