The effect of OS on GMA 500
The GMA 500, also known as the Intel's variant of SGX535 is generally regarded as really slow. It is true the hardware isn't capable of even at the level of the worst integrated graphics(GMA 950), it can make up a lot when using a different OS.
I was playing around with the iPad yesterday because it had Q3A installed. I thought this would be a good time to test so I set the settings to 800x600 med-high. Unfortunately, I couldn't run the timedemo due to lack of a keyboard but I loaded the game up to get a subjective feel on how it performs.
-From my brief test and some of the videos I can find on the net, it gets 30-40 fps at that setting
-Windows-based GMA 500 + Atom devices get 25 fps with everything set to low
-Intel's demo of Moorestown on Android had it running at 60 fps at unknown settings
GMA 500 devices, with the latest driver can run 720p on the graphics hardware as well, but it can't do 720p flash without significant stuttering. More slim OSes like Android and MeeGo might be able to run them without problems though.
So the upcoming Atom devices using the GMA 600(higher clock GMA 500) might work after all. Choosing an OS other than windows is the key here.
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