3DMarks & GFXBenchmark

We don't use 3DMark to draw GPU performance conclusions but it does make for a great optimization target. Given what we've seen thus far, and Intel's relative inexperience in the performance GPU space, I wondered if Iris Pro might perform any differently here than in the games we tested.

It turns out, Iris Pro does incredibly well in all of the 3DMarks. Ranging from tying the GT 650M to outperforming it. Obviously none of this has any real world impact, but it is very interesting. Is Intel's performance here the result of all of these benchmarks being lighter on Intel's weaknesses, or is this an indication of what's possible with more driver optimization?

3DMark: Ice Storm

3DMark: Ice Storm Extreme

3DMark: Cloud Gate

3DMark: Fire Strike

3DMark: Fire Strike Extreme

3DMark 11 - Performance Defaults

3DMark 06

I also included GFXBenchmark 2.7 (formerly GL/DXBenchmark) as another datapoint for measuring the impact of MSAA on Iris Pro:

GFXBenchmark 2.7 T-Rex HD

GFXBenchmark 2.7 T-Rex HD - 4X MSAA

Iris Pro goes from performance competitive with the GT 650M to nearly half its speed once you enable 4X MSAA. Given the level of performance Iris Pro offers, I don't see many situations where AA will be enabled, but it's clear that this is a weak point of the microarchitecture.

Synthetics Compute Performance
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  • tipoo - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    It still seems to me that this misses where it would benefit most: 13 inch laptops, which currently mostly use dual core processors. GT3e would make something like the Retina MBP 13" much more appealing for instance, but it's paired with processors such that the wattage would be too high. Reply
  • tipoo - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    Oh and I wanted to ask, if the integrated graphics are disabled can the CPU still tap into the eDRAM? Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    Yes, it's a dedicated cache for both the CPU and the GPU. However it's very unlikely you're going to run into any scenario that uses a Crystalwell-equipped part in such a manner. It's not being sold in socket form, so it will go to OEMs, who in turn would only use it if they didn't include a dGPU. Reply
  • jeffkibuule - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    So pretty much, unless you've got some huge beefy GPU that would absolutely suck up power compared to just using Iris Pro graphics, no one would opt for that SKU? Reply
  • shiznit - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    Right on. A dual core model for the 13" rMPB would have me selling my 2012 immediately. Now I need to decide if I can live with the 15" or even bother. Reply
  • moep - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    If i interpreted the results of this article correctly, I suspect that the 15" MBP is probably going to get a new and even thinner form factor with this refresh. (one chip less, fewer VRM related parts, lower combined TDP)

    A 15" rMBP approaching the weight of a 15" Macbook Air would be very interesting, although a part of me hoped that Apple would wait until Broadwell to ditch the dGPU in the 15".

    Such a step back in GPU performance with the Retina display is surely not going to be very pleasant in 3D applications.
    Reply
  • Galatian - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    I actually hope/suspect, that Apple will go the other road: use a discrete graphic solution on the 15" rMBP until Broadwell comes out, but have a cTDPdown version of the 4850HQ on the 13" rMBP. Maybe they can even get the normal TDP version in there; after all it has the same (good) cooling the 15" rMBP has and I have never heard the fans on mine. I think Apple really designed it with Haswell in mind, so let's see what they'll bring on during the next few weeks. Reply
  • tipoo - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    That's certainly the best case, I really hope they go down that road. The rMBP as a quad with Iris Pro would really make it worth the Pro name. Reply
  • vFunct - Sunday, June 02, 2013 - link

    They'll probably stick with the built in GPU for the 13" model and a discrete GPU for the 15" model, which is what they do right now.

    Apple's top-end MacBook Pro has always had the highest end discrete GPU available.
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, June 04, 2013 - link

    I'm guessing you mean "for a given power usage", as there are definitely faster GPUs out there than the 650M. Reply

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