Since all versions of Intel HD Graphics support DirectX 10, but not DirectX 11, we used specifically the Vantage benchmark to estimate the performance of the ne graphics core modifications. And obtained results showed that even Intel HD Graphics 2000 core with only six execution units is considerably faster than the graphics core in Clarkdale processors, even though the latter has twice as many execution units inside. However, only Intel HD Graphics 3000 could compete against discrete graphics accelerators. Although even when we overclocked it to 1500 MHz, it couldn’t compete against Radeon HD 5570, so Sandy Bridge processors can in fact only compete against $50-$60 graphics cards.
Intel HD Graphics 2000 offers pretty comfortable gaming experience in 1024x768 resolution, and the faster Intel HD Graphics 3000 can also allow you to play in HD. Of course, you can only use the lowest image quality settings, but only in this case integrated graphics can deliver more or less acceptable results.
Far Cry 2
Note that overclocking of the Sandy Bridge graphics core provides a substantial performance boost, but even with this performance gain Intel HD Graphics 3000 can’t catch up with Radeon HF 5570. However, if we compare the new Intel integrated GPU against integrated competitor solutions, then even the limited Intel HD Graphics 200 model will leave all of them far behind.
Left 4 Dead
I have to say that Intel HD Graphics 3000 does just fine as a decent entry-level 3D graphics accelerator. You can get a decent fps rate even in 1680x1050 resolution by playing with the image quality settings. Too bad that this GPU modification is not available in most desktop CPUs. The cut-down modification, Intel HD Graphics 2000, works considerably slower, and even overclocking doesn’t allow it to reach the performance of the top Sandy Bridge GPU.
Metro 2033 is a very demanding game. No wonder that Intel HD Graphics 3000 can barely handle it. However, you will get much better experience if you use a discrete graphics accelerator. But obviously not any graphics accelerator will do (Radeon HD 5450 is pretty much as fast as Intel HD Graphics 2000) – you will need a pretty fast one, at least as fast as Radeon HD 5570.
Contemporary 3D shooters are not designed to be run on integrated graphics. The fps rates in Mafia II are even lower than in Metro 2033, so the only way you can achieve acceptable performance is if you overclock Intel HD Graphics 3000 to its maximum. To be fair we have to say that the performance of other integrated graphics cores from AMD and Intel less than half of Intel HD Graphics 3000.