Intel's HD 2500 & Quick Sync Performance

What makes the 3470 particularly interesting to look at is the fact that it features Intel's HD 2500 processor graphics. The main difference between the 2500 and 4000 is the number of compute units on-die:

Intel Processor Graphics Comparison
  Intel HD 2500 Intel HD 4000
EUs 6 16
Base Clock 650MHz 650MHz
Max Turbo 1150MHz 1150MHz

At 6 EUs, Intel's HD 2500 has the same number of compute resources as the previous generation HD 2000. In fact, Intel claims that performance should be around 10 - 20% faster than HD 2000 in 3D games. Given that Intel's HD 4000 is getting close to the minimum level of 3D performance we'd like to see from Intel, chances are the 2500 will not impress. We'll get to quantifying that shortly, but the good news is Quick Sync performance is retained:

CyberLink Media Espresso 6.5 - Harry Potter 8 Transcode

The HD 2500 does a little better than our HD 4000 here, but that's just normal run to run variance. Quick Sync does rely heavily on the EU array for transcode work, but it looks like the workload itself isn't heavy enough to distinguish between the 6 EU HD 2500 and the 16 EU HD 4000. If your only need for Intel's processor graphics is for transcode work, the HD 2500 appears indistinguishable from the HD 4000.

The bad news is I can't say the same about its 3D graphics performance.

Introduction & Overclocking Intel HD 2500 Performance


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  • BSMonitor - Thursday, May 31, 2012 - link

    f they truly were interested in building the best APU. And by that, a knockout iGPU experience.

    Where are the dual-core Core i7's with 30-40 EU's??
    Or the AMD <whatevers> (not sure anymore what they call their APU) Phenom X2 CPU with 1200 Shaders??

    When we are talking about a truly GPU intense application, a LOT of times single/dual core CPU is enough. Heck, if you were to take a dual-core Core 2, and stick it with a GeForce 670 or Radeon 7950.. You would see very similar numbers in terms of gaming performance to what's in the BENCH charts. ESP at the 1920x1080 and below.

    Surely Intel can afford another die that aims a ton of transistors at just the GPU side of things. AMD, maybe. Why do we get from BOTH, their top end iGPU stuck with the most transistors dedicated to the CPU??

    I find it hard to believe anyone shopping for an APU is hoping for amazing CPU performance to go with their average iGPU performance. That market would be the opposite. Sacrifice a few threads on the CPU side for amazing iGPU.

    Am I missing something technically limiting?? Is that many GPU units overkill in terms of power/heat dissipation of the CPU socket??
  • tipoo - Thursday, May 31, 2012 - link

    Well, their chips have to work in a certain set of thermal limits. Maybe at this point 1200 shader cores would not be possible on the same die as a quad core CPU for power consumption and heat reasons. I think Haswel will have 64 EUs though if the rumours are true. Reply
  • Roland00Address - Thursday, May 31, 2012 - link

    There is no point of a 1200 shaders apu due to memory bandwidth. You couldn't feed a beast of an apu with only dual channel 1600 mhz memory when that same memory limits the performance of llano and trinity compared to their gpu cousins which have the same calculation units and core clocks but the gpus perform significantly better. Reply
  • silverblue - Thursday, May 31, 2012 - link

    Possibly, but at the moment, bandwidth is a surefire performance killer. Reply
  • BSMonitor - Thursday, May 31, 2012 - link

    Good Points. But currently, Intel has Quad Channel DDR3-1600 up on the Socket 2011. I am sure AMD could get more bandwidth there too, if they step up the memory controller.

    My overall point, is that neither is even trying for a low-medium transistor CPU and a high transistor GPU.

    It's either Low-Medium CPU with Low-Medium GPU (disabled cores and what have you), or High End CPU with "High End" GPU.

    There is no attempt at giving up CPU die space for more GPU transistors from either.. None. If you someone spends $$ on the High End of the CPU (Quad Core i7), the implementation of iGPU is not even close to worth using for that much CPU.
  • Roland00Address - Thursday, May 31, 2012 - link

    Quad Channel is not a "free upgrade" it requires much more traces on the motherboard as well as more pins on the cpu socket. This dramtically increases costs for the motherboard and the cpu. Both of those are going against what AMD is trying to do with their APUs which will be both laptop as well as desktop chips. They are trying to increase their margins on their chips not decrease them.

    You have a large number OEMs only putting a single 4gb ddr3 stick in laptops and desktops (thus not achieving dual channel) in the current apus. You want think those same vendors are suddenly going to put 16gbs of memory on an apu (and it is going to be 16gbs since 2gb ddr3 sticks are being phased out via the memory manufactures.)
  • tipoo - Thursday, May 31, 2012 - link

    I'm curious why the HD4000 outperforms something like the 5450 by nearly double in Skyrim, yet falls behind in something like Portal or Civ, or even Minecraft? Is it immature drivers or something in the architecture itself? Reply
  • ShieTar - Thursday, May 31, 2012 - link

    For Minecraft, read the article and what it has to say about OpenGL.

    For Portal or Civ, it might very well be related to Memory Bandwidth. The HD2500 can have 25.6 GB/s (with DDR3-1600), or even more. The 5450 generally comes with half as much (12.8 GB/s), or even a quarter of it since there are also 5450s with DDR2.

    As a matter of fact, I remember reading several reports on how much the Llano-Graphics would improve with faster Memory, even beyond DDR3-1600. I havn't seen any tests on the impact of memory speed from Ivy Bridge or Trinity yet, but that would be interesting given their increased computing powers.
  • silverblue - Thursday, May 31, 2012 - link

    I'm sure it'll matter for both, more so for Trinity. I'm not sure we'll see much in the way of a comparison until the desktop Trinity appears, but for IB, I'm certainly waiting. Reply
  • tipoo - Thursday, May 31, 2012 - link

    Having half the memory bandwidth would lead to the reverse expectation, the 5450 is close to or even surpasses the HD4000 with twice the bandwidth in those games, yet the 4000 beats it by almost double in games like Skyrim, even the 2500 beats it there. Reply

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