Discrete vs. Integrated Graphics Benchmarks
For the final test, we’ll compare the CPU usage on the integrated graphics processors against their discrete counterparts, the Radeon 2400 PRO and GeForce 8400 GS. First, let’s compare the Radeons:
The discrete Radeon 2400 PRO seems to show about a 15% increase in performance over the integrated 3200 when decoding the toughest codec, H.264. This is a notable improvement and makes a strong case for a discrete card.
As for the easier VC-1 and MPEG2 codecs, there is a small performance spread, but CPU usage is below 50% and none of it is really notable. The only point of interest is that the integrated Radeon 3200 shows a slight advantage over the discrete card using the MPEG2 codec.
Now let’s move on to the GeForce solutions:
Using the demanding H.264 codec, the discrete GeForce 8400 GS card shows a similar improvement over its integrated counterpart—about 15%—but what’s more important is that the CPU usage spiking on the integrated 8200 is gone on the discrete card. When we consider that the GeForce 8400 GS is not only using less CPU resources, but is providing smooth stutter-free playback and enhanced image quality as shown in our HQV testing, the advantage is hard to ignore.