Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
n August of this year Intel had announced their new Linux graphics driver website. At that time they had also announced the immediate availability of open-source 3D graphics drivers for their Intel 965 Express Chipset. The Intel 963/965 Chipsets boast fourth-generation Intel graphics architectures in the form of the GMA 3000 series. The GMA 3000 components consist of the flagship GMA X3000 in the G965 while the Q963 and Q965 boast a slightly less powerful GMA 3000. These IGPs aren't designed for delivering top-notch performance in the latest and greatest Linux games, but is rather designed for standard desktop usage while offering stability, low power consumption, and cost effectiveness. This, however, is our first time sharing how well the Intel GMA 3000 is able to perform under GNU/Linux with the open-source display drivers.
Some of the features for the Intel GMA (Graphics Media Accelerator) 3000 include support for dual independent displays, programmable array of execution units (known as EUs), dynamic load balancing, multi-threading support, and dynamic and static flow control. The dynamic load balancing is slated to improve game-play performance, enable greater realism, and enhance viewer fidelity -- according to Intel's white paper on the GMA 3000. The multi-threading support allows processing of multiple threads of graphics or video data simultaneously. The IGP is also multi-functional meaning that the execution units can seamlessly switch to process either graphics or video threads. Some of the other GMA 3000 family features include a 667MHz core (400MHz for GMA 3000), up to 256MB of system memory for video usage, supports ADD2 and media expansion cards, supports DirectX 9.0c, Shader Model 2.0 (3.0 on the X3000), MPEG-2 hardware motion compensation, and advanced pixel adaptive de-interlacing.
The GMA X3000 is designed to add yet another level of complexity for enhanced performance with features such as Intel Clear Video Technology. The feature, however, that is important to many Linux enthusiasts is simply a matter of the drivers being open-source. The licenses for these drivers is an MIT license for the 2D, 3D GL, and BSD DRM components while the Linux AGP and DRM modules comply with the GNU GPL v2 license.