HD4600: DX11 performance
Intel claims that since 2006, the performance of their integrated graphics has increased by 75 times, as measured by 3DMark 06. Granted this is a pretty old benchmark that targeted DX9 capabilities, but you couldn’t use more recent DX10 and DX11 tools to benchmark the performance of older systems. Of course the problem is that the HD4600 GPU isn’t going to be compared to 7-year-old DX9 video cards; it’s going to be compared against the video cards you can buy today. In this case I’ll use a reference design AMD Radeon HD6850 video card. For these tests I set the iGPU to use the maximum amount of shared memory (512M), and I tested it at both stock (1250MHz) and overclocked (1600MHz) speeds. Let’s start with the Heaven 3.0 benchmark and the Aliens vs. Predator benchmark.
Heaven 3.0 settings: 1680×1050, moderate tessellation, medium shaders, no anti-aliasing, and 4x anisotropic filtering
Here we see that the HD4600 iGPU is much quicker than the HD4000: at 18.1 frames per second average, it’s a whopping 68% faster in this test than the Ivy Bridge iGPU. Overclocking doesn’t buy us much here, though, and the Radeon HD6850 is still more than twice as fast.
AvP Settings: 1680×1050, medium textures, low shadows, advanced shadows off, SSAO off, no anti-aliasing, 8x anisotropic filtering
The performance difference is less dramatic with Aliens vs. Predator, but a 25% better frame rate is nothing to sneeze at, either. Again, overclocking doesn’t help a whole lot, and the Radeon HD6850 is three and a half times faster.
Last, let’s take a look at 3DMark 11‘s GT1 through GT4 tests. These tests render underwater and jungle scenes with tessellation and multiple light sources, with distance blur and other features added with post-processing passes. For these tests I selected the “Performance” presets and set the resolution to 1680×1050.
The GT1 and GT2 render underwater scenes with lots of cloudy water, moving submarines with light sources, and large structures seen murkily through the haze. The HD4600 is 33% faster than the HD4000 in the GT1 test and 48% faster in the GT2 test.
The performance improvement is even more dramatic in the GT3 and GT4 tests, which render complex jungle scenes during the day and night, with very complex lighting filtering through dense foliage as we explore ruins in the jungle. In GT3, the HD4600 is a solid 90% faster than its forebear, while the difference in the GT4 tests is an amazing 136%!
Last, let’s take a look at the Lost Planet benchmark.
OK, this one’s strange. Performance of the HD4600 is actually 27% slower than the previous generation HD4000! Even overclocked to 1600MHz, the HD4600 can’t keep up with its Ivy Bridge parent. I’m at a loss to explain this one, but I ran the tests multiple times, and these are the results…
Now that we’ve run the benchmarks, let’s see what went into overclocking the Core i7-4770K in the next section.