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I’m about to purchase a new laptop and one of the things I will use it for is 3D modeling and rendering; not heavy animation stuff, but more Sketchup architectural models and Artlantis renderings.

What I’m trying to work out is the specifications of its graphics-adapter so that I can compare it against other systems. Unfortunately it only says Intel HD Graphics 4000 which isn’t very usefull for comparison.

Any ideas on how I can find more detailed specs?

just to elaborate the laptop im looking at i regards to this question is the macbook pro 13" retina.

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Unfortunately, I find that Intel graphics adapters tend not to be too specific about their specs. They are usually limited to generic models (at least yours mentions “4000”; the laptop I’m typing on right now has “Intel HD Graphics” which means absolutely nothing). –  Synetech Oct 23 '12 at 19:11
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@Synetech: Intel HD Graphics is most often built onto the CPU these days, so to check the "specs" of the graphics, one needs to check the capabilities of the processor. –  horatio Oct 23 '12 at 19:19
    
"Intel HD Graphics 4000" is just as specific as "AMD Radeon 7950" or something like that. –  Shinrai Oct 23 '12 at 19:34
    
@Shinrai - Accept its not an AMD Radeon 7950. Although you are correct, one can search for Intel HD Graphics 4000 and compare it to any mobile AMD/ATI graphics card. –  Ramhound Oct 23 '12 at 19:37
    
@Ramhound - My point was that the question says that the name of the adapter isn't very useful for comparison, with the implication that it isn't specific enough. It's more than specific enough - just because it's an integrated chipset rather than a discrete one doesn't keep you from just looking it up. –  Shinrai Oct 23 '12 at 19:39

3 Answers 3

The Intel HD Graphics 4000 is an integrated graphics solutions bult into 3rd generation Core i3/i5/i7 processors. As such, it shares the CPU's cores' RAM.

All CPUs have 16 execution units, a memory bandwidth of 25.6 GB/s and can use up to 1,720 MB of the system's memory. The maximum GPU core clock goes up to 1300 MHz, but it varies from model to model. (source).

For a list of (mobile and desktop) CPUs that use Intel HD Graphics 4000 and their specifications, see:

To compare the performance of different mobile GPUs, you can check out Comparison of Laptop Graphics Cards or Mobile Graphics Cards - Benchmark List at Notebookcheck.net Tech.

Keep in mind that it is impossible to test all GPUs using the same CPU, RAM, etc. (the Intel HD Graphics 4000 itself only comes embedded in a handful of mobile CPUs), so you have to take the benchmarks with a grain of salt.

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Minor suggestion to revise: the HD4000 cores are also embedded in desktop CPUs, not only mobile CPUs. There isn't a huge difference, but you aren't limited just to laptops to get a HD4000. –  allquixotic Oct 23 '12 at 19:38
    
@allquixotic: I assume you refer to the last paragraph. I just wanted to point out that there are only so many CPUs with an Intel HD4000 GPU, so if a different GPU had been benchmarked, e.g., on a 2nd Generation i7, it's impossible to compare the benchmarks reliably. I've tried to clarify it in the third paragraph. –  sudo Oct 23 '12 at 19:42

Fact: Intel "HD4000" series graphics is built into an Ivy Bridge generation CPU. In order to know what your integrated processor graphics is capable of, you must understand what, exactly, your processor is.

Fact: Ivy Bridge generation CPUs have model numbers matching the following pattern: Intel Core i#-3###<suffix>, where each # stands for a number. The first # is either 3, 5, or 7. The remaining three can be a wide variety of different numbers. The is one or two letters and indicates special features of certain CPUs, such as the ability to overclock (K); the fact that the processor is suited for mobile usage i.e. laptops (M); or the fact that the processor is a quad-core, to distinguish it from dual-core models (Q).

Step 1

Determine your exact CPU model. You should be able to fill in all four of the # blanks in the model number template above, as well as any suffix (a suffix is not required).

Step 2

Go here and here and look up the features of your specific model. Note that slight variations in the model number can upgrade or downgrade the various features of the GPU.

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For starters, the Intel graphics (any model) aren't great by any stretch of the imagination. Discrete cards like nVidia and AMD/ATI are preferred, but seeing how this is a laptop, your options will be severely limited. According to Artlatnis's minimum hardware requirements page, they advise a 256MB OpenGL graphics card. They recommend a 512MB OpenGL card.

Given your software that you'd like to use it for, I'd recommend against relying on the Intel HD 4000 to do any rendering for you. Find a laptop with a discrete GPU.


I didn't realize your question was a comparison and I guess my answer is more of a recommendation and not an outright answer. My bad.


I should have specified that in your particular case, using applications specifically for OpenGL rendering, in my opinion make the Intel 4000 HD a poor choice. This is not to say the Intel 4000 is completely worthless, but in terms of 3D modeling and rendering, I'd try to find a discrete GPU.


Last Update

Here's some benchmark information about OpenGL benchmark scores (Cinebench R10 32Bit OpenGL & Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL) from the URL Dennis supplied (notebookcheck.net). Maybe some numbers would help make my point about OpenGL performance.

For the lazy: Cinebench R10 32Bit OpenGL in [brackets] and Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL scores in (parenthesis)

  1. AMD Radeon HD 6970M [7968.2] (53.3)
  2. AMD Radeon HD 6770M [6818.3] (48.2)
  3. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 485M [5780] (46.7)
  4. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670M [6124.4] (45.5)
  5. ATI Mobility Radeon HD [6269.6] (32.6)
  6. Intel HD Graphics 4000 [4855.4] (15.8)
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Intel graphics have come a long way in the last few years; you'd be surprised what runs acceptably on them. –  Shinrai Oct 23 '12 at 19:34
    
You don't present any facts. For example I know the Intel HD Graphics 4000 can go against the last generation of Nvida and/or AMD/ATI graphic cards without a problem. –  Ramhound Oct 23 '12 at 19:39
    
So how does the Intel 4000 perform well in comparison to nVidia or AMD/ATI in terms of OpenGL performance? –  osij2is Oct 23 '12 at 21:15

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