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AMD Trinity Gaming Performance

After the 3DMark results, you might be wondering if Intel has finally caught up to AMD in terms of integrated graphics performance. The answer is…yes and no. Depending on the game, there are times where a fast Ivy Bridge CPU with HD 4000 will actually beat out Trinity; there are also times where Intel’s IGP really struggles to keep pace. The good news is that at least everyone is now onboard the DX11 bandwagon, and compatibility with games has improved yet again for Intel. Here are our “Value” benchmark results for seven recent games; we’ll have more information in a moment.

Batman: Arkham City—Value

Battlefield 3—Value

Civilization V—Value

DiRT 3—Value

Elder Scrolls: Skyrim—Value

Portal 2—Value

Total War: Shogun 2—Value

Out of our seven test titles, AMD’s Trinity leads any other IGP in four titles by a large margin. The other three titles actually have Ivy Bridge slightly ahead of Trinity, but the gaps aren’t nearly as big. Overall, the average performance across the seven games at our Value (medium) settings has AMD’s Trinity A10-4600M leading Intel’s i7-3720QM by 21%, and if we look at quad-core Sandy Bridge with HD 3000 (i7-2820QM) Trinity is 72% faster. Trinity is also around 20% faster than 35W Llano on average.

Let’s expand our gaming suite just a bit to see if things change, though. Just like we did with Ivy Bridge, we ran the eight games in our previous benchmark suite at medium detail settings. We can then compare performance across a wider 15 title selection to see how Trinity matches up against HD 4000, HD 3000, and HD 6620G (Llano). We’ll start with the bottom (HD 3000/Sandy Bridge) and move up.

Llano’s HD 6620G was already faster than HD 3000, and Trinity’s HD 7660G is faster than Llano, so the Sandy Bridge gaming matchup is a landslide victory in AMD’s favor. The closest Intel can get is in the same three titles where Ivy Bridge leads Trinity: Batman: Arkham City, DiRT 3, and Skyrim. Here, however, HD 3000 can’t actually close the gap and HD 6620G is at least 20% faster than HD 3000, with an average performance improvement of nearly 80%.

We found that across the same selection of 15 titles, Ivy Bridge and Llano actually ended up “tied”—Intel led in some games, AMD in others, but on average the two IGPs offered similar performance. This chart and the next chart will thus show a similar average increase in performance for Trinity, but the details in specific games are going to be different. Starting with Ivy Bridge and HD 4000, as with our earlier game charts we see there are some titles where Intel leads (Batman and Skyrim), a couple ties (DiRT 3 and Mass Effect 2), and the remainder of the games are faster on Trinity. Mafia II is close to our <10% “tie” range but comes in just above that mark, as do Left 4 Dead 2 and Metro 2033. The biggest gap is Civilization V, where Intel’s various IGPs have never managed good performance; Trinity is nearly twice as fast as Ivy Bridge in that title. Overall, it's a 20% lead for Trinity vs. quad-core Ivy Bridge.

Against Llano, Trinity is universally faster, but the smallest gap is in Mafia II (3%) while the largest gap is in StarCraft II (30%). On average, looking at these games Trinity is only 18% faster than Llano. What’s not entirely clear from the above chart is whether we’re hitting CPU limitations, memory bandwidth limitations (remember that Llano and Trinity share bandwidth with the rest of the system), or perhaps both. At our chosen settings, what is clear is that Trinity’s “up to 56% faster” graphics never make it that high.

We saw 35-45% higher scores in 3DMark 11 and Vantage, which tend to remove the CPU from the equation more than actual games, so our guess would be that if AMD continues with their APU plan they’re going to need to work more on the CPU side of the equation. We also see the same thing looking at the VAIO SE scores in the earlier gaming charts: the HD 6630M scores are 20% faster on average, but much of that appears to come from the faster CPU rather than the GPU.

AMD Trinity General Performance AMD’s Heterogeneous Computing with Trinity
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  • duploxxx - Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - link

    if you want a more responsive laptop then buy an SSD, no one needs a laptop like the recent released Intel QC that turbo up all the way to 3.xxx whalhalle GHZ... its disc performance that is lacking most. Reply
  • jabber - Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - link

    Exactly.

    My main laptop that I use most of the day is a 1.3Ghz CULV dual core from Intel. It does everything I need as a roving PC engineer. It benches the same as an old PentiumD 2.8Ghz.

    If I put a SSD in it (which I want to) then I'd probably struggle to tell it apart day to day from one with a i5 cpu in it. CPU makes no difference to me.

    Since dual cores came out in 2005/6 customers dont notice CPU upgrades all that much. You put a SSD in though and they notice that. Oh and if they can play WoW or Sims with the trimmings then they love that too.

    Once again is it possible to add the latest Sims game to the benchmarks list? I dont play it myself but nearly every teens laptop I get has it on and I do get asked about good laptops for such a game.
    Reply
  • BSMonitor - Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - link

    Roving PC engineer? You mean you go to meetings and look at Word Documents. That hardly makes you the "average" user. The rest of us do the actual work. Reply
  • Spunjji - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    Look up the meaning of the word average. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    I'll monitor this one - since really old cpu's are way more than enough grunt since the trinity cpu sucks so badly and amd needs another gigantic hand of endless applause and praise by many frenetic amd fans flavoring up the place, we have learned one thing -

    All the old laptops are just fine. If you have a discrete of any sort, just use that. Add a little cheap ram, or add an SSD and it will beat trinity no problem all the time.

    I thank all the trinity lovers for the hot tip - no one needs a trinity laptop.
    Reply
  • BSMonitor - Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - link

    Not for facebooking and trolling no. But I do real work on my PC. Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - link

    Name the part of their CPU performance that doesn't meet the "good enough" metric. Seriously, convince me of your argument. So far it sounds like the usual crap I hear from people who don't understand the average user's needs. Reply
  • BSMonitor - Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - link

    And you speak for "average" user like you know 100 million business users. I work in an IT shop. It took years of convincing to get off our P4's to Core2Duo. Because management takes the "good enough" stance like you. Waiting for email client base on JAVA runtime is NOT acceptable. Having Adobe reader pages lag when browsing them, re-sizing, is NOT acceptable. It STILL lags behind my Core i7 machine at home. And is VERY noticeable.

    Again, ebay, FB, yahoo... These are not the majority of users who care about performance.

    In regards to 14 y/o's and housewives, yes, trinity rules. But then so did those laptops from 6 years ago. For them.
    Reply
  • sumguy+4 - Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - link

    So you are claiming that Intel's performance has improved by only 20% over the past 6 years??!?

    The article's summary stated that Trinity's CPU deficit vs Intel is 20-25% (while being cheaper and offering better video perf)

    Show us the mobile CPU from 6 years ago that could even come close.
    Reply
  • juampavalverde - Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - link

    Wait... youre using and email client? haha... and its based on java? LOL!. And youre using adobe reader? ROTFL!

    A great part of the performance comes using software that gets all the juice from the hardware you have, there is no need even in the newest systems to use so bloated software.

    By the way, i have an old HP 6910p with a C2D and 2 GB DDR2, GM965, it kicks butt and im thinking to throw a cheap SSD on it because is good enough to do any task i need to do (office apps, web apps, remote connections).
    Reply

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