Intel GMA

Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (short GMA to German " accelerator for graphic media " ) is a set of integrated graphics processors ( IGP) from Intel, which offer besides the obligatory 2D graphics functions with 3D acceleration and, depending on the model, other multimedia capabilities. The GMA processors are part of the North Bridges various motherboard chipsets and therefore always to be understood as part of such a chip set; there are no separate graphics cards that use these graphics processors.


GMA 500

In November 2008, Intel introduced the GMA 500 on the market. The graphics core is based on the licensed PowerVR SGX technology. Supports OpenGL 2.0 and DirectX 10.1. The chip has a core clock of 200 MHz and operates at up to 128 MB shared memory. Currently, there are no official drivers for Linux. The official Windows drivers for the Intel GMA 500 prevents the use of OpenGL 2.0, but there are unofficial drivers to remove this blockade. To get the graphics card at least somewhat under Linux ( in this case, specifically Ubuntu) up and running, you can install the pulsbo driver. How this works, you can learn more detail here.

GMA 900

In 2004, Intel introduced the first version of the GMA on the market, the GMA 900 It supports DirectX 9.0 with Shader Model 2.0 and OpenGL 1.4, with the vertex shaders are ( ie on the CPU) calculated by the software. In addition, it offers when playing video files MPEG-2 decoding acceleration and motion compensation.

The core clock speed is different depending on the chipset, in which the graphics core is used: During the i910GML used mostly moderate frequencies of around 160 MHz, the i910GL the IGP is clocked at 333 MHz.

GMA 950

The GMA 950, published in 2005 is a slightly improved and at 400 MHz ( exceptions are the 945GM with 250 MHz and 166 MHz 940GML ) accelerated version of the GMA 900 The equipment corresponds largely to the predecessor, but the driver of the GMA 950 now supports vertex shader 3.0. In addition, two HD video streams can now be decoded simultaneously.

It is likely that the Intel 945GT chipset includes the GMA 950, Intel draws the integrated graphics solution there but as' Gen 3.5 Integrated Graphics " from.

GMA 3000

Mid-2006, Intel brought a number of chipsets on the market that use the GMA 3000 graphics core. This is significantly higher with 667 MHz clocked than its predecessor GMA 950, but based on the same architecture and continues to support Pixel Shader 2.0.

GMA 3100

With the introduction of G3x-/Q3x-Chipsatzreihe Intel released the GMA 3100, which is to be regarded, despite its name rather than a descendant of the GMA 950. He only offers support for pixel shader 2.0 and comes up with more than 400 MHz on. But he may have recourse to a larger memory bandwidth, when used with chipsets with more powerful memory controller.


The Intel GMA 4500MHD graphics card supports DirectX 10 The chipset has an integrated HD video decoder for the formats AVC, VC- 2 and MPEG -2, hence the suffix " HD".

GMA X3000

Also in mid-2006, Intel released the chipset G965, which contains a substantial evolution of the previous GMA, the GMA X3000. The internal architecture was adapted to the new features of DirectX 10, the processor instead of classical graphics pipeline now includes unified shader processors, but still only support Shader Model 3.0. The vertex shader calculations can now be calculated using the latest drivers in hardware. Furthermore, the graphics core now supports HDR rendering and can come up with improved deinterlacing, WMV9 decoding and an HDMI port. The clock is like the GMA 3000 667 MHz.

GMA X3100

On 9 May 2007, Intel released the fourth generation of Centrino platform also provides for the GMA X3100. The core, in contrast to the X3000 now full support for Shader Model 4.0, so it can be classified as a DirectX 10 -capable. However, DirectX 10 enables up to now only by the beta driver provided by Intel.

GMA X3500

The G35 chipset contains the X3500 graphics core, which is different from its predecessor X3100 only in details. He supports an improved MPEG -2 video acceleration and waits with a higher clock on.

GMA X4500

Intel has equipped the X4500 graphics core with hardware decoder for H.264/AVC, DirectX 10 and Shader 4.0 support in the G45 chipset. In addition, these graphics unit should be up to three times faster than their predecessors.


With the release of the Core i - series graphics core integrated into the chip housing of the CPU. That is, in the CPU chip package, a further extra still contained. On this the also the former Northbridge functions are housed. However, the graphics unit can only be used with specific motherboard chipsets ( H55, H57, H61, H67, B65, Q57, Q67, Z68 ).

From the CPU generation Sandy Bridge CPU, GPU and Northbridge functions are grouped together on one die and are marketed under HD Graphics and depending on the configuration under different model numbers.



The Intel GMA graphics units were previously often slower than comparable products from AMD and Nvidia. Also has the GMA series up to and including the X3500 in contrast to comparable competitive products do not have a functioning acceleration for Blu -ray movies, so the CPU has to do the decoding itself, what with weaker CPUs results in jerky playback. In addition, the video acceleration in Linux is currently not fully available.