A Modest Proposal concerning Integrated Computer Graphics

Integrated Computer Graphics [ICG], for the non-tech savvy, is when the Graphics Chip is built into the Computer MotherBoard [MoBo] instead of being on a separate add-on Graphics Card.

Traditionally, ICGs are inferior to Graphics Cards. Many arguments could be given, but they boil down to 1) Non-upgradeable 2) Shared, instead of distinct, Video Memory. Also, ICGs tend to be on MoBos that are sub-par in other ways as well, such as very small form factor, limiting the potential of the MoBo for anything other than ho-hum use, not the makings of a Graphics Workhorse.

Around now you should be thinking to yourself, "I hear a 'but' coming."

However, [close enough], this doesn't have to be the case.

I propose using the fullest, largest, push-the-form-factor-envelope-humongous ATX MoBo possible, and having an ICG which echoes the design of CPUs, to wit: 1) ZIF Socket, for upgradeability, 2) Flash ROM BIOS, 3) DIMM sockets for Graphics use distinct from System DIMMs.

In other words, treat the ICGs GPU [Graphics Processing Unit] as the crucial entity which it is, while allowing it, and its memory, to be customizable at the end-user level based upon their budget and desires.

For this to work several things would have to occur. 1) All the GPUs in a given series would have to use the same pin-out and be identifiable as to capabilities in like manner as today's CPUs. 2) Memory sockets utilizing industry standard memory modules be added, additional and distinct from CPU-accessible RAM, be designed onto the MoBo; you want 2 Gb of RAM, you can have it. 3) Brackets with user-configurable Graphics connectors that cable back to the ICG, allowing the user to configure the outputs to match the display-types available at a given installation. 4) either Multi-Core GPUs, or PCIe slots tied to the Graphics bus for additional GPUs, the idea being to provide a distinct GPU Core for each CPU core, making it possible for each CPU to have its own dedicated Graphics Processor and Display Unit.

Graphics have been treated as secondary for too long; that went out with the introduction of GUIs 20 years ago, at this time every application is more GPU/Memory intensive than the slickest gaming apps from ten years ago, with many of them exceeding those of five years ago.

In recent years various of the major GPU manufacturers have been purchased by CPU manufacturers, resulting in CPU/GPU configurations much more tightly integrated than before. To an extent this is good, but for competitive pricing to remain, and to prevent OS' abandonment of one CPU/GPU architecture in favor of another for easier programing, standards for CPU/GPU integration need to be established which will allow OS-generic graphic drivers basic operability without saddling the OS' with designing complex drivers for each GPU family.

Fascinating as this all is, it doesn't seem to be grabbing my attention; narcoleptic symptoms detected in blogger, must post and rest ere my eyes close and my head plop forward.


Post this Puppy!

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