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


View All Comments

  • The0ne - Wednesday, March 07, 2012 - link

    "There's not enough of an improvement to make existing SNB owners want to upgrade, but if you're still clinging to an old Core 2 (or earlier) system, Ivy will be a great step forward."

    Basically all the laptops in the last few years for business have been bought with C2D. I think with Ivy, it's a great time to upgrade them all and see a good improvement. Same for family members too. I can't wait to try them out! Thanks for the review Anand.
  • benjaminbldp - Thursday, March 08, 2012 - link

    maybe intel should drop the graphics all together, i don't like it, let the pro take care of it. just too much. Reply
  • dr/owned - Thursday, March 08, 2012 - link

    This article blows because there's no overclocking results. We're not looking for a fine tuned overclock. Just give us the rough and dirty! My money is on 5 ghz with minimal effort using an air cooler. Reply
  • dagamer34 - Thursday, March 08, 2012 - link

    It's a preview, not a review. Reply
  • dr/owned - Thursday, March 08, 2012 - link

    It seems like Intel has the tick-tocks backwards. The i7-920 is arguably the greatest cpu to come out in recent years and it was "just" a tick. Reply
  • Wardrop - Thursday, March 08, 2012 - link

    I'm afraid you have it backwards.

    The i7-920 is a Nehalem processor (it's a 45nm chip). It's a tock. Why is this concept so hard to grasp?
  • bigboxes - Thursday, March 08, 2012 - link

    Look at the chart. Nehalem (i920) was a tock. Reply
  • just4U - Thursday, March 08, 2012 - link

    I have to disagree with you on the i920 being such a huge leap. As someone who goes thru virtually every cpu line up for AMD/Intel I'd have to say the C2D (or quad) 6x series was the biggest leap forward in the past decade. Before that it was the A64 and X2 variants (altho.. we didn't get alot of use out of those secondary cores) Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Thursday, March 08, 2012 - link

    LOL, this must be the most hilarious argument I've heard in a while.

    How do you relate 30+ % graphics gain as being ALL CPU? Don't be ridiculous, and that's an understatement.
  • Silma - Thursday, March 08, 2012 - link

    Are low-res testing really relevant for graphics?

    Most players play at 1920x1080 or higher.
    1368x720 or 1680x1050 does not seem relevant to me at all for most people, especially those purchasing a computer with this processor.

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