Integrated Graphics - Slower than AMD, Still Perfect for an HTPC

Intel was very careful to seed reviewers with the Core i5 661, it provides integrated graphics performance equal to if not better than the best integrated graphics from AMD and NVIDIA.

The same, unfortunately, can’t be said about the Core i3 530. With 81% of the GPU clock of the 661, the i3’s graphics are obviously slower. It’s not a huge drop, but it’s enough to be noticeable and enough to be slower than AMD:

1024 x 768 Batman: AA Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Dawn of War II Dragon Age Origins HAWX World of Warcraft
Intel Core i5 661 (HD Graphics) 35 fps 21.6 fps 15.0 fps 41.5 fps 53 fps 14.8 fps
Intel Core i3 530 (HD Graphics) 28 fps 17.5 fps 9.5 fps 34.4 fps 45 fps 12.5 fps
AMD Phenom II X4 965 (790GX) 35 fps 29.3 fps 12.1 fps 35.6 fps 58 fps 21.1 fps
Intel Core 2 Duo E8600 (GMA X4500) 15 fps failed 1.4 fps 16.8 fps 26 fps 11.7 fps


The i3 does retain all of the sweet TrueHD/DTS-HD MA bitstreaming support that makes Clarkdale the perfect HTPC platform. If you don’t need the extra CPU power, the Core i3 530 could make for a great HTPC.

The Performance & Power Summary Overclocking Intel’s HD Graphics - It Works...Very Well


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  • a1623363 - Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - link

    Using the same Gigabyte motherboard and same core i3, I could overclock my graphics to 900 mhz only. I pushed to 950 Mhz, but this caused errors. Serious YMMV on overclocking above 900 Mhz, especially to 1200+ !

    Overall, I have to say I am happy with system performance, but very disappointed in the integrated graphics. Here Intel is barely able to match performance of ATI or NVidia from years ago. I have always had an integrated graphics machine, and simply chose to play games on lower settings, but now am having to buy a Radeon HD 4770 as the performance of Intel's solution doesn't allow you to play anything made in recent years. Not to mention that games like Mass Effect 2 don't support Intel or S3 chipsets, even when Intel HD Graphics are above the minimum system requirements in terms of performance.

    I am keeping my system, but if I was buying again today, knowing that the integrated graphics is sub-par, I would take a closer look at AMD plus a third party graphics card.
  • partha77 - Thursday, March 4, 2010 - link

    Hi! As a novice in this field, i'ld like to know 3 things regarding intel core i3-530 vis-a-vis intel core 2 duo e7500 -> 1) which one delivers more performance in general? 2) which one has longer functional life span? 3) which one has more future upgradability? Reply
  • crochat - Tuesday, February 16, 2010 - link

    It is really strange to me that all reviews I've read about intel processors with integrated graphics always tested system with discrete graphic cards. I don't play games and don't see the use of spending money on a graphic card if an IGP can deliver what I need. I suppose graphic card may have an impact not only on idle power consumption figures, but also on load power consumption figures. I wonder how i3 530 IGP compares with athlon II X4 635 with e.g. 785g. Reply
  • slikazn09 - Friday, January 29, 2010 - link

    4ghz sounds WHOO! But what temperature does it get up to when pushed to 4ghz? You thoughtfully quoted in yourr final word, about the options set out which is pretty helpful (and i like it:] ), but what about the heat when overclocked?! Reply
  • slikazn09 - Friday, January 29, 2010 - link

    buying options* - correcting myself from last post. any help would be greatly appreciated :). should i buy a 3rd party cooler to ensure long term stability? Reply
  • piasabird - Friday, January 29, 2010 - link

    It seems comparing the processor to an E7500 to an I3 would be benneficial. Does the I3 really run faster than an E7500?

  • ericore - Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - link

    Hence double the speed.
    Simple math ladies and gents.
    Bandwidth is not a factor in this case.

    If you want to check it out for yourself google: intel ark
  • kwrzesien - Tuesday, January 26, 2010 - link

    The Gigabyte GA-H57M-USB3 board has just been posted on Newegg:">
  • marraco - Tuesday, January 26, 2010 - link

    TomsHardware had unveiled the awful 2D behavior of the most expensive nVidia and ATI card:">

    They perform slower than integrated chipsets. Sometimes 10X slower.

    I would like to see the same benchmarks on this integrated video
  • dgingeri - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    This would make an excellent home/ small business server as well. Low idle power consumption, low price, integrated video, and virtualization all combine to make for an excellent platform for 5-10 users for file sharing, web based local apps, and minor SQL server duties.

    I just wonder how it compares to the new AMD chips that came out today in server performance.

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