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Posted: May 20th, 2002
Written by: Tuan Huynh
Intel Extreme Graphics Specifications
As for 2D features, the i845G features the standard features that most graphics cards have, but the added hardware compensation looks to be interesting, we’ll talk more about that feature later on this article with benchmarks as well.
Rapid Pixel and Texel Rendering (RPTR)
Though not much info on this feature has been released, I’ll try my best to summarize it. Rapid Pixel and Texel Rendering is a feature very similar to ATI’s Hyper Z architecture. This mainly allows the graphics core to render 4 textures per pass as well as DXTN and FXT1 decompression, which reduces the amount of memory required for texture storage. Like I stated earlier, I tried my best to summarize Rapid Pixel and Texel Rendering, but just by reading the limited available info in the white papers, there’s not much that can be explained by it.
Dynamic Video Memory Technology (DVMT)
DVMT is a fairly new technology found in integrated graphics as I haven’t seen it before. The technology works quite interestingly, rather then having up to a 64MB SMA frame buffer; the i845G only has 8MB dedicated for a frame buffer. This is where DVMT kicks in, when the game or application requires more video memory, the program submits its request to the video driver, and then the video driver submits the request to the OS, if memory resources are available, the driver will allocate more memory to the onboard graphics. When a system has 128 MB of overall memory, the driver can support up to 48MB of dynamic memory, when your system has 256MB or more, the driver can support up to 64MB of dynamic video memory.
This makes much more sense then having a permanent 32 or 64MB frame buffer as the frame buffer is not always being used, but having it available on the fly when needed will allow the system to have more available resources for your everyday applications.
Zone Rendering Technology (ZR)
Zone Rendering Technology is Intel’s version of STM Micro’s Tile based rendering idea. Pretty much Zone Rendering technology renders everything in triangles much like the Kyro did. This requires less memory bandwidth to render each scene, which is good since there isn’t much memory bandwidth available when it comes to SMA. Intel refers to their Zone Rendering technology as “Tile based rendering done right,” we’ll find more on that later in the article.
ADD cards are simply upgrades just add in cards that work in similar fashion to CNR cards. The ADD cards allow users to add DVI and/or TV out to i845G boards via the AGP slot. Here are some examples of the cards.
The ICH4 is Intel’s long awaited updated south bridge to their age old ICH2 that features a few needed updates. Though still no support for ATA133 from Intel, the ICH4 finally embeds USB 2.0, being the second south bridge to integrated USB 2.0. The onboard controller allows up to 6 USB 2.0 ports that support up to 480 Mbps data transfer.
There’s also support for 20-Bit AC’97 audio codec, which is provided by an Analog Devices AD1981A which fully supports 20-bit audio. We’ll talk more about the onboard audio as well as Sound Max once again.