IDF Spring 2008 – Montevina Is A Graphics Monster

Mobile gaming on Intel graphics? Surely not.

Hot on the heels of one interesting graphics announcement we have another equally compelling piece of news. Dadi Perlmutter, senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s mobility group, revealed Intel’s next generation mobile platform, Montevina, will provide twice the 3D processing power of any current integrated solution.

It wasn’t just idle claims either, as Perlmutter also had a demo system running the brand new Universe At War: Earth Assault game, which looked to be playing at respectable framerates and at a passable image quality. Of course, to enthusiasts like me it will never replace our dedicated graphics cards – that’s where Larrabee comes in – but it’s good to see Intel finally embracing this side of its product development. Let’s just hope driver support is as good as AMD and nVidia, otherwise our the enthusiasm will be short lived.

It’s not just about the 3D side of things, though. One of the other key benefits of Montevina will be its ability to offset video decoding from the CPU. Just as with AMD and nVidia’s recent desktop PC parts, Montevina will contain dedicated video decoding hardware that is optimised to provide smooth playback of HD video while using the minimum power possible. So, hopefully we’ll soon be able to watch HD movies on our notebooks (although it does seem a bit of an Oxymoron to want to do that) and still have enough battery power left over to do other things.

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