GPA card (not AGP) benefits?

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I recently acquired an older Gateway machine that uses the Intel 815
chipset. It has motherboard-integrated graphics.
For better performance I've fitted a separate AGP video card.

Recently I found out about a thing Intel call a Graphics Performance
Accelerator (GPA). As far as I can tell it a memory card that fits into
the AGP slot and provides the on-board graphics with some dedicated
memory (4MB) instead of working with system memory.


a) Does anyone know how available these GPAs are? Expensive?

b) What benefit is derived from using a GPA? How does it compare
    with using a complete separate basic (4MB) AGP card?

Given that basic AGP video cards are available cheaply enough it doesn't
really matter as such. I just wondered, out of interest.

Thanks,  John

Re: GPA card (not AGP) benefits?

On Fri, 14 Oct 2005 14:10:38 GMT, John Fryatt

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Bound to be a little more expensive than a 4MB AGP card.
How much more?  I don't know by today's depreciated value.

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Faster than system memory but unless you were trying to play
old 3D games it's not so likely to matter much.

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Depends on the old card.  By modern standards, the two
options are close enough to be a tossup, except you already
have the AGP card so it's cheaper and takes no time to

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What is it that you hope to gain?

The Intel chipset might have better motion compensation
support for mpeg2 video playback, as back in the 4MB AGP
era, ATI's was good enough (for the era) but everyone else's
was still a couple years behind and playing catch-up.

I dont' know how the 815 chipset handles the memory when you
add a card, but if that added card limits the total possible
video memory to only what's on the card, I'd probably pull
the card out... since 4MB of memory can't even do 1280 x1024
resolution at 32bpp.

Re: GPA card (not AGP) benefits?

kony wrote:

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Yes, that was my theory, if only becasue they are probably rarer.

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Nothing really. I was just wondering how effective those GPA cards were.
Theoretical interest.

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The machine won't be doing any fancy graphics work, so 4MB video RAM is
ok. 4MB will allow 1280x0124 by 24bpp though, which is fine for general
purposes. Having the AGP card present though is a good thing because
sharing system memory with the video card reduces system perfiormance,
at least according to Memtest86, which shows a 17% slowdown in memory
speed when the integrated graphics are used.

Thanks for the advice,


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