I was at a Borderlands2 LAN this weekend, and I needed to get a laptop that could run it.
My previous laptop had a downclocked 4650 with DDR3, which is basically the same as a Llano A6, right down to the architecture, shader count and clockspeed. It ran the original borderlands very well; 30fps with everyone turned on, or 60fps if you disabled just dynamic shadows.
Having read the Ivy Bridge reviews and seen on paper how close HD4000 is to a Llano A8, I picked up one of our two i7-3612QM machines and set about installing Borderlands2 with the expectation that it would be similar, if not slightly better than my old laptop which was the equivalent of a lowly 320-shader A6.
I couldn't have been more wrong; Complete slideshow at 2-3 fps. Granted, this was 1080p at default settings.
I know Borderlands 2 might be a little more demanding than its predecessor but it seems to run exactly the same on all my other hardware. I dropped it down to 720p and turned everything to off or low. Still no good. 20-30 fps, but obviously only in the high teens when in combat, rather than the 30+ I would call multiplayer-friendly; Basically, this is Xbox performance, not PC performance. I suppose it's still technically better than an Xbox since that doesn't even run at 720p. Anyway, that was the lowest supported resolution.
I dug out an old i3 with a 16-shader Geforce 210M, expecting similarly poor performance. Bear in mind that this is only 16 downclocked shaders of an obsolete architecture, which was last seen in the 240-shader GTX 280 a long time ago. Based on shaders and clockspeeds, I was expecting this thing to be 15x slower than a rather old desktop card, and therefore not up to the task.
I couldn't have been more wrong; Completely acceptable at 15-ish fps on the default settings, using the silly 1600x900 native resolution. So I cranked everything down to minimum@720p and it ran at maybe 40fps for the weekend, dropping to about 25fps during combat. Bearable for something with such underwhelming specs.
The moral of my rather longwinded story is this:
Never underestimate the incompetence of Intel when it comes to drivers, especially when talking about games that are "plays best on AMD" or with Nvidia's TWIMTBP support.
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