Discrete GPU Gaming Performance

Gaming performance with a discrete GPU does improve in line with the rest of what we've seen thus far from Ivy Bridge. It's definitely a step ahead of Sandy Bridge, but not enough to warrant an upgrade in most cases. If you haven't already made the jump to Sandy Bridge however, the upgrade will do you well.

Dragon Age Origins

DAO has been a staple of our CPU gaming benchmarks for some time now. The third/first person RPG is well threaded and is influenced both by CPU and GPU performance. Our benchmark is a FRAPS runthrough of our character through a castle.

Dragon Age Origins - 1680 x 1050 - Max Settings (no AA/Vsync)

Dawn of War II

Dawn of War II is an RTS title that ships with a built in performance test. I ran at Ultra quality settings at 1680 x 1050:

Dawn of War II - 1680 x 1050 - Ultra Settings

World of Warcraft

Our WoW test is run at High quality settings on a lightly populated server in an area where no other players are present to produce repeatable results. We ran at 1680 x 1050.

World of Warcraft

Starcraft 2

We have two Starcraft II benchmarks: a GPU and a CPU test. The GPU test is mostly a navigate-around-the-map test, as scrolling and panning around tends to be the most GPU bound in the game. Our CPU test involves a massive battle of 6 armies in the center of the map, stressing the CPU more than the GPU. At these low quality settings however, both benchmarks are influenced by CPU and GPU. We'll get to the GPU test shortly, but our CPU test results are below. The benchmark runs at 1024 x 768 at Medium Quality settings with all CPU influenced features set to Ultra.

Starcraft 2

Metro 2033

We're using the Metro 2033 benchmark that ships with the game. We run the benchmark at 1024 x 768 for a more CPU bound test as well as 1920 x 1200 to show what happens in a more GPU bound scenario.

Metro 2033 Frontline Benchmark - 1024 x 768 - DX11 High Quality

Metro 2033 Frontline Benchmark - 1920 x 1200 - DX11 High Quality

DiRT 3

We ran two DiRT 3 benchmarks to get an idea for CPU bound and GPU bound performance. First the CPU bound settings:

DiRT 3 - Aspen Benchmark - 1024 x 768 Low Quality

DiRT 3 - Aspen Benchmark - 1920 x 1200 High Quality

Crysis: Warhead

Crysis Warhead Assault Benchmark - 1680 x 1050 Mainstream DX10 64-bit

Civilization V

Civ V's lateGameView benchmark presents us with two separate scores: average frame rate for the entire test as well as a no-render score that only looks at CPU performance. We're looking at the no-render score here to isolate CPU performance alone:

Civilization V - 1680 x 1050 - DX11 High Quality

Compression & Encryption Performance Power Consumption
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  • sabot00 - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    How long will Intel keep its HD Graphics increases? Reply
  • MonkeyPaw - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    I don't understand the logic of selling a high end CPU with the best IGP. Seems like anyone running an it isn't going to stick with the IGP for games, and if they aren't gaming, then what good is that high-end GPU? Maybe the entire "Core i" line should use the HD 4000. Reply
  • Flunk - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    Because the low end chips are just die-harvested high end chips it makes sense. No reason to disable it so they leave it on.

    And some people do actually use high end processors with IGPs. It's fairly easy to get one from a major OEM. It's stupid but most people don't know any better.
    Reply
  • aahkam - Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - link

    Funny comments I saw.

    What's wrong even if the High End CPU that comes with IGP?

    Is High End CPU = Gaming Machine CPU? If that is your logic, you're a rich but shallow boy!

    I do lots of Video Editing and Transcoding, I need High End CPU but None of the High End GPU beats Quick Sync in Transcoding in terms of Quality and Speed.
    Reply
  • dqniel - Friday, April 06, 2012 - link

    "and if they aren't gaming, then what good is that high-end GPU?"

    I feel like you missed that part. He's not saying that only gamers use high-end CPUs. He's saying that gamers using a high-end CPU won't care about the high-end iGPU because they won't use it. Also, non-gamers who need a high-end CPU generally won't see the benefits of the included high-end iGPU. So, he proposes that the better niche for the high-end iGPU would be on the more affordable CPUs, because then budget-minded gamers could buy an affordable CPU that has a relatively powerful iGPU integrated into it.
    Reply
  • defter - Wednesday, March 07, 2012 - link

    This is a mid-range CPU, not high-end one.

    High desktop CPUs (i7 3800-3900) don't have IGP.
    Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Wednesday, March 07, 2012 - link

    It is because laptops continue to get slimmer and slimmer. Getting good GPU performance without the compromises on the chassis that a dedicated GPU would force is the point. Reply
  • Tormeh - Wednesday, March 07, 2012 - link

    This.

    My next laptop will have processor graphics for the sake of battery life and size, and whoever has the best graphics gets my money.
    Reply
  • bznotins - Wednesday, March 07, 2012 - link

    Seconded. Reply
  • aguilpa1 - Wednesday, March 07, 2012 - link

    If the 4000HD is on the level of lets say a 560m I would not hesitate to get a laptop with no dedicated graphics but if it isn't I'm still going to go for the dedicated. Reply

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