Most netbooks released over the past year have shipped with Intel Atom N270/N280 processors and GMA 950 graphics. But a handful use a different chipset designed to provide longer battery life and enhanced graphics performance. While the Intel Atom Z520/Z530 processors are noticeably more sluggish than their N2xx counterparts, the GMA 500 graphics chipset shows some promise, and some netbooks with this chipset even include HDMI ports to output HD video to an external display.
And things are starting to look even brighter for the GMA 500 chipset. This week at a Mobile Dev Camp event in Germany, Martin Mohring from the Linux Foundation demonstrated several mobile devices playing HD video and graphically intensive video games including Quake III. Probably the most impressive demo showed an MSI Wind U115 with an Atom Z530 processor and GMA 500 graphics running Quake III in HD resolutions on an external display at about 35 frames per second.
For the demo, the netbook was running Moblin Linux. As far as I know, the Windows drivers for this chipset won’t allow this kind of performance.
You can check out a few videos from the event after the break, courtesy of UMPC Portal and Netbook News.de.
Does anyone know what Linux drivers they are using?
Nobody has gotten proper graphics acceleration on the GMA 500 chipset to work under Linux before. A major barrier to Linux adoption on all netbooks equipped with this chipset.
I’m losing track of Intel’s mobile chipsets. By my reckoning we currently have netbooks (or similar) available with 900, 950, 3100, 3150, 3500, 4500 and now GMA 500? And even more wonderfully, the mobile numbers often don’t even equate to the desktop chipsets they’re derived from.
Doubtless there’ll be even more coming along as the new CPUs appear – marketing strategy fail tbh, how the hell are we supposed to choose?
Do wish Ati/Nvidia would get their acts together and force some decent machines out.
This would be a break-through for Linux support for the GMA 500. Until now, there was almost zero video acceleration from the graphics card (even moving a window around was slow to redraw).
I want whatever drivers they are using!
Don’t be fooled, the drivers are very poor on the GMA 500.
” The problem is that Intel hired a 3rd party vendor called Tungsten Graphics [now a whole owned subsidiary of VMware Inc.] to create the drivers for the parts. Problem with those drivers is the fact that “GMA500 suffers from utterly crappy drivers. Intel didn’t buy any drivers from Imagination Technologies for the SGX, but hired Tungsten Graphics to write the drivers for it. Despite the repeated protest from the side of Imagination Technologies to Intel, Tungsten drivers DO NOT use the onboard firmware of the chip, forcing the chip to resort to software vertex processing.”
Stick with the superior and reliable Nvidia Ion for graphics.
Maybe they wanted to save costs?? The graphics just look Koooolll!!! on the mobilin.
I feel that maybe some third-party developer may work on it a bit.
Like the AYE-SUS THIS VGA Driver that was developed for Eee 701
Who knows what type of tweaking they did to get that performance.
Liquid nitrogen cooling and a 10x clock multiplier?
I think it’s extremely disingenuous at this point to call a 10-year-old game “graphically intensive”, even at HD resolutions. But maybe it’s the most graphically intensive game that Linux supports (I don’t know, I run Linux but the most graphically intensive game I’ve bought for it is World of Goo.)
I don’t agree, ’cause GMA500 now produce very poor under Linux. This 36 FPS was only a dream for lot’s of users. I hope this means, that we’ll see a new driver from Intel in the near future.
I’m surprised too. I was under the impression that drivers for the GMA 500 were poor to say the least. I actually shied away from laptops using it because I definitely intended to put linux on whatever netbook I ended up purchasing.
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