Thursday, March 02, 2006

Intel GMA 950: Terrible OpenGL performance

The first benches of the Intel Mac mini are out, and among them are some Cinebench scores. As suspected, the OpenGL performance of the integrated Intel GMA 950 graphics chipset leaves much to be desired:
Mac mini G4 1.5 GHz
Rendering (Single CPU): 152
Shading (CINEMA 4D): 159
Shading (OpenGL Software Lighting): 414
Shading (OpenGL Hardware Lighting): 506
OpenGL Speedup: 3.18

Mac mini Core Solo 1.5 GHz
Rendering (Single CPU): 213
Shading (CINEMA 4D): 259
Shading (OpenGL Software Lighting): 885
Shading (OpenGL Hardware Lighting): 441
OpenGL Speedup: 3.41
In the OpenGL Hardware Lighting test, the old G4 Mac mini with Radeon 9200 is actually 20% faster than the new Intel Mac mini. In fact, even the CPU-dependent OpenGL Software Lighting test on the Intel Mac mini is faster. While it's true that the Cinebench OpenGL test may not be representative of gaming performance, this does illustrate just how much of a limitation the new Intel Mac mini's integrated graphics can be.

The good news is that the other benches confirm the great superiority of the Core Solo CPU over the G4. Clock-for-clock, Core Solo is 40% faster. Furthermore, we must not forget about the 1.66 GHz Core Duo Mac mini, which scores 471 in the CPU rendering test, over 3X as fast as the old 1.5 GHz G4 Mac mini.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Omg, so you say that even the CPU-driven test
is sometimes faster an HW GL?

Did you even think about the fact that the Display Driver is not ready on Intel Macs? If the CPU is faster in this special test than it's only because the driver does not accelerate this specific function being used.

Just wait for a new release. If you really wanted to talk about the real (!) performance of this GPU you should've run a benchmark on an windows based system because those drivers are ready.

Bad article !!

Anonymous said...

humm i think bad comment is in order. the article is about macs. not windows. if it was about windows driver it would not hasve been here. i dont get how people can make statements like this. please read the article. this is about the mac ienvironment. not windows........

Anonymous said...

I think it's about windows too..
coz i consider to buy a mac book
where i would like to install windows too.

is it really Intel-GMA that good?
I'm about thinkin to switch my new
ACER 5024 (w/ Radeon x700) to Mac Book (w/ Intel GMA 950)

is it really that i am about to suffer from downgrade of 3D vga performance?

Anonymous said...

I think it's about windows too..
coz i consider to buy a mac book
where i would like to install windows too.

is it really Intel-GMA that good?
I'm about thinkin to switch my new
ACER 5024 (w/ Radeon x700) to Mac Book (w/ Intel GMA 950)

is it really that i am about to suffer from downgrade of 3D vga performance?

Anonymous said...

If you get rid of an X700 based notebook for a macbook you'll be really sorry. The GMA 9xx series has terrible performance. They handle openGL in games decently up to the Quake3 engine, with decent performance, but anything more recent than 2003 or so with Direct X 9 requirements is going to get ugly. Intel claims that the card supports Direct X 9 + Vertex Model 3, but the one I've been experimenting with crashes on many newer games, sometimes immediately. Don't do it.

R Harris said...

How would the GMA 950 handle SolidWorks (3D modeling) on the 2GHz MacBook? I would presume that since there are no contiuously changing environnments like a 3D game it should be able to render "still" objects and show rotating views adequately

Anonymous said...

Just FYI, the GMA 950 does not have hardware transform and lighting (TnL), these are run in software. Vertex shaders are also run in software. What the GMA 950 does have is hardware accelerated pixel shaders, so any per-pixel effects are accelerated in hardware. So it's not really fair to say that the CPU-driven test is faster than hardware OpenGL, because both tests will be executed by the CPU anyway.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone tried to do what r harris is suggesting? Run Solidworks on a MacBook 2.0 GHz Core 2 Duo? Is it useable for simple modeling?

Anonymous said...

http://www.intel.com/products/chipsets/gma950/index.htm.

sounds like no here really knows what they are talking about. I play wow fine on my mac book.

Anonymous said...

is the gma 950 good or bad in the gaming world?

Eug said...

GMA 950 is very low end. However, for basic older generation games it may be sufficient.

Anonymous said...

can you upgrade the graphic card in the macbook?

Eug said...

"can you upgrade the graphic card in the macbook? "

No.

Anonymous said...

can i run pc games on my mac with the window boot camp?

Eug said...

Yes, with BootCamp you can run Windows and Windows programs (including games) on any Intel Mac.

I currently have Windows Vista running on my MacBook.

Anonymous said...

is there any downside about bootcamp?

Eug said...

Downside to BootCamp?

1) You can only have 2 partitions on your drive, and one of them has to be BootCamp. (There are ways around this, but it's a hassle.)

2) The more space you use for your BootCamp drive, the less space you have available for Mac OS X.

Anonymous said...

i know you said you can't upgrade the GMA 950, but is it at all possible to replace it with something better? Civ. IV runs horribly on MacBooks

Nic said...

I have ran SolidWorks using both BootCamp and VMware Fusion. It works great on a 2.0 Intel Core Duo w/ 2Gb of RAM.

Anonymous said...

I posted a variation of this in the current entries as well - just in case.

Sorry if its a little off topic there...

Is there any more input with respect to using Solidworks on a dual boot Mac?

I am toying with this on a Mac mini - which (pls correct me if I am wrong) - is the same guts as the 2.0 Powerbook which I believe is what your responder "nic" spoke to - but I am not finding a profile for "nic" - to ask him.

Christopher said...

people are dumb, the intel GMA 950 can run really nice on macs if their in windows. Apple Limited the chipset on macbooks to 64mb and the mini's i think are locked at 16?/32? when it can easily go to 224mb. I am searching everywhere seeing if a group of people would want to crack the os-x software to allow gma chipset to go to its 224mb

Tom K. said...

I have been setting up Macbooks with Bootcamp and using the "boot camp windows drivers disk" I have had no trouble till the latest intel950. Now after installing the windows drivers the screen goes blank. Has anyone else run into this? I found an intel driver from intels site that windows fusses at me "the driver you are trying to install is older" but I did it anyway. I got some video just not very good and after the very next boot it went blank again. Any input would be helpful.

TY
Tom
made4memac

Anonymous said...

i have the same problem.
the graphic driver for windows on bootcamp, macbook with gma950. shuts down the monitor. in osx the graphic works fine.
i dont know if i should be happy that i am not the only one with that problem.

jakob

Anonymous said...

Apples are gay. i am so glad the dummies at Apple finally got rid of G5's and put a real processors in their computer i.e. INTEL! Now Mac users have a PC with OSX installed. LMAO!!!