Intel Core i7-3720QM Ivy Bridge Mobile Review

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Gaming Performance: Left 4 Dead 2 and Far Cry 2

Left 4 Dead 2
DirectX 9 Gaming Performance
In our Left 4 Dead 2 test, we use a custom Time Demo that involves plenty of fast action, a few explosions, and plenty of people and objects rendering in intense battle.  The game engine itself is a bit long in the tooth at this juncture but still representative of a casual 3D gaming experience that an integrated notebook graphics subsystem should be able to handle with relative ease.

The long and short of it is, if you're a Left 4 Dead 2 fan (and there are a few of us around these parts that are), Intel's HD Graphics 4000 engine in Ivy Bridge is more than capable, even with a bit of Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering in the mix cleaning up image quality.  Here we see over a 2X performance gain over Sandy Bridge and playable performance at higher resolutions and image quality.

Far Cry 2 
DirectX 10 Gaming Performance
Like the original, FarCry 2 is one of the more visually impressive games to be released on the PC to date. Courtesy of the Dunia game engine developed by Ubisoft, FarCry 2's game-play is enhanced by advanced environment physics, destructible terrain, high resolution textures, complex shaders, realistic dynamic lighting, and motion-captured animations. We benchmarked the test systems in this article with the FarCry 2 benchmark tool using one of the built-in demo runs recorded in the "Ranch" map.

More of the same here with FarCry 2, with the Core i7-3720QM besting the Core i7-2820QM by over two times the performance at high res.  Also note that Ivy Bridge can almost hang with discrete graphics in this test, which is slightly more memory bandwidth and CPU balanced than some of the more shader-intensive titles you'll see next.

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