GMA Booster is a free program for Microsoft Windows devices to accelerate certain Intel chipsets to improve their gaming performance.
Laptops with integrated graphic accelerators like Intel's GMA (Graphics Media Accelerator) are not capable of providing enough performance for state of the art computer games.
They do run old school computer games well but fail when it comes to the likes of Crysis or other state of the art computer games that require high end graphic accelerators to work at all, or at least with a decent number of frames per second.
Many users do not know on the other hand that there are fundamental differences between different Intel GMA chipsets.
While some chipsets like the GMA 950 support Windows Aero and QuartzGL and provide a solid performance in games, many older chipsets do not. This can largely be attributed to the fact that many of these Intel chipsets are underclocked to 133/166 MHz instead of 400 MHz.
GMA Booster (via Shell City) takes that knowledge and provides a software interface for both Windows and Macintosh computers that boosts the chipset clock to 400 MHz of underclocked chipsets without voltage changes or affecting system stability.
The program has been tested and confirmed to work with the following chipsets: Intel 945GM/GME/GMS/GSE and 943/940GML/GU Express featuring GMA 950).
While a performance boost of up to 2.4 looks good on paper it can be a completely different picture in real life situations. The developers of the software program have tested the performance in 3D Mark 06. The result was an increase of 2.2x in single texturing / multi texturing performance and an 1.8x increase in Pixel Shader frames per seconds.
Results may differ depending on the Intel graphics accelerator that has been built-in to the laptop but it is usually safe to say that a performance increase will be visible.
Note that even an increase in performance by the factor 2 may not be enough to even play the most taxing games. While you will see improvements in games that ran on the underclocked system, it is likely that state of the art games may still not play at all, or not well enough to make it an enjoyable experience.
The only nuisance is that the developers let the software expire frequently. The only option in this case is to download the latest version from the developer's homepage again.
Note: The most recent version of GMA Booster supports Intel GMA 900, GMA 950, GMA x3100 and GMA x4500 chipsets.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.