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Onboard GPU Performance
Just like with Ivy Bridge, Haswell does focus on overall architecture improvements, but the biggest focus was once again on the GPU. The i7-4770 that we are taking a look at today doesn’t have the Iris GPU’s that will be Intel’s top of the line integrated option but we do get the HD 4600, the only option available. Some Iris GPU’s will be available with a few The closest we will see of an Iris GPU on a desktop will be a few BGA (Ball Grid Array) options that will only have the CPU/GPU surface mounted to motherboards.
What a better way to put the new HD 4600 GPU to the test than to compare it to the performance from the HD 4000 from Ivy Bridge and the HD 3000 from Sandy Bridge. No one expects top level performance out of the Onboard GPU, but I am interested to see if we will see performance good enough to play a few games here and there, if so this could still be a good option for people who typically play games that have been out for a year or two and aren’t focused on having the settings turned up to ultra. This may sound crazy to us enthusiasts, but this is important to people who aren’t as crazy as us who are willing to spend more on video cards than rent/mortgages for the month.
Both in performance and High settings the HD 4600 GPU pulls ahead of the two previous generations considerably. It is also worth noting that these numbers are starting to get very close to performance we saw from the HD 6670 back when it came out (4947 vs. 6937). There is still a ways to go, but it’s interesting to be able to see onboard graphics reach numbers that we can even consider comparing to a dedicated GPU.
X264 encoding has improved as well and it is worth noting that the performance on this test using the GTX 580 for our GPU was actually 3 FPS lower as well.
Mind you, we are running on Xtreme settings but a 33% improvement in the Heaven Benchmark is impressive. Turning the settings down from top of the line would easily yield an FPS that would be playable even.
Once again, we have a BIG jump over our Ivy Bridge testing, this time in Cinebench. Going back to Sandy Bridge we have seen the performance double, not bad for just over two years’ time.
Dirt 3 has given us interesting results across the board really. We do see an improvement, but it’s clear that at the settings we are running there is just too much for any of the GPU’s to handle.
F1 2011 on the other hand was very impressive. Not only have we seen an improvement in FPS by over double from Sandy Bridge till now, but we are actually hitting completely playable FPS without having to toy with the game settings at all. This is an amazing looking game and it is very playable using onboard on the 4770, very impressive!
Once again, we are up and over playable frame rates in Batman as well. The performance jump is even greater going from both Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge. It’s hard to believe two years ago we saw single digit FPS and now we are working with a playable 36 FPS.
60, FPS! I really shouldn’t have to say anything else. That is the golden standard for perfect frame rates and we can get them using an onboard GPU.
We finish things off with Metro 2033, a game that doesn’t give playable FPS even when we are using four top of the line GPU’s. Having said that, the improvements from Sandy to Ivy and then to Haswell are clear as day!