Monday, June 21, 2010

Games for Intel GMA 4500

When you ask people what games run on Intel integrated graphic cards, they will most probably recommend buying NVidia or ATI dedicated video cards instead. From the term 'integrated,' itself, it's understood that such a graphic card borrows memory and CPU processing power from the system RAM, whereas dedicated video cards have memory and processing power entirely devoted for graphics and gaming. But there is still hope for those stuck with Intel cards, which they dub as Graphics Media Accelerators (GMA). I've played these games before with an integrated card, specifically Intel GMA 4500, and still got a decent gaming experience.

Before I bought ATI Radeon HD4670, this used to be my PC hardware build/specs:
  • CPU: Intel Pentium Dual-Core E5300
  • Graphics: Intel GMA 4500
  • RAM: 1 Gig DDR2 800Mhz
  • Operating System: Windows XP
Such specs certainly do not match any expensive gaming rigs but it can still play recent games, as long as certain graphics settings are adjusted.  These games are hardcore games, not just any casual game on the Internet.

Games for Intel GMA 4500
Gears of War
Left 4 Dead
Elder Scrolls IV: Oblvion

Prince of Persia
Call of Duty 4
Modern Warfare
Call of Duty
Modern Warfare 2

Optimize Gaming  Performance

Below are some tips on how to speed up game performance even on such low-end hardware.

Optimized settings. Some games provide an optimized settings option that lets the game to automatically choose the best settings for you.

Virtual memory. Make sure Windows has allocated enough virtual memory. Virtual memory, or paging file, is an area on the hard disk that Windows uses as if it were RAM.

Enough hard disk space. Similarly, you must have ample remaining space on your hard disk after installation. I recommend to free up space of at least 10% of your disk's total capacity.

Updated drivers. A driver in simpler terms is a software that allows interaction with the hardware such as the video card.  Updating drivers usually fixes issues and speeds up system performance. Download Intel graphics drivers here.

OS choice. Choosing what operating system to use is sometimes decided on how much RAM you have. With only 1 gb of RAM, Windows XP is best. With 2 gb or more, your computer can handle later operating systems that require more memory.

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