Before playing games, setting up your monitor's contrast & brightness levels is a very important thing to do. I realized recently that a lot of you guys have set up your monitor improperly. How do we know this? Because we receive a couple of emails every now and then telling us that a reader can't distinguish between the benchmark charts (colors) in our reviews. We realized, if that happens, your monitor is not properly set up.
This simple test pattern is evenly spaced from 0 to 255 brightness levels, with no profile embedded. If your monitor is correctly set up, you should be able to distinguish each step, and each step should be roughly visually distinct from its neighbors by the same amount. As well, the dark-end step differences should be about the same as the light-end step differences. Finally, the first step should be completely black.
Performance - Integrated APU Graphics Engine
Now, we've been chatting up on the embedded IGP inside the APU, you can make use of it if you purchase a Trinity based processor/APU. With some 384 shader cores and raw horsepower of the A10 SPU series you can game.
For serious gamers really we recommend you to look into a dedicated graphics card for gaming. But if you lower image quality settings a little gaming at 1600x1200 is within range. Mind you, the A8 models have the 400 shader processor graphics core, which is faster than the A4 and A6 models.
Far Cry 2
Above, you can see multiple IGP based processors at work, the IGP is rendering Far Cry 2 with 0xAA enabled, high image quality settings and DX10 mode. Intel made quite a big step in performance over previous generations really, it can now compete much better with AMD's Fusion offerings. However Trinity with an A10 APU shows its muscle alright, that is just very strong performance for an IGP.
Resident Evil Benchmark
Here, try to compare say the Core i5 661 processor with its embedded IGP to the Core i5 2500K series 3000 IGP. Then look at Ivy Bridge series 4000 and then Trinity A10 5800K / 5700 -- The title you are looking at is the Resident Evil benchmark, we have HQ settings enabled, are in DX9 mode yet have AA disabled. Honestly that's completely playable even at a monitor resolution of 1920x1080.
3DMark Vantage confirms the much better overall IGP performance, however the strong processor power will influence the P score big-time. So try and focus at the GPU score there. But yeah, the GCN IGP architecture shows off what it can do.
And of course the brutal DX11 test, we did a quick run with 3DMark 11, unfortunately the score is disappointing in DX11. But that's an IGP. Later on in this article we'll also mount a dedicated graphics card onto the system and have a peek what that does in performance.
But the A10 APU has a very strong IGP. This is AMD's strength.
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