Now that we have compared each graphics solution in five games, let’s wrap this all up in a neat package with another graph. The goal of this graph is to illustrate how each graphics solution performs compared to a baseline.
I’ve decided to use the Core i7-3720QM’s version of Intel HD 4000 as that baseline. Millions upon millions of laptops will be sold to consumers with a similar HD 4000 IGP inside. By using it as the baseline we can see just how much additional performance you receive if you go for an affordable alternative.
The results here are surprisingly linear. Each step up or down results in a performance difference of about 30%, give or take a few. The only exception is the NVIDIA GT 640M discrete GPU, which is quite a bit quicker than the GT 630M and over twice as fast as the Core i7-QM/HD 4000 combo.
When viewed this way it becomes apparent that inexpensive mobile graphics, much like inexpensive desktop video cards, aren’t great when viewed from a value perspective. Laptops that offer a discrete GPU as an option usually price that option at $100 or $150. Even if the laptop is only $600, that’s a price increase of 15-20%. You receive more for your money if you buy the GT 630M (or similar discrete solution). The GT 640M is an even better value and is worth the upgrade (relative to Intel HD 4000) even though you’ll likely have to pay $150 to $250 extra for it.