In 2008, AMD released the 790GX chipset that included the most powerful integrated GPU at the time – the Ati 3300. Which had nothing to do with my plans. I already had a gaming rig with a socket 939 AMD Opteron 165 cpu, the hugely popular Geforce 8800gt video card, and life was good. But as more demanding games appeared, such as Stalker Clear Sky and Fallout 3, I began wishing for a more powerful video card. So, in early 2009 I upgraded to the impressive Radeon 4890 video card, but when I got it installed and running, I was not impressed with the improvement I saw. After testing, benchmarking, and more testing, I began to get that sinking feeling that my dual core AMD Opteron, even overclocked to 2.5GHz, was holding back my performance. So I decided to upgrade my system.
Not wanting to to spend the big bucks on the newly released socket 1356 Intel Nehalem platform, I went with a much cheaper AMD Phenom II x3 720 and a socket AM3 motherboard. The Asus M4A78T-E seemed like a good choice, which just so happened to include integrated graphics in the form of Ati 3300. I had no plans on using it, but it didn’t hurt anything, and I figured it might be useful to have a system with a built in backup video card. And yes, after setting up the AM3 system, my suspicions were confirmed when the Phenom X3 720 allowed the Radeon 4890 to reach much higher performance than it could with my old socket 939 rig.
Now fast forward about 6 months. Intel re-released the mighty Nehalem in the form of a more affordable socket 1156, and to make things worse, it showed up at a Microcenter deal I couldn’t pass up. So, once again I upgraded my system, and got a shiny new Core i7 860, while my AM3 board and Phenom II CPU went to upgrade my parents from an ancient Dell Dimension 4300 running a lethargic Pentium 4 1.6 mated to an even more prehistoric PC133 SDRAM memory. And thus the little Ati 3300 integrated GPU was pressed into service after my socket AM3 gaming system transformed into a home office PC.
Since then, the system was upgraded to a Phenom II X6 cpu, more memory, SSD, newer Windows version, newer Wifi cards. But the little Ati 3300 IGP continues to serve as the video card, mostly for web browsing, document editing, video watching, and only occasionally used for some light, casual gaming.
In this video we find out if the integrated Ati 3300 was actually good enough to run games.