HD 4000 Processor Graphics and Quick Sync Performance

Obviously with the jump from HD 3000 to HD 4000 graphics on the new Ivy Bridge desktop processor we were curious to see how the new integrated graphics update performs in real-world gaming.  To test it, we pit the Core i7-3770K against the Core i7-2600K (sporting the HD 3000 graphics system) and also included a discrete graphics solution to mix things up.  I chose to test these CPUs against AMD’s Radeon HD 5570/6570 card that you can currently find on the market for $50-60.  

I had some requests to include another discrete level card like the GTX 560 Ti in these graphs, but in truth, it skewed the results so heavily that seeing the performance differences between the HD 4000 and HD 3000 graphics pretty difficult.  

A pretty impressive first result here as the new i7-3770K is able to outperform the Core i7-2600K by more than 80% and stay within 19% of the discrete HD 6570 card.

In Left 4 Dead 2 the new HD 4000 solution is about 50% faster than the HD 3000 graphics running on the same platform and using the same driver.  The HD 6570 though is able to maintain a sizeable 35% advantage in average frame rate.

The performance lead in Deus Ex: Human Revolution has dropped to 37% here for the HD 4000 and it is even further behind the Radeon HD 6570.

DiRT 3 sees another healthy 45% performance jump on the HD 4000 compared to Intel’s previous generation though it is still about 42% slower than the HD 6570.

Without a doubt the new Intel HD 4000 graphics are a big step up in performance for integrated graphics gaming.  Seeing nearly 50% gains in L4D2 and DiRT 3 really show us that the Ivy Bridge processors could be competent enough to be the sole gaming solution for the casual gamer.  However, the need for discrete cards hasn’t got away as we were still unable to play Deus Ex at 1080p even at Low image quality settings without the HD 6570.  

Should AMD and NVIDIA being worried about the discrete market on the mobile front?  Probably.  But Intel still has a ways to go to push them out.

Quick Sync Performance

For our basic Quick Sync testing we used the latest version of Cyberlink’s MediaShow Espresso to convert a 1.8GB 720p H.264 video file down to a more reasonable size for an iPod.

The results are pretty damn impressive:

We knew that Intel’s fixed function hardware was fast at this kind of thing but I honestly didn’t expect Ivy Bridge to be this much faster; the conversion time has basically been cut in half! 

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