iGPU Gaming Performance

Throughout their history of having fully integrated GPUs, AMD has always favored going for powerful configurations that approach the lower-end of discrete GPU performance. With comparable discrete cards going for $80 or more, a powerful iGPU is a significant value proposition for AMD’s APUs. Furthermore as Intel has continued to stick with relatively lightweight iGPUs for most mainstream SKUs – a trend even the newly released “Coffee Lake” 8th Gen Core family continues – AMD has easily trounced Intel’s iGPU performance.

In fact the most recent 8th Gen Core CPUs generally fail to catch up to AMD’s last-generation 7000/8000 series “Kaveri” APUs, which means that for the launch of AMD’s new Ryzen APUs, the manufacturer is just going to be running up the lead even more. The real question we’ll be looking at on the iGPU side isn’t what’s faster – that’s obvious – but just how many times faster the 2400G & 2200G APUs are over their Intel equivalents, and how they stack up against an entry level discrete video card, the GeForce GT 1030. With upwards of 11 CUs in an APU, on paper the Ryzen APUs should be able to offer 1080p@30fps gaming at maximum (or near-maximum) image quality.

During our pre-briefing, several sets of benchmarks and configurations were 'suggested', focusing on eSports and a mid-range quality setting, to show what the platform can do. For our testing, we used our CPU Gaming 1080p gaming suite. This suite was developed with mid-range and high-end graphics cards in mind, with mostly high or ultra quality settings, pushing beyond what was suggested. The reason we did this was two fold:

  1. In our data, it shows a sizeable difference between integrated graphics solutions that can offer potential, compared to those that fall at the first hurdle. 
  2. Second, it offers a stark reminder that while for the most part websites and enthusiasts like as way lyrical about high-end performance, the data shows both how far integrated graphics has come, and how far it still has to go to qualify for those 'immerse experiences' that Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA all claim are worth reaching for, with higher resolutions and higher fidelity. 

Civilization 6

First up in our CPU gaming tests is Civilization 6. Originally penned by Sid Meier and his team, the Civ series of turn-based strategy games are a cult classic, and many an excuse for an all-nighter trying to get Gandhi to declare war on you due to an integer overflow. Truth be told I never actually played the first version, but every edition from the second to the sixth, including the fourth as voiced by the late Leonard Nimoy, it a game that is easy to pick up, but hard to master.

(1080p) Civilization 6, Average Frame Rate

(1080p) Civilization 6, 99th Percentile

(1080p) Civilization 6, Time Under 30 FPS

While Civilization is not too limited to frame rates, the APUs straddle the 30FPS average, and the GT 1030 comes out on top just about. Intel's integrated graphics options are only 1/3 of what AMD is providing in this case.

Shadow of Mordor

The next title in our testing is a battle of system performance with the open world action-adventure title, Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor (SoM for short). Produced by Monolith and using the LithTech Jupiter EX engine and numerous detail add-ons, SoM goes for detail and complexity. The main story itself was written by the same writer as Red Dead Redemption, and it received Zero Punctuation’s Game of The Year in 2014.

(1080p) Shadow of Mordor, Average Frame Rate

(1080p) Shadow of Mordor, 99th Percentile

(1080p) Shadow of Mordor, Time Under 30 FPS

In Shadow of Mordor, the 2400G takes the top spot in average frame rates, but the GT 1030 just wins on percentiles. Over Kaveri, AMD is now offering double the graphics performance, and over Intel, AMD is easily 2-3x in performance per dollar.

Grand Theft Auto V

The highly anticipated iteration of the Grand Theft Auto franchise hit the shelves on April 14th 2015, with both AMD and NVIDIA in tow to help optimize the title. GTA doesn’t provide graphical presets, but opens up the options to users and extends the boundaries by pushing even the hardest systems to the limit using Rockstar’s Advanced Game Engine under DirectX 11. Whether the user is flying high in the mountains with long draw distances or dealing with assorted trash in the city, when cranked up to maximum it creates stunning visuals but hard work for both the CPU and the GPU.

(1080p) Grand Theft Auto V, Average Frame Rate

(1080p) Grand Theft Auto V, 99th Percentile

(1080p) Grand Theft Auto V, Time Under 30 FPS

The difference between something playable and a slide show was easily noticable in GTA. The GT 1030 had the legs on this one, although the gap between the two AMD parts was mostly noticable in 99th percentile numbers.

Benchmark Overview iGPU Gaming Performance, Cont
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  • richardginn - Monday, February 12, 2018 - link

    If only the ram used in the 2400G review kits was not so god damn expensive. It is more expensive than the CPU. Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Monday, February 12, 2018 - link

    This is true - technically we were sampled a different DDR4-3200 kit to be used. Normally our policy here is to use the maximum supported DRAM frequency of the processor for these tests - in the past there is a war of words when reviews do not, from readers and companies. When we do our memory scaling piece, it'll be with a wide range of offerings. Reply
  • richardginn - Monday, February 12, 2018 - link

    I certainly want to see the memory scaling piece before making a purchase. Reply
  • RBD117 - Monday, February 12, 2018 - link

    Hey Ian, thanks for the great review. I think your Cinebench-1T scores should be higher, in the 151-160 range for the 2200G and 2400G respectively. AMD pushed a microcode update through BIOS to testers very very late last week. A lot of the changes significantly boosted single-thread performance in general, even in some games. Did you folks end up getting this? Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Monday, February 12, 2018 - link

    I only started testing with the new BIOS: can you confirm the difference is on both the motherboards AMD sampled? Some got MSI, others got GIGABYTE. We had MSI. Reply
  • RBD117 - Monday, February 12, 2018 - link

    Ah okay. I believe it should have been updated on both MSI and Gigabyte...at least, I was told it should have landed on both platforms for standardization. Reply
  • jrs77 - Monday, February 12, 2018 - link

    I would've loved to see you compare the 2400G against the i7-5775C with regards to 1080p gaming, as I can play games like Borderlands, WoW or Diablo in 1080p with medium settings on my Broadwell Iris graphics just fine.

    If the 2400G doesn't allow for higher graphics settings than the i7-5775C, than I don't really see them taking the crown for integrated graphics. intel is just too stoopid to use what they have it seems.
    Reply
  • nierd - Monday, February 12, 2018 - link

    When that i7 cost less than 150 then it will make the chart. At the price point it's at I can buy one of these chips and a $200 graphics card and do laps around the i7 all day. Reply
  • Cooe - Monday, February 12, 2018 - link

    Here's an article with a bunch of graph's that include the i7-5775C if you'd prefer to peep this instead of that vid.
    https://hothardware.com/reviews/amd-raven-ridge-ry...
    Reply
  • Cooe - Monday, February 12, 2018 - link

    Your i7-5775C isn't even as fast as an old Kavari A10 w/ 512 GCN2 SP's (it's close, but no cigar), so vs Vega 8 & 11 it gets it's ass absolutely handed to it... like by a lot - https://youtu.be/sCWOfwcYmHI Reply

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