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I'm looking to build a desktop PC based on some new Ivy Bridge mid-range processor (e.g. Core i5-3570K) and mid-range/performance motherboard (Z77).

Top Ivy Bridge processors seems to include some new integrated graphics unit HD4000. So I'm thinking about skipping a discrete GPU for a few more months.

I should clarify that I am also thinking about buying a $200-level discrete GPU right now, but the most likely plan is to wait a little and see which new games come out in 2012 before deciding on one. So why not go with integrated graphics for now?

Will I be able to watch blu-ray 3D movies using only HD4000 integrated graphics?

Any other comparison (what games can be played/tasks performed)?

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3 Answers 3

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For productivity tasks (MS Office, watching DVD and Blu-ray) HD4000 would be fine.

For gaming, get a $40-$45 discrete GPU until you have money for a serious card.

Bottom line: There's no reason to decide whether you need a discrete graphics card until you buy the Core i5 and see HD4000 performance for yourself.

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What's the benefit of buying a cheap card if even sandy bridge's integrated gpu was often outperforming $30-40 cards? –  ilya n. May 4 '12 at 21:11
    
@ilya: In what scenario does the HD3000 perform better? You can get a Radeon 6570 for $43 It beats Intel HD graphics easily. –  Ben Voigt May 4 '12 at 21:14
    
that exact page says HD4000 is "pretty impressive ... stay within 19% of the discrete HD 6570 card" and when sandy bridge came out is was outperforming many cards priced at $40 at that time. –  ilya n. May 4 '12 at 21:21
    
@ilya: HD4000 is only within 19% on a synthetic benchmark. The real-world benchmarks are 35% and up, all in favor of the discrete card. –  Ben Voigt May 4 '12 at 21:23
    
Well, ok, I do plan to buy a card, but the question is must I do it now or can this wait until the next serious game? –  ilya n. May 4 '12 at 21:24

If you're willing to wait you should wait for the next-gen of AMD APUs, "Trinity". The HD4000 goes toe to toe with last-gen AMD APUs, next gen will not only exceed that, but will be cheaper too. Pictures leaked TODAY and parts have been shipped to OEM for the last 3 months or so. Products are slated to be released this quarter (within the next 1-3 months). I bet you probably will not be waiting 3 months.

I'm getting AMD APU systems, for certain tasks myself.

As for the HD4000, yes you can play Blu-ray content on it, but I think you will find a better buy with Trinity AMD APUs.

HardOCP link to leak: http://hardocp.com/news/2012/05/04/leaked_amd_trinity_apu_slides63 (pictures whee)

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AMD APU is better IF (and this is a huge IF) you don't care about CPU performance. Even then, the APU is not a good choice on the desktop. tomshardware.com/reviews/… –  Ben Voigt May 4 '12 at 21:07
    
@BenVoigt While the CPU performance on the Trinity APU's is not the same as an i5, there aren't many people that are going to leverage the difference between the two processors in CPU performance. In the case of the OP the GPU performance difference is far more substantial. –  BloodyIron May 4 '12 at 21:10
    
I don't think someone who doesn't care at all about CPU performance would be looking at an unlocked chip. –  Ben Voigt May 4 '12 at 21:24
    
@BenVoigt what the hell does that have to do with anything? Not all the APUs are unlocked. The benefit to the AMD APUs is that the GPU is more powerful, and in turn can accelerate high-detailed videos better. –  BloodyIron May 4 '12 at 21:31
    
He's talking about an i5-3750K. Based on that, I think it's safe to assume that CPU performance is a requirement, and downgrading to an AMD APU isn't a viable option. –  Ben Voigt May 4 '12 at 21:32

Here is a review and comparison of Intel's HD4000. The second page includes graphs and charts of two Intel processors against one AMD Fusion.

Short answer, in some cases, the higher end stands toe to toe with the AMD, and in other cases the AMD beats the Intel processors badly.

If you are wondering if the Intel HD 4000 will be good enough to replace a discrete, dedicated video card, the answer is no... if you are expecting performance results. As far as Blue Ray and games... sure. Don't expect too much out of the games though, because it's not nearly as powerful as a good dedicated card.

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Indeed I will buy a dedicated discrete GPU for the games but the blu-rays I must watch immediately :) –  ilya n. May 4 '12 at 21:13
    
Well, the Intel integrated GPUs are made to provide better than acceptable performance for general use... and Blu-Ray falls under that category now. On their site Intel touts the HD performance of the new HD4000 –  Bon Gart May 4 '12 at 21:14

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