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Dell shows a misleading image quality picture to flog graphics cards

Blurs reality
Thu Nov 24 2011, 17:40

TIN BOX FLOGGER Dell has been caught offering misleading advice on the image quality produced by 'standard' and 'high-end' graphics cards.

As part of Dell's 'Help Me Choose" website on graphics cards, the firm shows two seemingly identical monitors displaying the same image. The image on one of the monitors connected to a "standard graphics card" appears to have muted colours and be out of focus, while the second monitor connected to a "high-end graphics card" has a sharper image with higher colour saturation.


While the drastic image difference is woefully misleading, curiously Dell's textual description of integrated and discrete graphics, albeit simplistic, is on the mark.

Dell's summary of integrated graphics, which the firm claims is a "basic solution", says, "While integrated graphics are capable of processing some 3D images, the shared resources can sometimes prevent them from delivering an optimal experience."

As for Dell's summary of discrete graphics cards, which the firm labels as a "Mid-range to high-end solution", it said, "Because this solution does not burden the CPU and system memory, overall system performance is likely to be significantly better with discrete graphics when running applications that use complex images."

Although many computer enthusiasts might be unhappy at the lack of detail, there's nothing fundamentally wrong with Dell's summary of integrated and discrete graphics cards. The problem is with the graphical representation, which the firm knows is what consumers will remember.

Assuming Dell is showing two identical monitors connected by the same interface using the same colour profile, then it is incredibly unlikely that a 'standard graphics card' - which Dell does not define - could produce such low image quality compared to a 'high-end graphics card' - another term that Dell does not define.

Image qualities from GPU vendors such as AMD, Intel and Nvidia do vary but are usually only discernable in games with high-levels of anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering being applied. Neither would apply in the image of a Windows desktop that is displayed on both monitors in Dell's images.

Dell was unable to provide us with comment regarding its "Help me choose" graphics card advice by press time. µ


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