IGP performance: Tomb Raider
Next, we'll move to gaming performance with integrated graphics. As usual, we're testing games by measuring each frame of animation produced. The uninitiated can start here for an intro to our methods.
We've included a host of configurations in our IGP tests, building on what we did in our Haswell review. One of the entries, the Core i7-4950HQ, is a bit of a ringer; it uses an external 128MB eDRAM chip as a graphics cache, and it's not a socketed processor. You can read more about it here. This time around, we have results for the 4950HQ running in a higher TDP mode of 55W, to see how it performs, because it's an intriguing product. Intel tells us some PC makers will ship systems with this config. This CPU isn't a direct competitor for the desktop versions of the A10. In fact, it's priced to compete against a different version of the A10 that would be paired with a low-end discrete GPU.
The A10's most direct competition is the Core i3-3225, of course. You'll also want to keep an eye on the Core i7-4770K. The 4770K is a higher-end CPU, but it shares its Intel HD 4600 graphics with cheaper Haswell variants, down to the Core i5-4430 at $189. Eventually, the A10 will almost certainly have to compete directly with a lower-end CPU that includes HD 4600 graphics.
Oh, and we've tested several of the integrated graphics solutions with higher-clocked DDR3-2133 memory. The bandwidth available in a CPU socket is a major constraint for graphics performance, as the results will illustrate.
Although there are a few latency spikes in the frame time plots for all of the Radeon-based solutions, few of them amount to much in terms of absolute frame rendering times. (In fact, I'm pretty sure AMD is just batching up a few frames worth of work at once and dispatching it. That doesn't appear to create any animation hiccups, so it must work with how this game engine advances the timing for its internal simulation of the game world.) The FPS average and our latency-focused metric, the 99th percentile frame time, tend to agree about the overall performance picture.
Compare the A10-6800K to the 5800K, and you'll see that there's very little daylight between them. In fact, the move to DDR-2133 memory makes more of a difference than the 44MHz gap between the two CPUs' integrated graphics cores does. The A10-6700 doesn't allow 2133MHz memory clocks, or it might be more impressive here. What it does do is essentially match the 5800K in our standard DDR3-1600 config.
Also, all of the AMD APUs outperform the Core i3-3225 by a very wide margin. The Haswell-based 4770K with HD 4600 graphics offers a much closer contest, though.
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