Ivy Bridge Graphics: Entry-Level Cards are Dead

Game Performance

Some of the games we used support only DirectX 9 or 10. On the games that support DX11, we tried to run Ivy Bridge in both DX11 and DX9/10 modes. That wasn't always possible, however; for example, Dirt 3 set to general medium detail level ran in DX9 mode. Below, we show all the results where applicable.

We ran all games at 1920-by-1080-pixel resolution, at medium detail levels.

Intel Does DirectX 11: The Ivy Bridge GPU

Shogun 2 looked to be almost playable on the 3770K in DX9 mode; the result was still faster than what we saw from the Radeon HD 6450 running in DX11 mode. Meanwhile, the Sandy Bridge GPU just couldn’t keep up. Shogun 2 is very graphics intensive, even at medium settings, so you’ll need to dial back the graphics detail and resolution if you want to hit consistent frame rates above 30 fps.

Intel Does DirectX 11: The Ivy Bridge GPU

Although labeled DX11, both the Radeon HD 6450 and the Ivy Bridge GPU likely ran in DX9 mode in this test, though it’s hard to be sure. Whatever the API used, Dirt 3 seemed playable with Ivy Bridge at 1080p and medium detail levels--and the Ivy Bridge GPU was considerably faster than the other two.

Intel Does DirectX 11: The Ivy Bridge GPU

Just Cause 2 created a stir when it first shipped because it was DirectX 10 only, and it hammered most of the GPUs of the day. At medium settings and 1080p, it still wasn't really playable on any of the GPUs we tested, so you’ll want to dial back the settings even more. However, the Core i7-3770K once again took the crown by a substantial margin.

Intel Does DirectX 11: The Ivy Bridge GPU

Metro 2033 is a huge performance hog, and hitting nearly 15 frames per second in its very demanding, built-in benchmark is actually pretty remarkable. Still, you’ll want to dial back to lower detail levels and probably reduce the resolution to make this game fully playable on the HD 4000.

Intel Does DirectX 11: The Ivy Bridge GPU

In DirectX 10 mode, the 3770K reached a frame rate just short of 24 fps, but actual gameplay at 1080p with medium detail levels seemed to be fairly smooth. DirectX 11 mode was another story--you’ll probably want to avoid running in DX11 mode with this game on the HD 4000.

Intel Does DirectX 11: The Ivy Bridge GPU

Stalker: Call of Pripyat is an aging title these days, but its DirectX 11 benchmark remains quite demanding. In DX11 mode, the HD 4000 still outpaced the HD 3000 and Radeon GPUs. In DirectX 10 mode, it got about 25 percent more performance.

Next Page: Media Transcoding, and the Bottom Line

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