The Kabini Deal: Can AMD Improve the Quality of Mainstream PCs with Its Latest APU?by Anand Lal Shimpi on May 24, 2013 1:45 PM EST
Looking at 3DMark’s Ice Storm test, the comparison between Intel’s 22nm HD Graphics in the Pentium 2020M and the Radeon HD 8830 in the A4-5000 is extremely close. In fact, across almost all of the 3DMark benchmarks we see the two perform very similarly. The lone exception being 3DMark 11 where the A4-5000 maintains a significant lead and even approaches Trinity in terms of performance (making it feel more like a fluke than the norm).
Turning to GFXBenchmark (formerly GL/DXBenchmark), we see performance tilt in favor of Kabini once again. The T-Rex HD test is extremely shader intensive. There’s about a 20% gap in raw shader performance between the 2-CU GCN implementation in Kabini and the 6 EU Gen7 graphics core in the Pentium 2020M, which maps almost perfectly to the performance delta we see in T-Rex HD. Now we see where the Pentium/Core i3 comparison comes from.
|3DMark Ice Storm||3DMark Cloud Gate||3DMark Fire Strike||3DMark 11||3DMark 06||GFXBenchmark T-Rex HD|
|AMD A4-5000 (Radeon HD 8330)||23196||2159||310||580||3803||37 fps|
|Intel Pentium 2020M (HD Graphics)||23135||2168||285||401||3542||30 fps|
All of this is fine if we’re looking at theoretical GPU benchmarks but what about actual games? In our Kabini review Jarred found the A4-5000 to be incapable of playing modern titles at reasonable frame rates, but what about titles from a few years ago? To find out, I dusted off Oblivion (with the Shivering Isles expansion) and threw it on my Kabini, Brazos and IVB Pentium systems.
I configured all three systems the same way: 1366 x 768, with medium graphics quality presets. I even used our old Oblivion SI benchmark from 2007. The results seemed to mirror what we saw in 3DMark:
|Oblivion - 1366 x 768 Medium||Diablo III - 1366 x 768 Low||Oblivion - Power Consumption|
|AMD E-350 (Radeon HD 6310)||20.1 fps||21.9 fps|
|AMD A4-5000 (Radeon HD 8330)||26.1 fps||25.8 fps||15.2W|
|Intel Pentium 2020M (HD Graphics)||27.7 fps||20.3 fps||31.4W|
Kabini is about 30% faster than Brazos in GPU performance, and almost identical to the Pentium 2020M. Intel has a 6% performance advantage here, but I’m wondering if that’s from the CPU and not the GPU (Oblivion tends to hit both pretty hard). At lower quality settings (and/or resolution) you can definitely get Kabini above 30 fps, but even here I’d say it’s playable. More importantly, it’s performance competitive with Intel’s HD graphics.
I was also curious to see how Diablo III ran on Kabini so I fired up an early save and ran through the Cemetery of the Forsaken recording average frame rate. On a more modern title, both Kabini and Brazos actually hold a performance advantage over the Pentium 2020M.
As far as power goes, Kabini delivers relatively similar performance at roughly half the power of the Pentium 2020M.
With any of these integrated GPUs, the gaming experience even on previous generation high-end titles isn’t going to be a walk in the park.