Netbook graphics given a boost

April 30, 2009 | 10:05

Tags: #gma #netbook #overclock #overclocking

Companies: #vladimir-plenskiy

Netbooks are great – well, I think they are – but nobody's ever accused them of being fast in the gaming graphics department, largely down to the common usage of Intel Graphics Media Accelerator GPUs. However, a new package promises to give gamers' netbooks a bit of a boost.

A new tool by Vladimir Plenskiy called GMABooster – via jkOnTheRun – promises to unlock the hidden performance of your Intel GMA950 graphics chip on the common 945GM/GME/GMS/GSE and 943/940GML/GU chipsets, without draining your battery too quickly.

The application works by changing the clock speed of the ultra-low voltage version installed into netbooks of 133/166MHz to the standard desktop speed of 400MHz. As the graphics chip is designed for these speeds, there's little or no risk of anything crashing or overheating – at least, according to the developer.

The application only affects the clock speed, and doesn't change the voltage level – meaning that battery life and heat output shouldn't be affected too much. Ben over at UMPCPortal ran some tests on two netbooks – the HP Mini 1000 and the Sony Vaio UX180 – and reported a increase in Crystal Mark scores of around 22 percent.

The application is available for both Linux and Windows – and even MacOS X if you've created yourself a little portable hackintosh – and is described by Plenskiy as “donorware.” Although it's freely to download, the software will stop working after a week – with nothing to stop you re-downloading it and re-installing it should you so choose – unless you donate and receive a serial number.

Even with the GMABooster tool, you're unlikely to be playing Crysis on your netbook, but it's still a pretty clever hack to squeeze that little bit extra performance out of the miniature marvels.

Tempted to give GMABooster a go on your own netbook, or is overclocking a device that is designed for portability over power perfectly pointless? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
Discuss this in the forums
YouTube logo
MSI MPG Velox 100R Chassis Review

October 14 2021 | 15:04