Thursday, 22 March 2007

System Builder Tip: Vista Aero Performance Rating - Intel GMA3000 on DQ965GF and ATI FireMV 2200 PCI-E

I finally gave up trying to install Vista on the Intel D945GTP with Pentium D and 1 GB of RAM for now. When I have more time, I will try and figure out the factor that enables us to install on that board.

For now we have the following base system:

With the default Vista Ultimate installed drivers we ended up with the following when we first ran the Windows System Assessment Tool:

The assessment failed. We could not get anywhere with it out of the box.

Off to Intel's site for the DQ965GF motherboard's updated drivers.

After the download and install, we reran the Windows System Assessment Tool and we received what is, to me, a rather impressive result for an onboard video chip:

The onboard GMA 3000 series graphics ran a 3.9 score for Vista Aero and a 3.7 score for 3D Graphics.

Considering the ATI X1300 PCI-E, a fully independent video card, ran a 2.8/3.0 on Vista, the score is pretty good.

We then went ahead and installed an ATI FireMV 2200 PCI-E low profile video card. The components are stuffed into an Antec Minuet II chassis for ease of carrying around to clients to demonstrate Vista and Office 2007.

With the stock drivers picked up by Vista we ended up with the following:

A fairly poor Graphics score of 2.1 and a 3D Graphics score of 3.1. Not really too good.

The card was purchased to work with the D945GTP board if we could ever get it going with Vista and realized that the onboard Aero performance was nil, as in it wouldn't run.

In a pinch, such as the need for low profile, the FireMV 2200 will work, but a higher end low profile card would be needed for anything beyond the pedestrian Office and IE type usage.

Here is a Quick List of Intel's Desktop Motherboards.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

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