You guys sure on the 540 and such? Could have sworn that Toms ran a comparison that showed that in certain situations the intergrated performed at those levels but as soon as you started games and the such anywhere above the lowest of low settings the intergrated really bottomed out.
For the general public intergrated has officially become pertinent. For anything beyond that the intergrated graphics has miles and miles to go.
"First performance tests by Andandtech (with a desktop pre-sample without TurboBoost) indicate a gaming performance on a level with the desktop ATI Radeon HD 5450 (comparable to the Mobility Radeon HD 5450). In low detail settings and 1024x768 the HD Graphics 200 was faster than the 5450 in Batham, Dragon Origins, Call of Duty MW2, and Bioshock 2. In Dawn of War 2 and Hawx the Intel Graphics stayed a bit behind. The framerates were always high enough to be playable. Intel also conducted some tests on the IDF 2010 and showed a playable Starcraft 2 at medium detail settings. That means that the GMA HD 200 should be able to render current games fluently in low-medium detail settings (see 5450 page for a list of playable games).
An extensive gaming review of the HD Graphics 3000 in a Core i7-2600K desktop cpu was published at inpai.com.cn. The GPU was clocked at 850 - 1350 MHz (Turbo boost) and was able share 8MB level 3 cache. In their benchmarks, the Intel GPU was on a level with a desktop HD 5450 in Left 4 Dead 2, Civilization 5, and Star Craft 2. Far Cray 2, Mass Effect 2, Dirt 2, CoD Black Ops and Bad Company 2 even ran faster on the HD3000. Hawx2 and NBA 2K11 ran slower and Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 did not run. The framerates promised that the games should be playable in low settings. However, online battles e.g. in Battlefield should stutter."
Doesn't that confirm what I said? That intergrated will work at low settings but anything beyond that and the intergrated tanks out. Wish I could find that article, because I'm pretty sure that once the settings increase a small amount the "comparable" dedicated cards still hold their own and excel over the intergrated intel.
They or you have your numbers backwards. The Intel 3000 matches a 4550.
The Core i5-2300 and i3-2100 both have the Intel HD 2000 graphics core. Only the "k" models have the faster Intel HD 3000; such as the i5-2500k and i7-2600k. The Intel HD 2000 graphics core is roughly 20% - 33% slower than the Intel HD 3000. These CPU are for desktop computers, not laptops.
The Intel HD 3000 graphics core is overall slightly faster than the desktop Radeon HD 5450 which is the slowest Radeon HD 5xxx card and is not considered a gaming card.
Short answer, the Intel HD 2000, Intel HD 3000, and Radeon HD 5450 are only good for low resolution and low graphics quality. Minimum card for decent performance (decent, not good) with medium quality graphics is the HD 5670 for resolutions up to 1920 x 1200 which can be found for around $65 after rebate.
See following review which includes benchmarks of the Radeon HD 5450 and HD 5670 along with other cards. Note that the test rig used for the review has an Intel Core i7 920 @ 3.8 GHz.