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Revision as of 15:55, 28 April 2013 by Martin (Talk | contribs) (i740)

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Also known as the Intel740 and codenamed "Auburn", this was Intel's first foray into the discrete graphics market. It was released in January 1998 and was the result of Intel's collaboration with Lockheed Martin's Real3D graphics division. It supports Direct3D and OpenGL ICD. It was designed to take full advantage of the AGP bus, and as such, it can only texture from system memory via the AGP bus. All of its local onboard graphics memory was used purely as a display frame buffer. Therefore, manufacturers were able to produce cards with as low as 2 MB of onboard memory (one such example being Intel's own Express 3D graphics card). The i740 also supports texture map resolutions up to 1024x1024. 3D rendering color depth is limited to 16-bit, but the chip has good dithering quality. Its performance allows it to compete well with NVIDIA's RIVA 128, ATI's Rage Pro and the original 3Dfx Voodoo graphics chipset, but it falls woefully short of higher-end graphics solutions released around the same timeframe, such as 3Dfx's Voodoo2. Much of the bottleneck results from its sole use of AGP texturing - the i740 has to access textures through a channel that is often much slower that of the onboard graphics memory. It was also difficult to port i740 cards to the PCI bus - often times it necessitated the use of an AGP-to-PCI bridge chip, resulting in increased card cost. The PCI variants could texture from onboard graphics memory and are faster than their AGP counterparts in some tests. The PCI variants also came with larger amounts of onboard memory - one such card was a PCI version of Real3D's Starfighter, which was manufactured with as much as 24 MB of onboard memory.

The i740 supports Windows 9x and NT 4.0. Drivers for Windows 3.1x were also released, and the Windows 3.1x drivers are heavily based on Chips and Technologies' GUI accelerator drivers (since Intel had acquired Chips and Technologies in July 1997).

The i740 has good overall DOS VGA compatibility and performance.

i752 and i754

The i752 and i754 are slight evolutions of the i740 architecture and they were announced in April 1999. As of 2013, they are also Intel's last graphics chips used on discrete cards. The i752 supports AGP 2x while the i754 supports AGP 4x. New features include support for multitexturing, anisotropic filtering, MPEG-2 motion compensation and DVI displays. Both were cancelled upon release and very few boards made it out into the wild. The i752 and i754 technology respectively lived on as the IGP in Intel's i810 and i815 motherboard chipsets. Some of this technology further found its way into Intel's later IGPs, notably their Extreme Graphics and Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) lines.