Compute Performance

With Haswell, Intel enables full OpenCL 1.2 support in addition to DirectX 11.1 and OpenGL 4.0. Given the ALU-heavy GPU architecture, I was eager to find out how well Iris Pro did in our compute suite.

As always we'll start with our DirectCompute game example, Civilization V, which uses DirectCompute to decompress textures on the fly. Civ V includes a sub-benchmark that exclusively tests the speed of their texture decompression algorithm by repeatedly decompressing the textures required for one of the game’s leader scenes. While DirectCompute is used in many games, this is one of the only games with a benchmark that can isolate the use of DirectCompute and its resulting performance.

Compute: Civilization V

Iris Pro does very well here, tying the GT 640 but losing to the 650M. The latter holds a 16% performance advantage, which I can only assume has to do with memory bandwidth given near identical core/clock configurations between the 650M and GT 640. Crystalwell is clearly doing something though because Intel's HD 4600 is less than 1/3 the performance of Iris Pro 5200 despite having half the execution resources.

Our next benchmark is LuxMark2.0, the official benchmark of SmallLuxGPU 2.0. SmallLuxGPU is an OpenCL accelerated ray tracer that is part of the larger LuxRender suite. Ray tracing has become a stronghold for GPUs in recent years as ray tracing maps well to GPU pipelines, allowing artists to render scenes much more quickly than with CPUs alone.

Compute: LuxMark 2.0

Moving to OpenCL, we see huge gains from Intel. Kepler wasn't NVIDIA's best compute part, but Iris Pro really puts everything else to shame here. We see near perfect scaling from Haswell GT2 to GT3. Crystalwell doesn't appear to be doing much here, it's all in the additional ALUs.

Our 3rd benchmark set comes from CLBenchmark 1.1. CLBenchmark contains a number of subtests; we’re focusing on the most practical of them, the computer vision test and the fluid simulation test. The former being a useful proxy for computer imaging tasks where systems are required to parse images and identify features (e.g. humans), while fluid simulations are common in professional graphics work and games alike.

Compute: CLBenchmark 1.1 Computer Vision

Compute: CLBenchmark 1.1 Fluid Simulation

Once again, Iris Pro does a great job here, outpacing everything else by roughly 70% in the Fluid Simulation test.

Our final compute benchmark is Sony Vegas Pro 12, an OpenGL and OpenCL video editing and authoring package. Vegas can use GPUs in a few different ways, the primary uses being to accelerate the video effects and compositing process itself, and in the video encoding step. With video encoding being increasingly offloaded to dedicated DSPs these days we’re focusing on the editing and compositing process, rendering to a low CPU overhead format (XDCAM EX). This specific test comes from Sony, and measures how long it takes to render a video.

Compute: Sony Vegas Pro 12 Video Render

Iris Pro rounds out our compute comparison with another win. In fact, all of the Intel GPU solutions do a good job here.

3DMarks & GFXBenchmark Quick Sync & CPU Performance
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  • kyuu - Saturday, June 1, 2013 - link

    It's probably habit coming from eluding censoring. Reply
  • maba - Saturday, June 1, 2013 - link

    To be fair, there is only one data point (GFXBenchmark 2.7 T-Rex HD - 4X MSAA) where the 47W cTDP configuration is more than 40% slower than the tested GT 650M (rMBP15 90W).
    Actually we have the following [min, max, avg, median] for 47W (55W):
    games: 61%, 106%, 78%, 75% (62%, 112%, 82%, 76%)
    synth.: 55%, 122%, 95%, 94% (59%, 131%, 102%, 100%)
    compute: 85%, 514%, 205%, 153% (86%, 522%, 210%, 159%)
    overall: 55%, 514%, 101%, 85% (59%, 522%, 106%, 92%)
    So typically around 75% for games with a considerably lower TDP - not that bad.
    I do not know whether Intel claimed equal or better performance given a specific TDP or not. With the given 47W (55W) compared to a 650M it would indeed be a false claim.
    But my point is, that with at least ~60% performance and typically ~75% it is admittedly much closer than you stated.
    Reply
  • whyso - Saturday, June 1, 2013 - link

    Note your average 650m is clocked lower than the 650m reviewed here. Reply
  • lmcd - Saturday, June 1, 2013 - link

    If I recall correctly, the rMBP 650m was clocked as high as or slightly higher than the 660m (which was really confusing at the time). Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, June 2, 2013 - link

    Correct. GT 650M by default is usually 835MHz + Boost, with 4GHz RAM. The GTX 660M is 875MHz + Boost with 4GHz RAM. So the rMBP15 is a best-case for GT 650M. However, it's not usually a ton faster than the regular GT 650M -- benchmarks for the UX51VZ are available here:
    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/814
    Reply
  • tipoo - Sunday, June 2, 2013 - link

    I think any extra power just went to the rMBP scaling operations. Reply
  • DickGumshoe - Sunday, June 2, 2013 - link

    Do you know if the scaling algorithms are handled by the CPU or the GPU on the rMBP?

    The big thing I am wondering is that if Apple releases a higher-end model with the MQ CPU's, would the HD 4600 be enough to eliminate the UI lag currently present on the rMBP's HD 4000?

    If it's done on the GPU, then having the HQ CPU's might actually get *better* UI performance than the MQ CPU's for the rMPB.
    Reply
  • lmcd - Sunday, June 2, 2013 - link

    No, because these benchmarks would change the default resolution, which as I understand is something the panel would compensate for?

    Wait, aren't these typically done while the laptop screen is off and an external display is used?
    Reply
  • whyso - Sunday, June 2, 2013 - link

    You got this wrong. 650m is 735/1000 + boost to 850/1000. 660m is 835/1250 boost to 950/1250. Reply
  • jasonelmore - Sunday, June 2, 2013 - link

    worst mistake intel made was that demo with DIRT when it was side by side with a 650m laptop. That set people's expectations. and it falls short in the reviews and people are dogging it. If they would have just kept quite people would be praising them up and down right now. Reply

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