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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  • tipoo - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    It still seems to me that this misses where it would benefit most: 13 inch laptops, which currently mostly use dual core processors. GT3e would make something like the Retina MBP 13" much more appealing for instance, but it's paired with processors such that the wattage would be too high. Reply
  • tipoo - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    Oh and I wanted to ask, if the integrated graphics are disabled can the CPU still tap into the eDRAM? Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    Yes, it's a dedicated cache for both the CPU and the GPU. However it's very unlikely you're going to run into any scenario that uses a Crystalwell-equipped part in such a manner. It's not being sold in socket form, so it will go to OEMs, who in turn would only use it if they didn't include a dGPU. Reply
  • jeffkibuule - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    So pretty much, unless you've got some huge beefy GPU that would absolutely suck up power compared to just using Iris Pro graphics, no one would opt for that SKU? Reply
  • shiznit - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    Right on. A dual core model for the 13" rMPB would have me selling my 2012 immediately. Now I need to decide if I can live with the 15" or even bother. Reply
  • moep - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    If i interpreted the results of this article correctly, I suspect that the 15" MBP is probably going to get a new and even thinner form factor with this refresh. (one chip less, fewer VRM related parts, lower combined TDP)

    A 15" rMBP approaching the weight of a 15" Macbook Air would be very interesting, although a part of me hoped that Apple would wait until Broadwell to ditch the dGPU in the 15".

    Such a step back in GPU performance with the Retina display is surely not going to be very pleasant in 3D applications.
    Reply
  • Galatian - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    I actually hope/suspect, that Apple will go the other road: use a discrete graphic solution on the 15" rMBP until Broadwell comes out, but have a cTDPdown version of the 4850HQ on the 13" rMBP. Maybe they can even get the normal TDP version in there; after all it has the same (good) cooling the 15" rMBP has and I have never heard the fans on mine. I think Apple really designed it with Haswell in mind, so let's see what they'll bring on during the next few weeks. Reply
  • tipoo - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    That's certainly the best case, I really hope they go down that road. The rMBP as a quad with Iris Pro would really make it worth the Pro name. Reply
  • vFunct - Sunday, June 02, 2013 - link

    They'll probably stick with the built in GPU for the 13" model and a discrete GPU for the 15" model, which is what they do right now.

    Apple's top-end MacBook Pro has always had the highest end discrete GPU available.
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, June 04, 2013 - link

    I'm guessing you mean "for a given power usage", as there are definitely faster GPUs out there than the 650M. Reply

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