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Intel vs AMD - integrated graphics shoot-out

Who's best for games - and Windows Vista?

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UK PC supplier Evesham Technology offers both Intel- and AMD-based integrated systems. We asked the company if it could help us out by producing two systems with specifications and prices that were very similar to allow us to focus on the performance of the integrated graphics. It delivered a Prestige R at £499 with an AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+ processor running at 2.41GHz on a Foxconn 6100M2MA-RS2H motherboard that uses an Nvidia's GeForce 6100 integrated chipset. The second system was a Prestige R Plus at £549. This was the Intel box, with a Core 2 Duo E6400 clocket at 2.13GHz on a Foxconn G9657MA-8EKRS2H mobo with G965 chipset.

Both PCs had 1GB of 533MHz DDR2 memory in dual-channel configuration with a 250GB WD 7,200rpm SATA hard drive, a Sony dual-layer DVD writer and Windows XP Home Edition. In short, a standard system of the kind rather a lot of folk will be looking to buy this festive season.

 Test System Details
  Prestige R
Shipped Driver
Prestige R Plus
Shipped Driver
Prestige R Plus
Updates Driver
Price £499 inc. VAT £549 inc. VAT £549 inc. VAT
CPU AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+ Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 Intel Core 2 Duo E6400
CPU Clock 2.41GHz 2.13GHz 2.13GHz
GPU Nvidia GeForce 6100 Intel GMA X3000 Intel GMA X3000
Graphics Driver Forceware 93.71 6.14.10.4642 6.14.10.4704

Common courtesy demands that we give Evesham thanks for helping us out with this feature but there’s more to it that that. Evesham is one of only a handful of manufacturers in the UK that can build PCs with any make of processor, chipset and graphics that you choose and Evesham was running the very real risk that its name would be dragged down by the performance of one of the graphics cores.

Our thinking was that anyone who buys a cheap PC for Christmas from the likes of Dell, Evesham, HP or PC World is unlikely to know or care what graphics are inside as the emphasis of the marketing is on processor, memory, hard drive and price. Yet it’s highly likely that they will want to play the odd game, if only to keep the kids quiet, and then there’s the whole question of upgrading to Windows Vista at some point in the future.

Both of these PCs have a VGA output instead of DVI so we hooked them up to our 22in Taxan Ergovision 2285. Nvidia offers GeForce 6150 graphics that support DVI and to date we haven’t seen an Intel motherboard with a DVI output.

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