Having the ability to overclock integrated graphics in the BIOS is not very common and is definitely not something that I expected to see when looking into these boards. While certain 690G based motherboards will have a BIOS setting that allows for easy overclocking from the BIOS, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be done with software within Windows. Our test system was running Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit and was able to run ATITool 0.26 without any issues at all.
Overclocking the ATI Radeon Xpress 1250 graphics engine from 400MHz to 525MHz goes to show that the chipset has plenty of head room when it comes to overclocking. This 125Mhz overclock is an overclock of greater than 30%, which is impressive for an integrated chipset. While overclocking the core is beneficial, it would have been nice if the memory clock frequency could also be adjusted. I’m not complaining about the performance increase because a ~11% increase on F.E.A.R. is better than expected.
I also ran the Windows Experience Index, which is a new feature that is built into Windows Vista. It is designed to help consumers understand how well Windows Vista and the software running on it will perform on that specific PC. The scale of the Windows Experience Index scales from 1 to 5.9, with the higher the score the better. Our system scored 3.0 due to the gaming graphics at both default and overclocked IGP settings.
Microsoft says this about base score level 3.0 computers:
This level represents the value end of machines that will ship at the end of 2006 and into 2007. This is the lowest capability Windows Premium Logo PC that will ship with Windows Vista™ pre-installed. Windows Vista will generally enable Aero automatically on level 3 machines. Aero will perform quite well on level 3 machines with single monitors. With dual monitors (especially larger than 1280×1024), users may see noticeable performance issues from time to time, especially on machines with scores less than 3.5 and/or 128MB of graphics memory.
It would seem that the AMD 690G falls into Microsoft’s scoring system right where it should be, but it’s a little disappointing that we couldn’t increase the gaming graphics score with overclocking.
Legit Bottom Line: The AMD 690G chipset has integrated ATI Radeon Xpress 1250 graphics that have plenty of room for overclocking when using the right utility, which will significantly boost frame rates!