First of all we decided to check the general performance of the platforms built on AMD and Intel integrated chipsets in common home and office tasks. To accomplish this we resorted to our traditional SYSmark 2007 test that measures the performance in real application scenarios.
The results show that AMD platform offers a slightly higher performance almost in every application pattern. However, it is important to understand that it is the Phenom II X2 processor and not really the AMD 785G chipset that makes this victory happen, because this CPU is really faster in general-purpose applications.
When it comes to performance of Radeon HD 4200 and GMA X4500HD, it is much more interesting to see their performance in 3D applications: games and synthetic tests. At first let’s take a look at the platforms results in 3DMark tests that serve as a standard instrument of measuring GPU performance.
The obtained numbers are pretty interesting. The thing is that although AMD 785G solution is ahead of Intel in 3DMark06, it falls behind the competitor in 3DMark Vantage suite. It is especially strange keeping in mind that Radeon HD 4200 is considerably more powerful than GMA X4500HD according to formally calculated theoretical performance. However, the fact is undeniable: Intel G45 chipset does produce higher 3DMark Vantage score in Windows 7. By the way, this is only true for the upcoming operating system, because Intel graphics accelerator can’t repeat its success in Windows Vista. And it means that we can conclude that this sudden success demonstrated by Intel G45 can only be explained by certain driver optimizations and not the GPU architecture.
However, 3DMark suites are pure synthetic tests that only provide a general idea of the performance of the chipset 3Dpart. Therefore, we have also run a few tests in real gaming applications. Here I would like to stress that the integrated graphics solutions are not as powerful as discrete ones, even from the low-end market segment. Therefore, the gaming application of the integrated graphics cores is a very theoretical thing. In fact, graphics accelerators like Radeon HD 4200 and GMA X4500HD can only provide comfortable gaming performance in previous-generation games or in low resolutions and with low image quality settings. Therefore, we ran the gaming tests in 1024x768 resolution with numerous effects disabled and level of texture detail set to Low.
There is no doubt that the integrated AMD 785G chipset provides higher gaming performance. Therefore, AMD platform can offer higher fps level in games. By the way, as we can see from the results, despite our initial pessimism, Radeon HD 4200 can provide pretty acceptable fps rate even in some relatively modern DirectX 10 games. Although you will have to sacrifice image quality and use only low resolutions.