Integrated Graphics Performance

In our 890GX review I looked into integrated graphics performance of the entire Clarkdale lineup vs. AMD's chipset offerings. You can get a look at the full set of data here, but I'll also provide a quick summary here.

Intel's best case performance happens in our Dragon Age Origins benchmark:

Thanks to its 900MHz GPU clock the Core i5 661 does much better than AMD's integrated graphics. The rest of the Clarkdale lineup is basically on par, and the Pentium G6950 is a bit slower. Note that the G6950 is still over 50% faster than G45. That was just a terrible graphics core.

The worst case scenario for Intel's integrated graphics comes up in Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2:

Here even the Core i5 661 can't best AMD's 890GX. Intel's integrated graphics performance can range from much slower to competitive if not faster than AMD's depending on the game. Unfortunately in a couple of key titles Intel is much slower. Using GPU clock speed as a means to differentiate CPUs isn't a wise move if you're trying to build up your reputation for not having terrible graphics.

If you're not going to do any gaming and you're using the integrated graphics for Blu-ray playback, it's a much better story for Intel.

Under load the entire Clarkdale line is very conservative with power consumption.

Full Data in Bench & The Test

We're presenting an abridged set of benchmarks here in the review to avoid this turning into too much of a graph-fest. If you want to see data that you don't see here check out all of these CPUs and more than 100 others in Bench.

Motherboard: ASUS P7H57DV- EVO (Intel H57)
Intel DX58SO (Intel X58)
Intel DX48BT2 (Intel X48)
Gigabyte GA-MA790FX-UD5P (AMD 790FX)
Chipset Drivers: Intel 9.1.1.1015 (Intel)
AMD Catalyst 8.12
Hard Disk: Intel X25-M SSD (80GB)
Memory: Qimonda DDR3-1066 4 x 1GB (7-7-7-20)
Corsair DDR3-1333 4 x 1GB (7-7-7-20)
Patriot Viper DDR3-1333 2 x 2GB (7-7-7-20)
Video Card: eVGA GeForce GTX 280
Video Drivers: NVIDIA ForceWare 180.43 (Vista64)
NVIDIA ForceWare 178.24 (Vista32)
Desktop Resolution: 1920 x 1200
OS: Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit (for SYSMark)
Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit
Index SYSMark 2007 & Photoshop CS4 Performance
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  • Taft12 - Thursday, March 25, 2010 - link

    Citation needed? I've worked with many Intel and AMD systems (mostly Linux however) and never ran into a problem with AHCI. Also, is SATA performance truly impacted assuming you are using mechanical hard drives? Reply
  • KaarlisK - Thursday, March 25, 2010 - link

    A citation regarding the performance:
    http://techreport.com/articles.x/18539/8">http://techreport.com/articles.x/18539/8
    http://techreport.com/articles.x/18539/7">http://techreport.com/articles.x/18539/7

    And USB/PCI/PCIe performance (or CPU usage) is also worse:
    http://techreport.com/articles.x/18539/9">http://techreport.com/articles.x/18539/9

    And a direct quote from TechReport:
    "Unfortunately, AMD's longstanding issues with AHCI Serial ATA controller configurations persist in the SB750, all but forcing users to run the south bridge in plain old IDE mode. That's not the end of the world, but IDE mode doesn't support Serial ATA perks like hot swapping and Native Command Queuing."

    As for problems getting it to work at all, the views are conflicting: http://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=36&am...">http://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=36&am...

    But the fact is, I've had problems installing Win7 in AHCI mode on SB700, then tried the same drive with the ICH7MDH in AHCI mode, and it worked flawlessly.
    Reply
  • CSMR - Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - link

    Advice: If you're going to measure power consumption you should use more appropriate components. People have been getting <25W system idle with some of the Clarkdales.

    Question: are video acceleration features available for all the Clarkdale processors here?
    Reply
  • AtenRa - Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - link

    The numbers at Idle are with the GTX280 (i guess) and not with the intergraded Graphics. ;) Reply
  • clarkn0va - Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - link

    You seem to have missed a couple distinguishing features of the new LGA1156 Pentium. First, it supports ECC when paired with Intel's 3450 chipset. I'm still trying to figure out why (or why Intel doesn't include ECC support on all their CPUs, like AMD does).

    Second would be the "Embedded" designation. I'm not exactly sure what Intel is trying to denote with that, as this is no Atom or Geode with a TDP of 73 Watts.

    http://download.intel.com/pressroom/kits/embedded/...">http://download.intel.com/pressroom/kits/embedded/...
    Reply
  • Perisphetic - Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - link

    I think the major reason is the FUD of how well would the server CPUs fare if Intel did release ECC for the desktop family of CPUs. The problem is that LGA 1156 slots everything from i3, i5, i7 to Xeons. With the proper BIOS you can run a server board with an i7 or vice versa a Xeon in a desktop motherboard. If i7 did have ECC who would buy the Xeons at twice the price. Sure the Xeons have some fancy server features but if you could buy an ECC enabled i7 at half the cost no one would even consider the Xeons. Reply
  • clarkn0va - Thursday, March 25, 2010 - link

    "if you could buy an ECC enabled i7 at half the cost no one would even consider the Xeons."

    Right. Which makes me wonder why this pentium has ECC enabled. It's not an i7, but it's enough of a CPU to fit the bill on many servers, and will take some business away from the higher-priced low-end Xeons.
    Reply
  • has407 - Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - link

    Embedded means Intel will continue to ship the product for 7+ years. That designation is applied to many different products from CPU's to chipsets, and includes (some) high-power parts. Reply
  • SgtSpoon - Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - link

    How can the G6950 outperform the i3 530 in fallout 3?
    Reply
  • SgtSpoon - Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - link

    Also : "As a gaming CPU the Petnium G6950 is on par with the Athlon II X3 440 in our Fallout 3 test"

    Petnium? :)
    Reply

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