Gaming: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim And World Of Warcraft
We tend to think of Skyrim as a graphics pushover. But at 1920x1080, it keeps everything we’re testing under an average of 40 FPS.
First things first—Intel’s HD Graphics 4600 is wholly incapable on its own. The company really needs to enable its GT3/GT3e configuration on the desktop at a reasonable price.
From there, we see the 45 W A8-7600 smoke the 45 W -6500T, hammering home AMD’s emphasis on GPU performance at lower power ceilings. The same is true to a lesser degree as the 65 W -7600 configuration outperforms the 100 W A10-6800K in our Skyrim benchmark. Finally, the -7850K is around 19% quicker than the fastest Richland-based APU—still pretty darned good.
World of Warcraft also gets derided as mainstream fodder, though it drags down our integrated graphics engines as well (even at the mid-range Good quality preset).
Intel’s more capable x86 cores allow the Core i5 and i3 to make up some ground against AMD’s APUs, but not enough for playable performance at 1920x1080.
The A8-7600 manually set to 45 W does get us pretty close though, simultaneously embarrassing the 45 W A8-6500T. Stepping up through the APU line-up yields small gains, culminating in the 95 W -7850K’s victory over A10-6800K by just 7%--likely due to the loss of clock rate on the host processing side. Even still, Kaveri is quite clearly a win performance-wise. Is it worth an extra $30+, plus a new motherboard? Probably not. Could we see some really cool mobile gaming platforms at more affordable price points than anything Intel has? It’d certainly seem so.