Broadwell: Intel Core i7-5775C And i5-5675C Review

Iris Pro Graphics 6200: Gaming

Bioshock Infinite at 1920x1080 (DirectX 11)

Bioshock Infinite isn’t particularly demanding when it comes to graphics load (we excused it from our benchmarking suite quite a while back). However, even with our purposefully entry-level quality settings, the on-die graphics engine, not the CPU, limits performance.

Still, it's surprising that the Iris Pro 6200 with its 48 EUs offers more than twice the performance of HD Graphics 4600 found on Intel's Core i7-4790K. The company's newest design also beats AMD’s fastest APU by a massive 49 percent. The two Broadwell processors serve up 22 and 21 FPS at 1920x1080 with Ultra settings. Stepping down to the Medium preset gets you an average of 44 and 41 FPS.

These performance numbers are right around the level of an overclocked AMD Radeon R7 250X or Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 (non-Ti). That's nothing short of amazing when you consider that Iris Pro consumes somewhere between 10 and 12W.

Half-Life 2: Lost Coast at 1920x1080 (DirectX 9)

This classic has been gathering dust for a while now, but it provides a challenge that any integrated graphics engine should be able to master. Here, we have the chance to evaluate a title that's truly playable.

We’re using 2x MSAA to shift some load away from the CPU. As a result, the performance increase going from HD Graphics 4600 to Iris Pro 6200 is even more extreme. Broadwell enables frame rates three times higher. AMD's fastest APU, the A10-7800K, falls even further behind as well.

Grand Theft Auto V – Entry Level Battle

Our last benchmark is more modern, and decidedly more demanding. We’re comparing a budget-oriented system with entry-level or older graphics cards to AMD’s current APUs and Intel’s new Broadwell-based processors with Iris Pro 6200 graphics.

We also paired the fastest graphics card in this line-up with Intel’s Core i7-5775C to ensure host processing isn't limiting performance. As it turned out, the average frame rate didn't increase much compared to our machine with an AMD CPU. However, the minimum frame rate jumped quite a bit to 45 FPS.

Clearly, these results look pretty good for Intel’s graphics effort. The company's new processors are definitely faster than a Radeon R7 250 with GDDR5 memory, while consuming a lot less power. AMD’s fastest APU gets destroyed; Iris Pro 6200 is twice as fast, even with its slow connection to the shared DDR3-1600.

Bottom Line

AMD’s APUs do suffer the lower IPC throughput of their host processing architectures. However, Iris Pro 6200 is still significantly faster than any integrated graphics solution that we’ve ever tested, even without help from the Broadwell architecture's efficient x86 cores. Sure, the delta would shrink if we were testing lower-clocked CPUs. But there's just no way around it: the ball is in AMD's court now.