Thanks to Thomas from DVhardware.net, I learned that Microsoft released a document explaining the way how WARP10 works. WARP stands for Windows Advanced Rasterization Platform, or “The Return of the Software Rasterizer”.
According to the document, this software rasterizer will come bundled with DirectX 11 and Windows 7. What make the matters important are performance scores. Microsoft states that the company tested Crysis in DX10 mode at 800×600, and saw better performance with WARP than graphics subsystem. The company compared G45 graphics subsystem with Core 2 Extreme QX9650 (3.0 GHz) and saw that WARP10 will bring up a framerate of 5.69 fps (341 frame per minute), faster than integrated graphics! Integrated graphics subsystem only managed 5.17 fps (310 fpm) and this can be viewed as material witness in any discussion that talks about Intel’s integrated graphics. The graphics processor that is shipped in almost half of all the computers in the world is drop-dead slow, and is even slower than CPU that uses upcoming software renderer.
WARP10 is also supporting hyper-threading feature, since Core i7 matched clock-per-clock scored 7.36 fps (442 fpm). This is a major victory for Hyper-Threading technology, since it manages to render 101 frames more than clock-per-clock matched Core 2 Quad. Truth to be told, all of these results come into play when you compare the performance with one of the cheapest and slowest cards on the market, Nvidia’s GeForce 8400GS. That card will render Crysis (same settings) at 33.89 fps or 2033 frames in a single minute.
In my view, the path of the future is very simple – either CPU rendering for unacceptable performance, or decent discrete/integrated performance from AMD and Nvidia. Personally, I would not recommend Intel graphics until the company comes out with Larrabee. Their CPUs are other thing, though. But at this moment, Intel’s graphics performance is just not acceptable.