Integrated Graphics Performance
The clock frequency of new energy-efficient processors has been lowered significantly, but so far we have only been discussing the computational cores. Although Sandy Bridge graphics core is located on the same semiconductor die, it uses its own power lines and is clocked independently from the rest of the processor. Intel took advantage of this peculiarity and decided not to slow it down. As a result, even energy-efficient Sandy Bridge models boast a fully-fledged HD Graphics 2000 graphics core with six execution units and 850-1100 MHz clock speed. So, looks like the graphics performance of Core i5-2400S should be just as good as that of regular 95 W CPUs.
In fact, this is exactly what we see on the graphs above. Core i5-2400S gets very close to regular Core i5-2400 in games. Intel engineers reasoned soundly that graphics core is one of the key units of an energy-efficient processor and therefore its performance is a critical parameter. Most miniature systems use integrated graphics instead of discrete graphics accelerators specifically because for reasons of lowering power consumption and heat dissipation. That is why high graphics performance is an important trump for the S-series processors. And frankly, this performance is pretty good compared to the previous-generation graphics. Although the GPU inside Core i5-2400S is a junior Intel HD Graphics 2000 core with six execution units that cannot compete in performance with today’s discrete low-end graphics accelerators, it should be sufficient for miniature systems that are rarely used for gaming.