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GPU Performance: Intel HD Graphics Versus HD Graphics 3000

Asus' Eee Slate EP121/B121: A Windows 7-Based Tablet PC

We can't really compare the Eee Slate's graphics performance to the iPad or Xoom. There simply aren't any games that run similarly on both platforms, and Fraps only works on our Windows-based configuration. So, instead, we're left comparing the Slate against an actual notebook's integrated graphics engine.

Although seven months have passed since Intel launched its desktop and mobile Sandy Bridge-based platforms, Asus still chose to use the design's predecessor with HD Graphics for its Windows 7-based tablet PC. As a result, we're going to compare the two graphics solutions to gauge what you give up by going the Core i5-470UM route.

Asus K53E
Asus Eee Slate
Core i5-2520M (Sandy Bridge), 2.5 GHz, 3 MB Shared L3
Core i5-470UM (Arrandale), 1.33 GHz, 3 MB Shared L3
2 / 4
2 / 4
Intel HD Graphics 3000
Intel HD Graphics
6 GB DDR3-1333
4 GB DDR-800
System Drive
Seagate Momentus 5400 RPM 640 GB (ST9640423AS)
SanDisk P4 64 GB SSD

Asus Eee Slate - World of Warcraft: CataclysmAsus Eee Slate - World of Warcraft: Cataclysm

Asus' K53E uses a significantly more powerful CPU than the Eee Slate, which makes a head-to-head comparison between the two graphics implementations impossible. Games are generally more sensitive to graphics performance though, so we still end up with an interesting face-off between successive generations of Intel technology.

The benchmarks speak for themselves. WoW would be painful to play at any resolution beyond 1280x720 on the Eee Slate, and that's fine since its display is limited to 1280x800. However, even when you dial back the settings you're only looking at playable performance at the very lowest quality setting.

Even if your Sandy Bridge-based notebook's screen limits you to 1366x768, the HD Graphics 3000 implementation is powerful enough to output to a larger monitor and play this game at a higher resolution. That's not an option with the Eee Slate; there isn't enough muscle behind the Core i5-470UM's integrated graphics engine for smooth frame rates.

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