Can anyone offer some insight into this for me? I'm wondering how using Intel Sandy Bridge GPU vs a discrete GPU effects CPU performance for non-graphics related processes. There are plenty of benchmarks out there for gaming, so I know that using Intel HD 3000 performs slightly better than the cheapest cards out there for gaming. But for non-gaming applications (such as audio), would using Intel graphics steal CPU cycles or something (I realize it will steal some system RAM for video)? If it does effect performance, how much?
I have two PCs built using identical components: Asus P8Z68-V PRO, Core i5-2500K. One PC is using a GTX460 and one is using the onboard Intel graphics. For day-to-day use, I notice no difference in performance due to using the onboard graphics.
The onboard graphics use a different part of the CPU core, so I don't think it would greatly impact the performance of your PC.
My system has i5 2400, which has HD 2000, the lesser version of your HD 3000. Having said that, I have no problem playing Skyrim in Ultra on GTX 560Ti 448, while my wife is watching HD streaming video HD 2000 at the same time. Ah, one problem is I have to play the game on mute so that she can enjoy the audio part of the the program. Other than that, I didn't notice downgrade in FPS or any other quality in Skyrim. If Skyrim is more CPU bound, how about Batman Arkham City, which is a lot more GPU bound? No problem.