Ivy Bridge graphics and more

Posted by Jon Peddie on May 2nd 2012 | Discuss
Categories: Hardware Review,
Tags: intel aib pmark benchmark ivy ivy bridge

The best ever integrated graphics

For comparison, we ran graphics benchmarks on the processor-based graphics in machines using Intel Ivy Bridge (IVB) processors.

We ran the same series of tests on the Ivy Bridge i7-3370k running at 3.5 GHz with HD4000 graphics and compared it to a two year old entry level graphics AIB, a GTX 520, to see if integrated graphics had gotten good enough yet—and guess what—it has, within limits.

We ran five tests: 3DMark 11, Heaven, Batman, Crysis 2, and Dirt3. We tried running the tests at 1920 x 1080, but couldn’t get the Ivy Bridge’s HD4000 to do it in all the tests, so for competitive purposes we dropped back to 1650 x 1080, and got some very good results.

The tests show the HD4000 beating a two-year old entry-level graphics AIB in all four benchmarks. Add in 4X anti-aliasing and the board pulls close and even wins on some tests. The advantage is is Nvidia’s anti-aliasing algorithms.

Now it’s a little peculiar to think of buying a high-end PC with an i7 in it and then use entry-level graphics. But for someone whose primary interest is not graphics, maybe it makes sense. But then, if not interested in graphics why pay for HD4000? Why not just use HD3000? In most cases, the person who steps up to the i7 is also going to spring for a good graphics board. But as these tests demonstrate Intel’s graphics are coming along.

We ran FutureMark’s PC Mark in the IVB using its built-in HD4000 graphics, and with an Nvidia GTX680, and also on the SNB with an Nvidia GTX 680. The older Sandy Bridge with GTX 680 scored 5137, the new Ivy Bridge integrated HD4000 scored 4749, and with an Nvidia GTX 680 scored 5408.

We also ran a video transcoding test and the results were about the same as the SNB we tested last year. So although Intel talks about a new video engine, we couldn’t see much difference.

Highest score

The highest Pass Mark score we have ever seen was generated on the Ivy Bridge—2594.

What do we think?

Ivy Bridge is a great machine with features we used to dream of just a few years ago. It is now a full-fledged citizen in the graphics world—not a AAA FPS game machine, but damn decent performance—and for free.





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