Down side of on-board graphics?

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m looking to build a new computer and trying to keep costs as low as I
can.  I'll be using it only for graphics (mainly photoshop) and a
little audio work.  No gaming at all.  I want to use the E6600
processor and 2gigs of RAM.  Looking around, I see that most boards
aren't compatible with my old AGP8X video card.  I'd like not to have
to spend another couple hundred dollars on a new card so am
considering boards with on-board video but I don't know what OBV costs
in terms of performance..  I'm thinking about the Intel DG965WH board,
but if anyone can recommend another, I'd certainly appreciate the

Thanks very much for any help.

Re: Down side of on-board graphics?

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Onboard video is generally fine for windows work but won't be much good for
vista I believe. It would be worth getting a board with the appropriate slot
so you can stick a graphics card in it later.

Re: Down side of on-board graphics?

Michael C wrote:
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Why would anyone in their right mind install Vista?  See links

 "A man who is right every time is not likely to do very much."
                           -- Francis Crick, co-discover of DNA
 "There is nothing more amazing than stupidity in action."
                                             -- Thomas Matthews

Re: Down side of on-board graphics?

On Sat, 03 Mar 2007 12:22:06 -0800, Dave Smith

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What makes you think it's appropriate to compare only
low-end integrated video versus a $200 card?  There's a lot
of middle ground, it's quite easy to find something for $50
or so... but keep reading...

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It eats up a little memory bandwidth, how much depends on
what resolution you use.  Generally, it's not a big penalty
these days, an acceptible way to save a buck on a low end
system, but yours is a bit better than "low-end", so it's
really up to you, so long as you board has the slot you can
always add the video card later if necessary.

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There are tons of boards out there, it's a bit hard to
randomly recommend one as in theory *most* are supposed to
meet their intended goal.  I used to like Intel boards more
back when Asus made them, now are more fond of Asus, MSI and
Gigabyte, but that doesn't make today's Intel boards a bad
choice either, if they have the features you need.

Re: Down side of on-board graphics?

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I actually do have a similar board and the Intel on-board video is fine.
Certainly would not be a good computer for gaming...but I've had no problems
with my rather limited use
of Photoshop.
As suggested though, I'd make sure the board has provisions for adding a
better video card
if so desired.

BTW: someone mentioned Vista. Just for the heck of it I did a "test install"
of Vista on that machine
and found the video quality terrible as the only option was simply the
"standard vga" driver.

To run Vista properly you'd need some very high end hardware.

After fooling with Vista for a day or so...I saw no reason to go with that
even if I had the hardware to support it

Re: Down side of on-board graphics?

(message (Hello 'Dave)
(you :wrote  :on '(Sat, 03 Mar 2007 12:22:06 -0800))

 DS> in terms of performance..  I'm thinking about the Intel DG965WH board,
 DS> but if anyone can recommend another, I'd certainly appreciate the
 DS> input.

i have mobo with G965 chipset, and i can't say i like it..

it's not possible to overclock it at all because of integrated video, while
almost same mobo with normal video is easlity overclockable.

intel drivers are total crap. i thought no company will sell product with
totally broken drivers at release, and in half of year make it half-working.
but intel does this.. actually Intel graphics hardware is OK, it's just
drivers totally crap..
even if you don't play games, but who knows how this driver weirdness could
affect you..

and it eats some system resources (RAM and it's bandwidth, for example),
possibly neglible amount, but who knows exactly, given quality of drivers..

so, i think it's better to buy some real graphics card, low-cost ones cost
really low, for example 50$, they don't perform well in games, but they have
exactly same drivers. so it's less likely you'll have problems with it..

as for Intel DG965 boards.. Intel decided not to support IDE in their ICH8,
so they are using external IDE controller from Marvell. if you have IDE
CD/DVD, you'll have to use this Marvell controller. it's not have good
support on Linux yet.
ASUS, Gigabyte and MSI equips their boards with JMicron controller, it's
more widely supported AFAIK.

p.s. some people mention Vista in this thread. AFAIK Intel graphics is
certified for Vista, so theoretically there will be no problems. also it's
suspected that Intel Graphics will be supported for VIsta better than in XP.

(With-best-regards '(Alex Mizrahi) :aka 'killer_storm)
"?? ???? ??????? ?????")

Re: Down side of on-board graphics?

The $10 onboard video chip puts all of the graphics processing load onto
your CPU, so your system will run slower than if you had a video card.  Same
with onboard audio.

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Re: Down side of on-board graphics?

Again, wrong as usual Dave.

Onboard graphics from most new systems should do fine for 90% of the tasks
out there. Gaming is really the only thing out there that NEEDS a dedicated
video card. Same goes for the onboard audio these days.

Now I suspect there may be a small performance hit for Photoshop use, but
nothing really worth mentioning.

Finally, there are some lower cost video cards out there you should be able
to use in a PCI-e slot, since you don't want to game.

I suggest getting a MB with onboard video and a 16bit PCI-e slot. That way
you're covered should you need the extra performance later.

BTW, What OS do you plan to run on this machine?

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Re: Down side of on-board graphics?


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There is no separate video chip these days except in cases
of some server boards.  It's a (barely) more expensive
northbridge, or with some northbridge single-chip solutions
it could require enough die real-estate that instead of a
single chip, chipset, the board then uses both north and
southbridges as they did in older or other more featured
designs.  In any case, the chip doing video on a PC has the
mainboard chipset functions too.

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The CPU will process graphics to a similar extent either way
(onboard or video card), with the exception being newer 3D
games where certain (DirectX, usually) feature sets would be
done in software rather than hardware.  We can usually
ignore this difference because the integrated video wouldn't
otherwise be suitable for the 3D use this occured in- in
that use, the video is still the bottleneck, it didn't
matter whether the CPU had any addt'l processing from this.

The main differences are three:

1)  Integrated video has less processing silicon devoted to
it, so it still does the processing but slower.  Whether it
matters in use depends on that use, normally only in
semi-modern 3D uses will it matter.

2)  Integrated video uses main system memory (in all but
rare cases, in old socket 370////Intel 810 chipset for
example there was an option for addition of memory chips
onboard instead of using system memory, or on server boards
with separate video they may have a dedicated frame buffer.
When using system memory, it is slower access than a
dedicated bus and faster memory on the same video (card),
which is not a bottleneck for typical 2D uses, but is with
3D gaming where there is a lot more data being processed,
than being output to the monitor.

3)  The system memory used by the integrated video, it's use
usurps a bit of the total system memory bandwidth available,
reducing what is left for other non-video-related functions.
The more modern a system is (and faster the memory
technology is), the lower the percentage of total througput
that is used for the video.  If the tasks are 2D it can be a
matter of what the total system is like and whether spending
addt'l money on a video card would increase performance as
much as spending same amount of money on more memory, faster
CPU, hard drive, or other factors that contribute to

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In many typical uses the difference is small enough the user
couldn't perceive it, it'd require a benchmark to
differentiate and even then there would often be other
bottlenecks more significant.

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Not really, plenty of onboard audio has similar CPU demands
as a separate card does, though with 3D positional audio
effects (normally in gaming) it would take a specific
hardware based card (Creative Labs products are the most
common) to make a difference.  That same Creative Labs card
will not make any difference for more routine uses like
playing an MP3 or wav file.

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