Intel HD Graphics 4000 Benchmarked

Florian Glaser (translated by Allen Ngo), 04/24/2012

Ivy rocks! The integrated HD 4000 has become Intel's new backbone in the integrated GPU market. Not only does the new GPU trump the HD 3000 of yesteryear, entry-level GPUs from Nvidia and AMD may have a lot to fear as well. In this review, we go in detail with our initial gaming benchmarks of the Intel HD 4000.

After the immensely successful Sandy Bridge generation, Intel now has a lot to live up to for the following iteration. Enter Ivy Bridge, a modified Sandy Bridge architecture with a smaller manufacturing process (22 nm instead of 32 nm) and numerous other improvements such as modern tri-gate transistors. 

In our extensive testing here,  we highlight the CPU performance and the underlying technology behind the Ivy Bridge processors. The tests below, however, will focus on the new integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics and its performance, especially in modern 3D games.

The Test System

Before we begin our tests, we'll take this time to mention the notebook used for the benchmark numbers to follow. We utilized an MSI barebones 17-inch (MS 1762) gaming notebook, which certain retailers are selling as pre-made notebooks with the model name M73-2N. Even though a discrete GPU is included, testing the integrated Intel GPU was not a problem due to Nvidia Optimus.

Other noteworthy specs of the test notebook above include the 2.7GHz quad-core Core i7-3820QM with 8MB L3 cache and a 16GB DDR3 RAM (1600MHz). The Intel HD 4000 is rated at 650MHz up to 1250MHz with Turbo Boost. The high specs ensure that we will not be bottlenecking the integrated GPU in any way.

One M73-2N (MSI MS 1762 Barebone)

Test configuration

  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
  • Intel HM77 Chipsatz (Panther Point)
  • Intel Core i7-3820QM (Ivy Bridge)
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000 (GPU-Treiber: 8.15.10.2639)
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 670M (GPU-Treiber: 295.62)
  • 17.3“ Full-HD Non-Glare-Display
  • 16 GByte DDR3-RAM (1600 MHz)
  • Crucial RealSSD M4 CT128M4SSD2 (128 GByte)
  • Samsung Spinpoint M8 HN-M101MBB (1000 GByte, 5400 U/Min)
CPU-Z CPU
CPU-Z Caches
CPU-Z Mainboard
CPU-Z Memory
CPU-Z SPD
GPU-Z Graphic Card
HWiNFO
Systeminformationen

Overview

GPU-Infos
GPU-Infos

Whether it's an office notebook or budget offering, the current HD 3000 graphics can be found throughout the entire spectrum. The Sandy Bridge GPU is quick enough for most everyday tasks including Internet, HD video playback. 3D games or programs, however, will put the integrated GPU to a grinding halt. With the jump HD 4000, Intel is planning to mitigate this shortcoming to some extent by upgrading the video decoder (MFX), increasing the number of execution units from 12 to 16 and adding support for DirectX 11 Shader Model 5.0.

Still, the performance of the HD 4000 is dependent on several other factors. Since the GPU has no dedicated VRAM, it must operate in accordance with the main memory and its RAM clock. System RAM running at 1333MHz is common, but our test unit will be running a bit faster with RAM clocked at 1600MHz.

The integrated GPU now has a larger cache as well that is shared with the CPU L3, but how much cache it has will be dependent on the Ivy Bridge CPU. Dual-core and quad-core Ivy Bridge CPUs will have 3MB-4MB and 6MB-8MB of L3 cache, respectively, so the HD 4000 in quad-core processors should theoretically outperform its dual-core counterparts.

The GPU clock will also directly impact the performance, of course. Differing CPU models will have HD 4000 GPUs running at different maximum and minimum speeds, a common occurrence with Sandy Bridge notebooks and HD 3000 GPUs. For example, notebooks sporting a Core i7-3610QM will have their integrated HD 4000 GPUs operating 150MHz slower than the same GPU found in the i7-3720QM or i7-3820QM.

A general verdict on the HD 4000 is thus a bit difficult as performance will likely vary to some extent depending on the CPU. For example, in another Ivy Bridge notebook, the HD 4000 averaged about 10 percent slower compared to the below results from the MSI barebones. We can't go into detail on this other Ivy Bridge notebook just yet due to NDA reasons, but we can say that it included a 35W TDP dual-core Ivy Bridge CPU.

Bezeichnung Kerne Basistakt Maximaltakt L3-Cache TDP GPU-Takt
Core i7-3920XM 4/8 2.9 GHz 3.8 GHz 8 MByte 55 Watt 650-1300MHz
Core i7-3820QM 4/8 2.7 GHz 3.7 GHz 8 MByte 45 Watt 650-1250MHz
Core i7-3720QM 4/8 2.6 GHz 3.6 GHz 6 MByte 45 Watt 650-1250MHz
Core i7-3610QM 4/8 2.3 Ghz 3.3 GHz 6 MByte 45 Watt 650-1100MHz

The competition

To give an impression of what the HD 4000 will be up against, we list other low-end and mid-range graphics cards that are currently available:

Schenker XMG A501

• Intel Core i7-2630QM (2.0-2.9 GHz), 8 GByte DDR3-RAM (1333 MHz), Intel HD Graphics 3000 @ 650-1100 MHz (GPU-Treiber: 8.15.10.2653) ⇒ A notebook with the typical Sandy Bridge HD 3000 GPU. 

Acer Aspire 5755G-2678G1TMtks

• Intel Core i7-2670QM (2.2-3.1 GHz), 8 GByte DDR3-RAM (1333 MHz), Nvidia GeForce GT 630M @ 672 / 800 MHz (GPU-Treiber: 285.64) ⇒ Currently Nvidia's most successful mid-range GPU.

Acer Aspire 7560G-83524G50Mnkk

• AMD A8-3520M (1.6-2.5 GHz), 4 GByte DDR3-RAM (1333 MHz), AMD Radeon HD 6620G @ 400 MHz (GPU-Treiber: 8.901.3.0) ⇒ The most powerful GPU from AMD's Llano family.

HP Pavilion g7-1353eg

• AMD A6-3420M (1.5-2.4 GHz), 6 GByte DDR3-RAM (1333 MHz), AMD Radeon HD 7450M @ 700 / 900 MHz (GPU-Treiber: 8.900.7.1000) ⇒ A typical entry-level card often used in inexpensive multimedia notebooks.

Acer Aspire 5750G-2354G50Mnkk

• Intel Core i3-2350M (2.3 GHz), 4 GByte DDR3-RAM (1333 MHz), Nvidia GeForce 610M @ 672 / 800 MHz (GPU-Treiber: 285.64) ⇒ Acer has included a low-cost variant whose clock speeds are below the standard of 900 MHz.

Update: Shortly after the completion of this article, an Ivy Bridge notebook sporting an i7-3610QM finally arrived in our labs. We have entered the values in the tables and in certain passages of this article.

MSI GT70-i7169BWW7H

• Intel Core i7-3610QM (2.3-3.3 GHz), 16 GByte DDR3-RAM (1600 MHz), Intel HD Graphics 4000 @ 650 / 1100 MHz (GPU-Treiber: 8.15.10.2618)

Benchmarks

The selection of suitable synthetic graphics benchmarks was not an easy task. The  performance index in Windows 7 and scores from CineBench R10/11 are not as precise as we would like and 3DMark benchmarks tend to be more optimized and favored towards Intel.

Long story short, we ended up with the DirectX11-based Unigen Heaven 2.1 benchmark. Additional measurements of other GPUs can be found in our extensive GPU list.

Unigine Heaven 2.1

The Unigen Heaven benchmark is one of the toughest tests of endurance for the HD 4000. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the integrated Intel GPU struggles at even low resolutions and settings. We tested under our standardized resolution of 1280x1024 pixels and normal tessellation settings, only to find a jerky 13 FPS average. Still, the HD 4000 is almost twice as fast as certain low-end dedicated GPUs such as the Radeon HD 7450 and GeForce 610M, both of which score only 7 FPS each under the same test and conditions. The GeForce 630M is ahead of the game with a 14 FPS average.

Unigine Heaven 2.1 - 1280x1024 high, Tesselation (normal), DirectX11 AA:off AF:1x
One M73-2N
HD Graphics 4000 / Core i7-3820QM
13 fps ∼7%
MSI GT70
HD Graphics 4000 / Core i7-3610QM
11.6 fps ∼6% -11%
HP Pavilion g7
Radeon HD 7450M / A6-3420M
7.4 fps ∼4% -43%
Acer Aspire 5750G
GeForce 610M / Core i3-2350M
7.2 fps ∼4% -45%

Games

Time for the real gaming benchmarks. Of the 15 tested games, we look into detail on 7 of the more popular titles. For a wider comparison, see our games list.

1366 x 768, all on, 4x AF

Mass Effect 3

The finale of the Mass Effect trilogy requires rather modest hardware. We select a resolution of 1366x768 pixels with all graphics options active, 4x texture filtering and we still rolled out 30 FPS from the integrated Intel GPU. In Comparison, the HD 3000 only mustered 22 FPS under identical settings.

Mass Effect 3 - 1366x768 all on AA:on AF:4x
One M73-2N
HD Graphics 4000 / Core i7-3820QM
33.9 fps ∼34%
MSI GT70
HD Graphics 4000 / Core i7-3610QM
30.7 fps ∼31% -9%
Schenker XMG A501
HD Graphics 3000 / Core i7-2630QM
21.7 fps ∼22% -36%
Mass Effect 3
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080all on, on AA, 8xAF18.8 fps
 1366x768all on, on AA, 4xAF33.9 fps
 1280x720all off48.3 fps
1366 x 768, Medium Preset

Anno 2070

The strategy hit Anno 2070 can quickly bring the HD 4000 to its knees. At average presets and 1366x768 pixel resolution, the game is playable at first glance with a 28 FPS average. Once you hover the camera over major settlements, however, the FPS range can quickly drop to single digits. If on lower options, gameplay becomes much more fluid.

Anno 2070 - 1366x768 Medium Preset AA:on
One M73-2N
HD Graphics 4000 / Core i7-3820QM
27.9 fps ∼12%
MSI GT70
HD Graphics 4000 / Core i7-3610QM
24.9 fps ∼10% -11%
Schenker XMG A501
HD Graphics 3000 / Core i7-2630QM
15.1 fps ∼6% -46%
Acer Aspire 5755G
GeForce GT 630M / Core i7-2670QM
29.7 fps ∼12% +6%
Acer Aspire 7560G
Radeon HD 6620G / A8-3520M
23.7 fps ∼10% -15%
HP Pavilion g7
Radeon HD 7450M / A6-3420M
21 fps ∼9% -25%
Acer Aspire 5750G
GeForce 610M / Core i3-2350M
16.1 fps ∼7% -42%
Anno 2070
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080Very High Preset, on AA, 4xAF8.7 fps
 1366x768High Preset, on AA, 2xAF17.8 fps
 1366x768Medium Preset, on AA27.9 fps
 1024x768Low Preset58.2 fps
1280 x 720, Low Preset

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The much-heralded Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is only playable on lower settings. We were able to hit 40 FPS under a resolution of 1280x720 pixels with disabled graphics options. Still, this is a 30-40 percent improvement in frame rates over the HD 3000, similar to what we saw in Mass Effect 3.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - 1280x720 Low Preset
One M73-2N
HD Graphics 4000 / Core i7-3820QM
39.5 fps ∼22%
MSI GT70
HD Graphics 4000 / Core i7-3610QM
35.9 fps ∼20% -9%
Schenker XMG A501
HD Graphics 3000 / Core i7-2630QM
25.2 fps ∼14% -36%
Acer Aspire 5755G
GeForce GT 630M / Core i7-2670QM
40.9 fps ∼23% +4%
Acer Aspire 7560G
Radeon HD 6620G / A8-3520M
22.7 fps ∼13% -43%
HP Pavilion g7
Radeon HD 7450M / A6-3420M
29.5 fps ∼17% -25%
Acer Aspire 5750G
GeForce 610M / Core i3-2350M
25.5 fps ∼14% -35%
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080Ultra Preset, 8xAA, 16xAF6.1 fps
 1366x768High Preset, 8xAA, 8xAF11.2 fps
 1366x768Medium Preset, 4xAA19.5 fps
 1280x720Low Preset39.5 fps
1366 x 768, Medium, all on

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

The aging graphics engine of the Call of Duty series can especially benefit weaker graphics cards. Medium details with all graphical options active under 1366x768 pixel resolution can return a steady >40FPS average. We expect multiplayer gameplay to be even smoother when compared to the more graphic-intensive single player campaign. Users can play around with AA and SSAO settings as needed when in multiplayer maps.

CoD: Modern Warfare 3 - 1366x768 Normal, all on, SSAO: Low
One M73-2N
HD Graphics 4000 / Core i7-3820QM
47 fps ∼25%
MSI GT70
HD Graphics 4000 / Core i7-3610QM
42.8 fps ∼23% -9%
Schenker XMG A501
HD Graphics 3000 / Core i7-2630QM
31.9 fps ∼17% -32%
Acer Aspire 5750G
GeForce 610M / Core i3-2350M
34.4 fps ∼18% -27%
CoD: Modern Warfare 3
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080Extra, all on, Image Quality: Native, 4xAA14.2 fps
 1366x768High, all on, Image Quality: Native, 2xAA19.9 fps
 1366x768Normal, all on, SSAO: Low47 fps
 1024x768Low, all off84.5 fps
1024 x 768, Low Preset

Battlefield 3

EA's Battlefield 3 is notorious for its demanding requirements. Consequently, we suggest playing the title with mid-range or high-end GPUs only. The HD 4000 can barely crack the 30 FPS mark even at the lowest resolution and settings. Other low-end models, such as AMD's quad-core A8-3520M with integrated Radeon HD 6620G, perform even worse.

Battlefield 3 - 1024x768 low AA:- AF:2x
One M73-2N
HD Graphics 4000 / Core i7-3820QM
26.9 fps ∼18%
MSI GT70
HD Graphics 4000 / Core i7-3610QM
24.5 fps ∼16% -9%
Schenker XMG A501
HD Graphics 3000 / Core i7-2630QM
16.6 fps ∼11% -38%
Acer Aspire 5755G
GeForce GT 630M / Core i7-2670QM
34.3 fps ∼22% +28%
Acer Aspire 7560G
Radeon HD 6620G / A8-3520M
24.7 fps ∼16% -8%
HP Pavilion g7
Radeon HD 7450M / A6-3420M
21.8 fps ∼14% -19%
Acer Aspire 5750G
GeForce 610M / Core i3-2350M
19 fps ∼12% -29%
Battlefield 3
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080ultra, 4x MSAA, 16xAF5.8 fps
 1366x768high, -AA, 16xAF15.3 fps
 1366x768medium, -AA, 4xAF20.4 fps
 1024x768low, -AA, 2xAF26.9 fps
1366 x 768, High, 2x AA

Fifa 12

Fifa 12 is probably the least demanding game on the list. We nearly reached 60FPS when at 1366x768 pixel resolution and maximum details with 2x AA. Close-up during replay movies, however, will drop the average frame rates by a noticeable amount. Entry-level discrete graphics options from AMD and Nvidia still perform better than the HD 4000 in this title, but at least they are all an improvement over the HD 3000.

Fifa 12 - 1360x768 high AA:2x
One M73-2N
HD Graphics 4000 / Core i7-3820QM
50.8 fps ∼13%
MSI GT70
HD Graphics 4000 / Core i7-3610QM
47.8 fps ∼13% -6%
Schenker XMG A501
HD Graphics 3000 / Core i7-2630QM
30.6 fps ∼8% -40%
Acer Aspire 5755G
GeForce GT 630M / Core i7-2670QM
103.8 fps ∼27% +104%
Acer Aspire 7560G
Radeon HD 6620G / A8-3520M
56.6 fps ∼15% +11%
HP Pavilion g7
Radeon HD 7450M / A6-3420M
55.6 fps ∼15% +9%
Acer Aspire 5750G
GeForce 610M / Core i3-2350M
56.9 fps ∼15% +12%
Fifa 12
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080high, 4xAA28.3 fps
 1360x768high, 2xAA50.8 fps
 1024x768medium106.4 fps
 800x600low192.1 fps
1366 x 768, Medium Preset

StarCraft 2

Starcraft 2 will likely last for a few more years as it solidifies itself as the de facto RTS game. The HD 4000 is well-equipped to handle the Blizzard game (as is the HD 3000), although settings may have to be turned down to average or below, especially for big battles and single-player set pieces.

StarCraft 2 - 1360x768 medium
One M73-2N
HD Graphics 4000 / Core i7-3820QM
34.3 fps ∼25%
MSI GT70
HD Graphics 4000 / Core i7-3610QM
30.8 fps ∼22% -10%
Schenker XMG A501
HD Graphics 3000 / Core i7-2630QM
19.5 fps ∼14% -43%
Acer Aspire 5755G
GeForce GT 630M / Core i7-2670QM
43.5 fps ∼32% +27%
Acer Aspire 7560G
Radeon HD 6620G / A8-3520M
30.8 fps ∼22% -10%
HP Pavilion g7
Radeon HD 7450M / A6-3420M
28.4 fps ∼21% -17%
Acer Aspire 5750G
GeForce 610M / Core i3-2350M
24.1 fps ∼18% -30%
StarCraft 2
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080ultra12 fps
 1360x768high22.4 fps
 1360x768medium34.3 fps
 1024x768low186 fps

More Games

The following are benchmarks for the 8 remaining games. The take home message is that the HD 4000 is still clearly an entry-level GPU, no matter the game. However, when compared to the previous HD 3000, an increase in performance ranging from 20-80 percent can be considered a general rule of thumb.

Alan Wake - 1024x768 Low Preset AA:2x
One M73-2N
HD Graphics 4000 / Core i7-3820QM
16.2 fps ∼11%
MSI GT70
HD Graphics 4000 / Core i7-3610QM
14.4 fps ∼9% -11%
Schenker XMG A501
HD Graphics 3000 / Core i7-2630QM
9.1 fps ∼6% -44%
Alan Wake
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080High Preset, 4xAA, 8xAF5.3 fps
 1366x768Medium Preset, 4xAA, 4xAF11.8 fps
 1024x768Low Preset, 2xAA16.2 fps
F1 2011 - 1024x768 Medium Preset DX9
One M73-2N
HD Graphics 4000 / Core i7-3820QM
42 fps ∼38%
MSI GT70
HD Graphics 4000 / Core i7-3610QM
40 fps ∼36% -5%
Schenker XMG A501
HD Graphics 3000 / Core i7-2630QM
30 fps ∼27% -29%
Acer Aspire 5755G
GeForce GT 630M / Core i7-2670QM
60 fps ∼54% +43%
Acer Aspire 7560G
Radeon HD 6620G / A8-3520M
32 fps ∼29% -24%
HP Pavilion g7
Radeon HD 7450M / A6-3420M
30 fps ∼27% -29%
Acer Aspire 5750G
GeForce 610M / Core i3-2350M
38 fps ∼34% -10%
F1 2011
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080Ultra Preset DX11, 4xMSAA12 fps
 1366x768High Preset DX11, 2xMSAA17 fps
 1024x768Medium Preset DX942 fps
 800x600Ultra Low Preset DX978 fps
Deus Ex Human Revolution - 1366x768 DX11, Shadows, SSAO, DOF: Normal, Post Processing, Tessellation AA:Simple Edge AF:4x
One M73-2N
HD Graphics 4000 / Core i7-3820QM
32.9 fps ∼12%
MSI GT70
HD Graphics 4000 / Core i7-3610QM
31.1 fps ∼11% -5%
Acer Aspire 5755G
GeForce GT 630M / Core i7-2670QM
36 fps ∼13% +9%
Acer Aspire 7560G
Radeon HD 6620G / A8-3520M
23 fps ∼8% -30%
HP Pavilion g7
Radeon HD 7450M / A6-3420M
19.8 fps ∼7% -40%
Acer Aspire 5750G
GeForce 610M / Core i3-2350M
20 fps ∼7% -39%
Deus Ex Human Revolution
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080DX11, Soft Shadows, SSAO High, DOF: High, Post Processing, Tessellation, MLAA, 16xAF12.6 fps
 1366x768DX11, Shadows, SSAO, DOF: Normal, Post Processing, Tessellation, Simple Edge AA, 4xAF32.9 fps
 1024x768DX9, All Off, Trilinear AF74.5 fps
Dirt 3 - 1024x768 Medium Preset AA:0x AF:-
One M73-2N
HD Graphics 4000 / Core i7-3820QM
45 fps ∼24%
MSI GT70
HD Graphics 4000 / Core i7-3610QM
38.2 fps ∼20% -15%
Schenker XMG A501
HD Graphics 3000 / Core i7-2630QM
31.8 fps ∼17% -29%
Acer Aspire 5755G
GeForce GT 630M / Core i7-2670QM
62.7 fps ∼33% +39%
HP Pavilion g7
Radeon HD 7450M / A6-3420M
38.3 fps ∼20% -15%
Acer Aspire 5750G
GeForce 610M / Core i3-2350M
34.6 fps ∼18% -23%
Dirt 3
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080Ultra Preset, 4xAA, -AF12.8 fps
 1360x768High Preset, 2xAA, -AF25.1 fps
 1024x768Medium Preset, 0xAA, -AF45 fps
 800x600Ultra Low Preset, 0xAA, -AF77.5 fps
Crysis 2 - 1024x768 High
One M73-2N
HD Graphics 4000 / Core i7-3820QM
31.1 fps ∼13%
MSI GT70
HD Graphics 4000 / Core i7-3610QM
27.7 fps ∼12% -11%
Schenker XMG A501
HD Graphics 3000 / Core i7-2630QM
18.5 fps ∼8% -41%
Acer Aspire 5755G
GeForce GT 630M / Core i7-2670QM
37.4 fps ∼16% +20%
Acer Aspire 7560G
Radeon HD 6620G / A8-3520M
25.3 fps ∼11% -19%
HP Pavilion g7
Radeon HD 7450M / A6-3420M
23.5 fps ∼10% -24%
Acer Aspire 5750G
GeForce 610M / Core i3-2350M
20.4 fps ∼9% -34%
Crysis 2
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080Extreme7.7 fps
 1366x768Very High21.3 fps
 1024x768High31.1 fps
 800x600High49.5 fps
Call of Duty: Black Ops - 1024x768 medium AA:0x AF:0x
One M73-2N
HD Graphics 4000 / Core i7-3820QM
36.5 fps ∼28%
MSI GT70
HD Graphics 4000 / Core i7-3610QM
34.1 fps ∼26% -7%
Schenker XMG A501
HD Graphics 3000 / Core i7-2630QM
27 fps ∼21% -26%
Acer Aspire 5755G
GeForce GT 630M / Core i7-2670QM
62.6 fps ∼48% +72%
Acer Aspire 7560G
Radeon HD 6620G / A8-3520M
39 fps ∼30% +7%
HP Pavilion g7
Radeon HD 7450M / A6-3420M
36.5 fps ∼28% 0%
Acer Aspire 5750G
GeForce 610M / Core i3-2350M
40.3 fps ∼31% +10%
Call of Duty: Black Ops
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080extra, 4xAA, 8xAF16.9 fps
 1360x768high, 2xAA, 4xAF22.5 fps
 1024x768medium, 0xAA, 0xAF36.5 fps
 800x600low (all off), 0xAA, 0xAF54.5 fps
Mafia 2 - 1024x768 medium AA:0x AF:8x
One M73-2N
HD Graphics 4000 / Core i7-3820QM
30.8 fps ∼19%
MSI GT70
HD Graphics 4000 / Core i7-3610QM
27.1 fps ∼17% -12%
Schenker XMG A501
HD Graphics 3000 / Core i7-2630QM
17.4 fps ∼11% -44%
Acer Aspire 5755G
GeForce GT 630M / Core i7-2670QM
45.2 fps ∼28% +47%
HP Pavilion g7
Radeon HD 7450M / A6-3420M
29.2 fps ∼18% -5%
Acer Aspire 5750G
GeForce 610M / Core i3-2350M
24.8 fps ∼16% -19%
Mafia 2
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080high, 0xAA, 16xAF14.6 fps
 1360x768high, 0xAA, 16xAF23.4 fps
 1024x768medium, 0xAA, 8xAF30.8 fps
 800x600low, 0xAA, 0xAF40.5 fps
Metro 2033 - 800x600 Low DX9 AA:A AF:4x
One M73-2N
HD Graphics 4000 / Core i7-3820QM
44.3 fps ∼29%
MSI GT70
HD Graphics 4000 / Core i7-3610QM
41.2 fps ∼27% -7%
Schenker XMG A501
HD Graphics 3000 / Core i7-2630QM
30.3 fps ∼20% -32%
Acer Aspire 5755G
GeForce GT 630M / Core i7-2670QM
46.6 fps ∼30% +5%
HP Pavilion g7
Radeon HD 7450M / A6-3420M
34.2 fps ∼22% -23%
Acer Aspire 5750G
GeForce 610M / Core i3-2350M
24.9 fps ∼16% -44%
Metro 2033
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080Very High DX11, AAA, 4xAF4.6 fps
 1600x900High DX10, AAA, 4xAF13.6 fps
 1360x768Normal DX10, AAA, 4xAF23.7 fps
 800x600Low DX9, AAA, 4xAF44.3 fps

Notable Problems

Intel GPUs in the past have been notorious for their poor driver support in games. Users have complained of artifacts and other glitches throughout a wide range of games, problems that don't normally exist across GPU solutions from Nvidia or AMD.

After testing the HD 4000, we've found that Intel may be slowly but surely improving their drivers. Alan Wake, for example, has trouble running on the HD 3000, but it can at least run correctly on the HD 4000. Still, additional problems persist in a number of games, including:

  • Deus Ex 3: Although FRAPS reported a constant frame rate, we saw subjectively large declines in frame rate every now and then. Update: With a later received Asus N56 sample by Intel we could not reproduce the stuttering.
  • Black Ops: Similar to Deus Ex 3, we experienced intermittent stuttering issues regardless of graphical settings. With the Asus N56 we also noticed this issue. Even in the lowest settings our benchmark sequence was stuttering from time to time (down to 22fps, e.g.).
  • Fifa 12: Unusually long loading times for starting and charging (only applies to the pre-sample Dual-Core CPU Core i5-3xxx).
  • Metro 2033: Freezes at startup when under certain settings (only applies to the pre-sample Dual-Core CPU Core i5-3xxx).

Verdict

Overall, we are impressed by Intel's new integrated graphics core. The manufacturer has solidly improved over the previous HD 3000 by a rough average of 30 percent. This difference can be even greater at 30-40 percent if the GPU is paired with a powerful quad-core Ivy Bridge CPU like the i7-3610QM. Even the top AMD Llano chips cannot compete with the HD 4000, at least in our benchmark comparisons above. Intel has the upper hand by about 15 percent or more compared to AMD's Fusion Llano offerings.

Perhaps more impressively, the Intel GPU beats the now ancient Radeon HD 7450 handily. Because of this, one may have to ponder if low-end dedicated GPUs from AMD or Nvidia would be a viable alternative at all.

Casual gamers who can live with low resolution gaming, disabled AA and  subdued graphical eye candy may find the HD 4000 perfectly fine. The GPU is not future proof, of course, as users looking for a more middle-of-the-road offering should look towards systems with a  GeForce GT 640M or GT 650M.

Regardless, Intel has delivered admirably with the HD 4000, at least from an integrated GPU perspective. While obviously not a threat to anything higher than a mid-range dedicated GPU, low-end options from AMD or Nvidia can potentially be in serious trouble. Since integrated GPUs make up the vast majority of notebooks out there, Intel can essentially capture a large chunk of the graphics market away from competitors. With AMD Trinity rolling along in the next few months, however, the tides can turn just as easily if the new Fusion core can both impress and dethrone Intel from the Integrated graphics market.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Intel HD Graphics 4000 Benchmarked
Author: Florian Glaser, 2012-04-24 (Update: 2013-06- 6)