Battlefield 3

Our multiplayer action game benchmark of choice is Battlefield 3, DICE’s 2011 multiplayer military shooter. Its ability to pose a significant challenge to GPUs has been dulled some by time and drivers at the high-end, but it’s still a challenge for more entry-level GPUs such as the iGPUs found on Intel and AMD's latest parts. Our goal here is to crack 60fps in our benchmark, as our rule of thumb based on experience is that multiplayer framerates in intense firefights will bottom out at roughly half our benchmark average, so hitting medium-high framerates here is not necessarily high enough.

Battlefield 3

The move to 55W brings Iris Pro much closer to the GT 650M, with NVIDIA's advantage falling to less than 10%. At 47W, Iris Pro isn't able to remain at max turbo for as long. The soft configurable TDP is responsible for nearly a 15% increase in performance here.

Iris Pro continues to put all other integrated graphics solutions to shame. The 55W 5200 is over 2x the speed of the desktop HD 4000 and the same for the mobile Trinity. There's even a healthy gap between it and desktop Trinity/Haswell.

Battlefield 3

Ramp up resolution and quality settings and Iris Pro once again looks far less like a discrete GPU. NVIDIA holds over a 50% advantage here. Once again I don't believe this is memory bandwidth related, Crystalwell appears to be doing its job. Instead it looks like fundamental GPU architecture issue.

Battlefield 3

The gap narrows slightly with an increase in resolution, perhaps indicating that as the limits shift to memory bandwidth Crystalwell is able to win some ground. Overall, there's just an appreciable advantage to NVIDIA's architecture here.

The iGPU comparison continues to be an across the board win for Intel. It's amazing what can happen when you actually dedicate transistors to graphics.

Tomb Raider (2013) Crysis 3
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  • wizfactor - Sunday, June 02, 2013 - link

    Shimpi's guess as to what will go into the 15-inch rMBP is interesting, but I have a gut feeling that it will not be the case. Despite the huge gains that Iris Pro has over the existing HD 4000, it is still a step back from last year's GT 650M. I doubt Apple will be able to convince its customers to spend $2199 on a computer that has less graphics performance than last year's (now discounted) model. Despite its visual similarity to an Air, the rMBP still has performance as a priority, so my guess is that Apple will stick to discrete for the time-being.

    That being said, I think Iris Pro opens up a huge opportunity to the 15-inch rMBP lineup, mainly a lower entry model that finally undercuts the $2000 barrier. In other words, while the $2199 price point may be too high to switch entirely to iGPU, Apple might be able to pull it off at $1799. Want a 15-inch Retina Display? Here's a more affordable model with decent performance. Want a discrete GPU? You can get that with the existing $2199 price point.

    As far as the 13-inch version is concerned, my guesses are rather murky. I would agree with the others that a quad-core Haswell with Iris Pro is the best-case scenario for the 13-inch model, but it might be too high an expectation for Apple engineers to live up to. I think Apple's minimum target with the 13-inch rMBP should be dual-core Haswell with Iris 5100. This way, Apple can stick to a lower TDP via dual-core, and while Iris isn't as strong as Iris Pro, its gain over HD 4000 is enough to justify the upgrade. Of course, there's always the chance that Apple has temporary exclusivity on an unannounced dual-core Haswell with Iris Pro, the same way it had exclusivity with ULV Core 2 Duo years ago with MBA, but I prefer not to make Haswell models out of thin air.
    Reply
  • BSMonitor - Monday, June 03, 2013 - link

    You are assuming that the next MBP will have the same chasis size. If thin is in, the dGPU-less Iris Pro is EXTREMELY attractive for heat/power considerations..

    More likely is the end of the thicker MBP and separate thin MBAir lines. Almost certainly, starting in two weeks we have just one line, MBP all with retina, all the thickness of MBAir. 11" up to 15"..
    Reply
  • TheJian - Sunday, June 02, 2013 - link

    As far as encoding goes, why do you guys ignore cuda?
    http://www.extremetech.com/computing/128681-the-wr...
    Extremetech's last comment:
    "Avoid MediaEspresso entirely."

    So the one you pick is the worst of the bunch to show GPU power....jeez. You guys clearly have a CS6 suite lic so why not run Adobe Premiere which uses Cuda and run it vs the same vid render you use in Sony's Vegas? Surely you can rip the same vid in both to find out why you'd seek a CUDA enabled app to rip with. Handbrake looks like they're working on supporting Cuda also shortly. Or heck, try FREEMAKE (yes free with CUDA). Anything besides ignoring CUDA and acting like this is what a user would get at home. If I owned an NV card (and I don't in my desktop) I'd seek cuda for everything I did that I could find. Freemake just put out another update 5/29 a few days ago.
    http://www.tested.com/tech/windows/1574-handbrake-...
    2.5yrs ago it was equal, my guess is they've improved Cuda use by now. You've gotta love Adam and Jamie... :) Glad they branched out past just the Mythbusters show.
    Reply
  • xrror - Sunday, June 02, 2013 - link

    I have a bad suspicion one of the reasons why you won't see a desktop Haswell part with eDRAM is that it would pretty much euthanize socket 2011 on the spot.

    IF Intel does actually release a "K" part with it enabled, I wonder how restrictive or flexible the frequency ratios on the eDRAM will be?

    Speaking of socket 2011, I wonder if/when Intel will ever refresh it from Sandy-E?
    Reply
  • wizfactor - Sunday, June 02, 2013 - link

    I wouldn't call myself an expert on computer hardware, but isn't it possible that Iris Pro's bottleneck at 1600x900 resolutions could be attributed to insufficient video memory? Sure, that eDRAM is a screamer as far as latency is concerned, but if the game is running on higher resolutions and utilising HD textures, that 128MB would fill up really quickly, and the chip would be forced to swap often. Better to not have to keep loading and unloading stuff in memory, right?

    Others note the similarity between Crystalwell and the Xbox One's 32MB Cache, but let's not forget that the Xbox One has its own video memory; Iris Pro does not, or put another way, it's only got 128 MB of it. In a time where PC games demand at least 512 MB of video RAM or more, shouldn't the bottleneck that would affect Iris Pro be obvious? 128 MB of RAM is sure as hell a lot more than 0, but if games demand at least four times as much memory, then wouldn't Iris Pro be forced to use regular RAM to compensate, still? This sounds to me like what's causing Iris Pro to choke at higher resolutions.

    If I am at least right about Crystalwell, it is still very impressive that Iris Pro was able to get in reach of the GT 650M with so little memory to work with. It could also explain why Iris Pro does so much better in Crysis: Warhead, where the minimum requirements are more lenient with video memory (256 MB minimum). If I am wrong, however, somebody please correct me, and I would love to have more discussion on this matter.
    Reply
  • BSMonitor - Monday, June 03, 2013 - link

    Me thinks thou not know what thou talking about ;) Reply
  • F_A - Monday, June 03, 2013 - link

    The video memory is stored in main memory being it 4GB and above...(so minspecs of crysis are clearly met)... the point is bandwidtht.
    The article is telling there are roughly 50GB/s when the cachè is run with 1.6 Ghz.
    So ramping it up in füture makes the new Iris 5300 i suppose.
    Reply
  • glugglug - Tuesday, June 04, 2013 - link

    Video cards may have 512MB to 1GB of video memory for marketing purposes, but you would be hard pressed to find a single game title that makes use of more than 128. Reply
  • boe - Monday, June 03, 2013 - link

    As soon as intel CPUs have video performance that exceeds NVidia and AMD flagship video cards I'll get excited. Until then I think of them as something to be disabled on workstations and to be tolerated on laptops that don't have better GPUs on board. Reply
  • MySchizoBuddy - Monday, June 03, 2013 - link

    So Intel just took the OpenCL crown. Never thought this day would come. Reply

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