One of Intel's first integrated graphics accelerators is GMA 950. Presented this decision was in 2008 year. At that time, this video accelerator was perfect for creating entry-level personal computers. Even some of the three-dimensional toys that are demanding on the hardware resources of the graphics adapter were launched on it with a resolution of 640 x 480 and even 50-60 frames per second could be obtained. It is about this product that will be discussed in this material.
What users are this accelerator targeted at?
Intel GMA 950 Niches are entry-level personal computers with minimum graphics performance requirements. Such a system unit is perfect for working with office applications, watching videos and launching the most simple toys (for example, step-by-step strategies). But something more to get from him in terms of speed will not work. For such PCs, the presence of a discrete accelerator is necessary, and this will already allow the launch of resource-intensive tasks: three-dimensional games, design packages or graphics processing programs.
Chipset and Socket
The Intel GMA 950 graphics card was part of the G45 chipset for the LGA775 processor socket. This solution is focused on the mass segment and had a fairly low cost. The presence of an integrated graphic system allowed in this case to assemble excellent office system blocks. Also, this platform was great for creating a basic multimedia system. The presence of a PCI slot - Express 16X made it possible to install discrete graphics solutions into such a personal computer and get a full-fledged gaming PC. But more often for these purposes, the P45 chipset was used, which was much cheaper and did not have an integrated video card, but at the same time it was almost as good as G45 in terms of functionality. Today, from the standpoint of performance, LGA775 is an obsolete socket and it is not advisable to assemble a new system unit based on it.
Modes of operation
The maximum resolution of the displayed image on the PC display for this solution is 2048px X 1536px. Also supported modes 1920px X 1080px (1080p, Full HD), 1280px X 720px (720i). All this makes this accelerator compatible with any modern monitor or TV. That is, it can be connected to any such device and display a picture on it in any of the modes specified earlier. Also in the list of supported modes of this video card there are such image output modes as 1024px X 768px, 800px X 600px, 640px X 480px. In the latter case, you can even run quite demanding toys by the standards of 2008 of the year.
At a clock frequency in 250 MHz, an Intel GMA 950 graphics processor is operating. Specifications indicate that he can process the 256 bits of information in one cycle of his work. The device includes an 4 independent pixel processing unit. The thermal solution package is 7 W, and its semiconductor crystal is manufactured according to the standards of the process, which corresponds to 130 nm.
Intel GMA 950, like any other integrated graphics accelerator, does not have its own RAM. For its needs, a portion of the total RAM, which is installed in the computer system, is reserved. And this nuance is the bottleneck that limits the capabilities of the adapter. In discrete graphics solutions, a separate bus with increased frequency and with increased capacity is used to exchange information with RAM. Due to this, it turns out in the latter case, a significant increase in speed. The maximum amount of RAM that the video accelerator can use for its needs is 224 MB. The adapter itself can work with both DDR2 and DDR3 modules. The type of RAM depends on the capabilities of the motherboard.
Официально под управлением любой операционной системы семейства NT могла функционировать видеокарта Intel GMA 950. Характеристики драйверов для этого видеорешения на это указывали. А вот для Windows 9X и даже для Windows Me специализированных драйверов от «Интел» не было представлено. Как результат, можно было поставить какое-то унифицированное программное обеспечение такого плана, но при этом существенно снижалась функциональность графического решения.
Specific opportunities for increased performance have provided developers for Intel GMA 950. Overclocking in this case required the installation of an additional GMA Booster program. This small utility allowed to increase the frequency of the integrated accelerator of this model, and this, in turn, made it possible to get a small performance boost. At the same time, the difference was so small that there was not much point in this. Therefore, if you could meet a PC with such an overclocked graphics processor, it is extremely rare.
NVidia's GeForce 9300 and ATI's Radeon X300 are the main competitors in the integrated graphics market at the time of release of the Intel GMA 950. Characteristics of these graphic accelerators are given in the table.
Np / n
Kernel frequency, MHz
Memory bus width, bit
Technological process, nm
Maximum frequency of RAM, MHz
It is clear that the most productive product due to the clock frequency of the graphics processor is the GeForce 9300, then the Radeon X300, and only then - the GMA 950. But the cost of the hero of this review was significantly lower.
Games and speed
According to the results of tests carried out by independent laboratories, it was found that such a graphics accelerator can run such resource-demanding adapter adapter toys as DOOM3 or even HALF LIFE 2 in 1024px X 768px mode, but the refresh rate per second will drop to 10. More detailed test results are shown in the table.
№ p / p
Name of the game / test application
Value (number of frames per second / points)
X 1024 768
10 frames per second
X 1024 768
10 frames per second
640 x 480
30 frames per second
Flight Sim 2004
640 x 480
50 frames per second
X 1024 768
Up to 700 points
X 1024 768
Up to 7500 points
According to their results, it can be noted that this is a typical integrated accelerator that will perfectly cope with the most simple tasks, including office ones. To run more demanding applications, the computer needs to be equipped with discrete graphics.
Results of the review. Reviews
Of course, the number of gaming graphics solutions can not be attributed to Intel GMA 950 even by 2008 standards of the year. His performance will obviously not be enough for comfortable gameplay. But the most simple tasks (Internet, office, multimedia) on such a video accelerator will go without any problems. Intel GMA 950 is aimed at this part of the market. Overview reviews on the relevant Internet portals once again confirm this. Well, to solve more serious problems, the PC must be necessarily equipped with a discrete graphics card.