Laptop Comparison - Shared Intel® HD 4000 dilemma

Hi all,

My current/former (motherboard failed) laptop:

Acer 5740G
Intel I5 430m
15.6 inch screen
ATI HD 5470 Graphics 512MB
RAM (was upgraded) 4GB

Due to high cost of motherboard replacement I was considering buying a new laptop, preferably an Ultrabook, 15.6inch screen, minimum i5 processor, preferred dedicated graphics, minimum 4GB (which i could upgrade). Tedious searching gives me this laptop

Asus S56 Windows 8 Laptop - S56CA-XX081H
Screen size - 15.6 in
Processor - Intel Core i5 3315U
RAM - 4GB
Hard Drive - 750 GB + SSD 24GB
Graphics card Shared Intel® HD 4000

My dilemma lies with the graphics card as it is integrated. Brief looks at GPU benchmark scores gives a higher score to the Intel HD 4000 than the ATI HD 5470 (if I was looking at the right numbers!) with which I could do all I needed to do on a laptop.

Is this HD 4000 going to be sufficient on that basis? Especially considering the higher spec CPU and RAM which I could upgrade to 8GB.

I also believe the HD 4000 shares RAM memory if I upgraded to 8GB, how much memory could I potentially 'give' to the graphics?

Sidenote: (that would solve all my problems, has anyone seen the Asus S56CM for sale anywhere?! -it has dedicated graphics! :)

Thank you

Sxc_Claire
12 answers Last reply
More about laptop comparison shared intel 4000 dilemma
  1. Hi :)

    I own a laptop repair company and computer shops....

    Don't even think about HD 4000 graphics chip for gaming :( Its NOT a card...

    Any game apart from Freecell will be a slideshow...

    All the best Brett :)
  2. http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-HD-Graphics-4000.69168.0.html
    You could place a few games in low setting.
    Upgrade to 8GB. For integrate video card, it take what ever it need.
  3. You don't buy an ultrabook to game on, that is not what an ultrabook is for. I'm surprised there is even an ultrabook with discrete graphics because of heat issues. That thing must burn up. The cpu is only a little better than your old one, simply because it is a low power version. Ultrabooks just simply don't have much heat capacity so can only have low specs.

    The hd 4000 is better than the 5470m. You should be able to set vram from 32MB-1GB but as you said, it does use ram so it really doesn't matter how much you set since windows will probably allocate 1GB shared (so if you set 1gb, it can use 2gb.) It's too weak to use more than 1gb really so you can just leave it at 32MB so your system and igpu can use the ram.

    Sure the hd 4000 is not for gaming but top of the line games getting 20 fps is far from a slideshow. Some people don't play high end games, but this will be fine maxing older games and at least be able to play most modern games on low-med. The benchmarks rgd posted do have aa on medium so you should get better fps with it off. Beside he said the 5470m was fine.
  4. I'm not going to use the Ultrabook for gaming, at the most I would play something like Football Manager in which I could just turn the graphics requirements down. I would like an ultrabook because of its portability and this asus s56 seems to have the ability to do everything my own laptop could do plus some. I would do computer programming and image processing at the coding level (e.g. Matlab and IMageJ software)- my old laptop could do these tasks competently. For things like internet browsing, opening loads of tabs would slow it down - is this to do with the CPU and/or cache (not sure what cache memory size is good or bad?)

    In laymen's terms could I give the Intel shared graphics 1GB of memory and would it be comparable to a 1GB dedicated graphics card? (I'm 99% likely to upgrade the RAM to 8GB if I do buy this laptop).

    Furthermore, allocating more RAM memory to the shared graphics - is this always automatically done by windows? If it can be manually changed to allocate a certain amount of RAM memory is this safe to do so? (Apologies if silly questions :p)

    This is another Asus model, virtually exactly the same as the one I'm currently pondering but with dedicated graphics:
    http://www.asus.com/Notebooks/Superior_Mobility/S56CM/#specifications
    (NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 635M with 2GB DDR3 VRAM)

    Trouble is I can't find it for sale in the UK, I've even resorted to emailing a retailer in Canada to see if they'd export it to me! I've had a lot of trouble finding an ultrabook with a 15.6 inch screen, 3rd gen I5 or I7 and dedicated graphics.
  5. Quote:
    In laymen's terms could I give the Intel shared graphics 1GB of memory and would it be comparable to a 1GB dedicated graphics card? (I'm 99% likely to upgrade the RAM to 8GB if I do buy this laptop).

    Video RAM usually are faster then system RAM.

    Quote:
    Furthermore, allocating more RAM memory to the shared graphics - is this always automatically done by windows? If it can be manually changed to allocate a certain amount of RAM memory is this safe to do so? (Apologies if silly questions :p)

    It is done automatically.

    Might cost more then the Asus.
    http://www.dell.com/uk/p/inspiron-15z-5523/fs
    http://h20386.www2.hp.com/UKStore/Merch/List.aspx?sel=CUB&ctrl=flush&lay=uk
  6. Sxc_claire said:


    I also believe the HD 4000 shares RAM memory if I upgraded to 8GB, how much memory could I potentially 'give' to the graphics?


    From my own research, the amount of shared RAM in a laptop is limited by the manufacturer in the BIOS. The amount of usable RAM varies from manufacturer and there is no way to override that predefined limit since most if not all laptop BIOSes do not allow you to adjust the amount of Shared RAM to the best of my knowledge.
  7. Brett928S2 said:
    Hi :)

    I own a laptop repair company and computer shops....

    Don't even think about HD 4000 graphics chip for gaming :( Its NOT a card...

    Any game apart from Freecell will be a slideshow...

    All the best Brett :)


    Just because you own a laptop repair company doesn't mean you know everything and does not mean everything you say is true.

    I played Mass Effect 3 from start to finish on Insanity and I was able to complete the game only using the older Intel HD 3000 (just for the hell of it) @ 1366x768 resolution which is the native resolution of the monitor. Sure, the frame rates were not as high as if I were to use the dedicated nVidia GT 550m, but it definitely was not a slideshow.
  8. See how the HD4000 compares with other cards here:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-card-review,3107-7.html

    ( note that the Intel HD4000 is nearly as powerful as DX7 generation good cards like 6800 GT, 7600 GT. It can definitely play SOME games )

    The problem with Intel Integrated is not their hardware capabilities, but their drivers, which are always buggy and missing features, so some games might have errors in them. It's much better today than with previous generations, but still way behind Radeon or Geforce.

    HD 5470 is 3 tiers below (compares to Intel HD 3000), so your Ivy Bridge integrated is definitely an upgrade.

    Good luck!
  9. The Dell laptops look pretty good too. I know Asus have a good build quality, but I have no clue about Dell - are they any good? I have seen the Asus in person and it is a solid build (aluminium outer casing i think), are the Dell laptops built as well?

    The Asus S56 is sounding like it would do the job if the HD 5470 is three tiers below the HD 3000.
  10. According to the chart the Radeon HD 5470 has similar performance as the Intel HD 3000 and both are three tiers below the Intel HD 4000. Note that the mobile versions of the Intel HD 3000 and Intel HD 4000 are a little slower than the desktop versions. That's because the CPUs need to run at lower power than desktop CPUs.

    The Intel HD 3000 is basically equal to the desktop Radeon HD 5450 without DX11 support. I have not looked very closely at the Intel HD 4000 benchmarks, but I think it will be similar to the desktop Radeon HD 5550 and it does support DX11.
  11. Nothing you do really makes any difference if you had a more powerful gpu. Most of what you do is cpu and ram dependent.

    As for vram, there are 2 instances, the amount you can set in bios that only the igpu can use and the shared amount windows auto allocates (cannot be set) which can be used by both the system and igpu. Both use the ram as vram so it really doesn't matter how much you set it to in the bios(if you could). More vram will not make a gpu more powerful, similar to how adding ram cannot make a cpu more powerful. It'll help if you run out, but vram usually doesn't run out unless running an intense game or running multiple monitors. A discrete card's vram will be faster than regular ram and when it runs out, it uses the ram (the shared amount), but in your case you are already using the ram as vram so still doesn't matter if you run out.
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