Back in March we had looked at the Radeon HD 3200 graphics found on AMD 780G motherboards. With the Catalyst Linux driver the Radeon HD 3200 had performed about the same speed as the discrete Radeon HD 2400PRO graphics card, which we were quite pleased with considering its integrated and low-power design. The Radeon HD 3200 also offers support for DisplayPort and HDMI, but it's up to the motherboard vendor which output connections they wish to utilize. The Radeon HD 3200 / 780G certainly impressed us, but today we are looking at NVIDIA's latest IGP offering for AMD's Phenom platform. While not all of these features are available to Linux customers, the GeForce 8200 supports DirectX 10, PureVideo HD, GeForce Boost, Hybrid SLI, and other leading edge features. Though between the Radeon HD 3200 and GeForce 8200, which IGP offering reigns supreme under Linux? In this article we'll tell you our thoughts.
NVIDIA's GeForce 8 IGP line-up consists of the 8100, 8200, and 8300 series. However, these chipsets are only available for AMD's platform and at present the latest for use with Intel processors are left with the GeForce 7 IGPs. Some of the additions made to the GeForce 8200 compared to the earlier GeForce 7050 include AM2+ compatibility for allowing Quad-Core Phenom processors, GeForce Boost, HybridPower Technology, PureVideo HD, and DirectX 10. Outside of the graphics realm, this motherboard chipset now supports six Serial ATA 2.0 ports, compared to four with earlier models. Unfortunately for Linux users, HybridPower and PureVideo HD are both off the table right now with NVIDIA not intending to support either technology via their proprietary driver. The display options include HDMI, DVI, and VGA, but there is no support for DisplayPort.
Some of the other features for this motherboard chipset include PCI Express 2.0 support, one PCI Express x16 slot, three PCI Express x1 slots, up to 5 PCI slots, support for DDR2-1066, RAID 0/1/0+1/5 support, Gigabit Ethernet, 12 USB 2.0 ports, and HDA Azaila audio. We will talk more about the motherboard-specifics as we prepare to review two different GeForce 8200 motherboards.
The motherboard we are using as the basis for today's tests are the ECS GF8200A. This is a run of the mill GeForce 8200 motherboard and sports a VGA and HDMI interface. The cost of this motherboard is just under $80 USD and we will have more information on this product when we deliver the motherboard review in the coming days. The other 8200-based motherboard we'll be reviewing shortly is the ASRock K10N78FullHD-hSLI.