Intel 3-series chipsets have been around a few months now - and we looked at the Foxconn P35A on launch day. But, while G33 launched the same day, it was largely overshadowed and passed us by.
The G33 doesn't appear to replace the G965 chipset directly - that will be G35's job. Instead it takes over from the cut-down, GMA 3000-equipped 946GZ and G963.
G33's GMA 3100 integrated graphics processor isn't a substantial departure from the GMA 3000. In fact, looking at the information available from Intel, the core frequency and fillrate remain at 400MHz and 1,600 Megapixels per second. Unfortunately Intel isn't too forthcoming with hard details regarding its IGP's architecture.
However, the GMA 3100 doesn't support the hardware vertex shading that was recently added to the G965's X3000 IGP and, unlike the forthcoming G35, it also doesn't support DirectX 10 and Shader Model 4. HDMI output is supported if the vendor chooses to implement it but Intel makes no mention of HDCP, so we'd assume that's not an option.
On the plus side, G33 does bring official support for 1333MHz FSB and 45nm CPUs. This means it will ready to accommodate the approaching Wolfdale and Yorkfield processors when they come to market.
So, let's now take an overdue look at Intel's latest integrated graphics chipset - as implemented on the Foxconn G33M-S - to see if it can compete with the current integrated graphics champion, AMD's 690G.