Results: Synthetic Benchmarks
We begin with 3DMark's synthetic graphics tests. More than likely, you already guessed that AMD's graphics engine would trump Intel's HD Graphics 4600 solution. But can the updated Steamroller architecture stand up to the efficient Haswell design?
Futuremark's Cloud Gate benchmark humbles this specific implementation of Kaveri, which features two Steamroller modules in what AMD likes to call a quad-core configuration. Because the Core i7 is a Hyper-Threaded quad-core solution, scheduling eight threads at a time, it has little trouble dominating. The Ice Storm Unlimited metric is a little more forgiving to AMD.
In both tests, AMD presents a compelling graphics story. However, Intel gets the aggregate advantage due to its superior execution cores.
AMD claims that Kaveri can hang with Haswell when it comes to PCMark's Home suite, though. How does that one pan out?
Indeed, the FX establishes a slight advantage. This is probably a fairly accurate reflection of the user experience in simpler tasks that don't come close to touching the APU's thermal ceiling.
Sandra's Arithmetic module helps quantify the theoretical superiority of Intel's x86 logic, which we already know to be quite fast in single-threaded and more parallelized workloads. But...
If we go the other way to show what AMD's OpenCL efforts enable, the combined potential of host processing and graphics together heavily favor the FX processor.
Granted, there still aren't many OpenCL-accelerated apps. However, the situation is changing slowly. Though it's safe to say that most software benefits more from Intel's efficient architecture, we've seen a number of tasks sped-up dramatically by optimizations for general-purpose computing on graphics hardware. AMD needs to continue beating that drum if it hopes to change the way software is programmed.