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Intel made significant enhancements to its HD Graphics 4000 engine, including to anisotropic filtering quality. But it'd be hard to see those gains during real-world game play. In fact, simply generating playable frame rates from the integrated GPU requires turning down resolutions and detail settings so low that it doesn't really matter.
That fact aside, HD Graphics 4000 is a substantial step up from its predecessor, so long as you're willing to accept very conservative combinations of settings.
It's a challenge to draw a direct comparison to the reference Ultrabook platform that Intel sent in for last month's review. Because it wasn't intended to serve as a retail product, certain power profiles behave unexpectedly, turning back numbers reflecting maximum performance mode all of the time.
What remains certain is that the reference Ultrabook delivers very fluid performance in mainstream titles like World of Warcraft: Cataclysm low quality settings. Playing a more taxing title, such as Battlefield 3, necessitates an even lower resolution for playable frame rates.