Intel GMA 3150 Review and Benchmark

Is the Intel GMA 3150 really a piece of shit? Is it as bad as what most people are saying when it comes to gaming? Read on to find out. This review has been viewed 949 time(s) By Simon Graham on 6/13/2010 10:32:55 AM in Graphics Card Last updated on 6/13/2010 7:01:25 PM Share | This is Part 2 of my review of the HP Mini 210. In this review, there will be a shift of focus to the GMA 3150, the integrated graphics found in the HP Mini 210 and almost every other netbook. The Test This review will benchmark the GMA 3150 and observe its compatibility with games. All tests and benchmarks are performed on a standard HP Mini 210 with 1GB of RAM. I am using FRAPS 3.2.2 to benchmark the games. I have also disabled all power saving features while performing these tests to assess the full capabilities of the GMA 3150. The Benchmark Title Dues Ex GoTY Resolution Min Avg 800x600 7 20 Max Playable Remarks 40 Yes Details = High

Baldur's Gate 800x600 2 Morrowind 800x600 10 6 Blade of Darkness 1024x600 22

24

Very

Details = High, 3D Acceleration enabled Details = High, view details and shadows minimal. Data shows FPS in the indoors and then outdoors. Details = High

15 10 40

35 18 60

Barely

Very

Jedi Knight 2 800x600

15

22

45

Yes

Details = High

3D Mark 2001SE Freespace 2 The Sims Descent 3 800x600 800x600 800x600 16 15 18 15 25 22 40 18 42 45 55 20 Very Very Very Yes

2788 Marks at default settings

Details = High Details = High Details = High Details = High

Icewind Dale 800x600 2 Gish Freelancer 800x600 800x600

22 16

24 28

26 38

Very Yes

N/A Details = Default (near Max). In large battles the FPS drops to below 20. Details at High in Autoconfigure

Mechwarrior 800x600 4 Vengeance Total Annihilation 1024x600

22

26

36

Yes

-

-

-

Very

Details = Max. Somehow FRAPS didn't work with this game but even with 2 enemies and lots of units, the game was as smooth as it started. FPS should be around at least 50. Details = Max. This must be one of the most disappointing benchmarks. I was expecting frame rates reaching an average of 60. Details = High

Quake 3 Arena

800x600

22

30

57

Yes

Homeworld Catalysm Half Life Blue Shift Myth 2

800x600

18

32

46

Very

800x600

42

68

72

Very

Details = Default

800x600

22

24

25

Yes

Details = Default

Operation Flashpoint GoTY Soldier of Fortune 2 System Shock 2

800x600

11

15

21

Barely

Details = Autodetect

800x600

6

14

18

No

Details = Medium

800x600

26

43

60

Very

Details = Default

Shogun Total 800x600 War Heavy Gear 2 Silent Hunter 2 Alpha Centauri -

24

26

35

Very

Details = All Features Enabled

-

-

-

Failed Failed

Game failed to start. Game failed to start.

-

-

-

Failed

Crashes to desktop upon loading the game screen.

Power Saving The drivers for the GMA 3150 come with power saving features which I experimented with. There are several predefined levels of power saving or you can customise the settings yourself. With the 'Best Battery Life" mode, I ran 3D Mark 2001SE and got a score of 2734. A second test got me a score of 2738 which averages to 2736. This is merely a 2% drop in performance in when compared to the 2788 marks with 'Best Performance" mode enabled. So how does this correlate to the battery life? I ran a battery stress test using the infinite loop feature of 3d Mark to see how long the netbook lasts with full battery. Results show that on "Best Battery Life" the netbook's battery lasts 10% longer than when on "Best Performance Mode". On my HP Mini which lasts an average of 6 hours of gaming, this is equivalent to only an additional 36 minutes. The power saving feature is a nice to have but not too useful in my opinion considering that the amount of power saving is only negligible. Overclocking There aren't any built in settings to allow you to overclock the GMA 3150 at the moment. There is one application GMA Booster which is said to increase the performance of the GMA 950 but as of writing of this review, the GMA 3150 is yet to be supported by this application. Conclusion

The GMA3150 is said to be faster than a GeForce 2 MX. The 3d Mark scores proved that, but not in real gaming benchmarks. I swear I remember having to play Operation Flashpoint smoothly on my old GeForce 2 MX but the GMA 3150 barely runs the game. This could be due to the lacking "Hardware Transform and Lighting (TnL)" feature in it. GMA 3150 and netbooks for that matter, aren't meant to play Crysis or Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2. They are built with portability in mind, and lived up to expectations. People bash the hell out of the Intel GMAs because they compare these integrated graphics with modern discrete graphics card. I was never a fan of the Intel's GMAs but the GMA 3150 is a very able integrated graphics card, at least for games released in 2001 or before. Aside from some compatibility issues, what other machine allows you to play your favorite classic games, surf the internet, do a little of work at anywhere you like without giving you a pain in the shoulders? Besides, there is a whole lof of classic games out there, all which you can get for a price of a drink. If you are getting a netbook with an Intel GMA 3150, with the right expectations, the GMA 3150 will serve your needs well. Tried playing other games on this chip? Share with us if they play well. Republished with permission from author. Review is first published on FICKLEpeople.com.

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