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Review: Sapphire Pure RS780G Hybrid CrossFire motherboard: hot or not at £60?

by Michael Harries on 18 July 2008, 05:00

Tags: Sapphire

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qan7r

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Introduction


Integrated graphics have never been interesting, right?

They are there simply to serve a purpose, which is to provide a display output for the lowest possible cost, and perfunctory is never exciting.

For many years even the most basic IGP could allow you to check your email, display your Excel spreadsheets and use your system for all general tasks - gaming or advanced media playback would be written off. In fact, many businesses preferred to have their systems feature integrated graphics, not only because of their lower cost compared to the use of discrete cards, but also because it would prevent employees from indulging in, shall we say, 'less-productive' endeavours.

Even if you have modest expectations from a new PC, you would expect it to be able to offer smooth performance in all general non-gaming tasks. In the past that may have meant Office-type applications and web-browsing, but with the advent of Vista's Aero Glass interface, and the ever-greater reliance on the PC for media playback, the humble IGP cannot get by simply being able to display your Excel spreadsheets.

Connectivity, media playback and dare we say it, a certain level of 3D performance, are now expected. And with the RS780G chipset, AMD has set out to not only meet expectations but push them ever higher, offering all the features and performance of a low-end discrete card, integrated into the chipset.

Is Sapphire's PI-AM2RS780G able to do the impossible and make integrated graphics interesting?