The Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500M (GMA 4500M) (sometimes also called GMA X4500 M) is a DirectX 10 capable integrated shared memory graphic card for laptops. The mGPU is integrated in the Intel GM40 and GL40 chipsets and designed for cheap laptops. The graphics card is also called Mobile Intel(R) 4 Series Express Chipset Family in the Intel drivers.
Compared to the GMA 4500M HD, the 4500M features a slower core clock (400 MHz versus 533MHz) and is thus a bit slower in games.
The chip itself is capable of supporting the CPU to decode HD videos, but because of the slower clock rate, the 4500M has troubles decoding 1080p videos fluently and therefore has no full Blu-Ray logo support.
The gaming performance of the 4500M is not really good. Only less demanding 3D games and very old games may run fluently in low detail settings. Sims 3 and F.E.A.R. for example achieved 30 fps (with stutters) in low deatails and low resolustions (combined with a fast CPU). 2D applications, games and Windows Vista / Windows 7 Aero are supported without any performance problems.
Compared to other modern integrated chipsets like the GeForce 9400M or the Radeon HD 3200, the 4500M is clearly the slowest especially for 3D games. Still the power consumption of the chip is quite competitive, so it may be the right choice for office tasks.
The Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD (sometimes also called GMA X4500 HD or other combinations) is a DirectX 10 capable onboard graphics adapter in the GM45, GE45 and GS45 chipset of the Centrino 2 platform (Montevina). The chip has no dedicated graphics memory, but takes dynamically an amount from the main memory (up to 384 MB). The graphics card is also called Mobile Intel(R) 4 Series Express Chipset Family in the Intel drivers.
The 400MHz clocked version of the 4500MHD found in the GL40 and GS40 chipsets, is called GMA 4500M (without the HD) and has a worse performance in 3D games and video decoding.
Compared to the predecessor GMA X3100, the GMA 4500MHD has two more shaders and a 33 MHz higher core clock speed. Therefore, the chip is noticable faster than the older one (especially in 3DMark06). Still, the performance is just on par with the entry level dedicated graphics cards and therefore not suited for demanding games. Some older games like Fear can be played in low details and low resolutions (see "Gaming Performance" below).
The version in the GS45 can be clocked lower (320 versus 533 MHz) and support only FSB 800 (instead of FSB 533/1066). Furthermore, switchable graphics are only supported in the GM45 chipset. The GE45 has the same features as the GM45, and aditionally is certified by Macrovision.
A new feature of the GMA chip, are the integrated HD video-decoding functions. The GM45 is able to decode HD-videos in the formats AVC, VC-2, and MPEG-2 to help the CPU. This way a Blu-Ray playback should also be possible with a low end CPU (only with the 533 MHz clocked version in the GM45 and GS45).
The graphics core in the GL40 and GS40 chipset with a lower core speed of 400 MHz is called GMA 4500M (without the HD). Because of the lower clock rate, the 4500M performs a bit worse in games and is not capable of decoding Blu-Ray videos fluently.
The Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950 (also known as Intel GMA 950) is an integrated (onboard) graphic chip on the Mobile Intel 945Gx chipset for Intel processors. It is a faster clocked version of the GMA 900 and does not support hardware T&L (Transform & Lightning) calculations (which is required for some games). Compared to the GMA 900 it now supports Shader Model 3.0 (instead of 2.0) and can decode 2 HD Streams simultaneously.
It supports DirectX 9.0 with Shader Model 3.0 (Vertex Shader are calculated in Software - by the CPU) and OpenGL 1.4. Furthermore, the chip is able to accelerate the decoding of MPEG2 videos and supports Motion Compensation (2 HD Streams simultaneously). Modern HD videos in MPEG 4 or VC-1 can not be decoded with the graphics card.
The GMA 950 is integrated in the following chipsets with different rendering clock rates (that affect the 3D performance):
Using the GMABooster tool, slower variants can be clocked to 400 MHz to increase the 3D performance (use at your own risk, not supported by Intel!).
The GMA 950 can not be described as a graphics card that is sufficient for gamers. Still Intel published a list of games that will run (not needingly beautiful) on the notebook (list is for the GMA 900). Some old 3D games and especially 2D games should run without problems. The advantage of integrated graphics cards, is that they have a low power consumtion and therefore save battery life. Furthermore, the laptop may stay cooler and more silent than laptops with dedicated graphics cards. For office programs and surfing the performance is more than sufficient.
The newest drivers support Windows Vista with Aero Glass effects and according to some of our readers it should run fluently.
Average Benchmarks Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500M → 100%n=8
Average Benchmarks Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500MHD → 107%n=8
Average Benchmarks Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950 → 49%n=8
- Range of benchmark values for this graphics card - Average benchmark values for this graphics card * Smaller numbers mean a higher performance 1 This benchmark is not used for the average calculation
The following benchmarks stem from our benchmarks of review laptops. The performance depends on the used graphics memory, clock rate, processor, system settings, drivers, and operating systems. So the results don't have to be representative for all laptops with this GPU. For detailed information on the benchmark results, click on the fps number.