AMD 785G Chipset IGP Video Performance Preview

Author: Carl Poirier
Editor: Howard Ha
Publish Date: Tuesday, August 4th, 2009
Originally Published on Neoseeker (http://www.neoseeker.com)
Article Link: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Reviews/785g/
Copyright Neo Era Media, Inc. - please do not redistribute or use for commercial purposes.

Most prebuilt computers one can buy in store run on integrated graphics, which are much cheaper than dedicated graphics cards and are more than enough powerful - if no one runs videogames on it. Or can we? Sure a high-end dedicated graphics card is way better, but can it get the job done? ATI/AMD today releases a new chipset that hopefully will further push the limits of IGPs.

The current ATI GPU generation just made its way to that integrated market - already. We can look at it the other way though. The GPU powering the 4xxx series is on the market since June of last year, so it's already been more than one year. It has now made the move to the new 785G chipset.

The 785G is obviously a better performer than the 780G with the HD 3200 IGP. The question is will outperform the HD 3300, which is the same chip but simply running at a higher frequency? That's what we will investigate in this article, but first, let's take a look at the specifications of each chipset.

Specifications

 
740G
780G
785G
790GX
Microsoft® DirectX™
9
10
10.1
10
Discrete Graphics Core
RV430
RV610
RV620
RV610
Process
80nm
55nm
55nm
55nm
Transistors
120 million
205 million

>205 million

205 million
Stream Processors
4 shaders
40
40
40
Graphics Core clock
500MHz
500MHz
500MHz
700MHz
Unified Video Decoder (UVD)
N/A
UVD
UVD2

•Accelerated Multiple Streams

•Video Detail Enhancements

 
Accelerated Video Transcode
N/A
Yes
Yes
Yes
(Optional) Performance cache
N/A
Yes (Up to 10% more performance)
HDMI
1.2
1.2
1.3
1.2
DisplayPort
No
Yes
Yes
Yes

One thing that is sure is that combined with the SB710 southbridge, that mainstream AMD platform will be way better than the Intel G45/ICH10 combo, let alone the G41/ICH7.

To simulate the performance of a prebuilt computer since this mainstream chipset will be found in such builds, I will not use the high-end Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition, but instead I will use the X4 810 clocked at 2.6GHz. The system will be equipped of the usual 4GB of RAM. The 790GX will run a 128MB Sideport Memory, however the 785G will not since the Gigabyte motherboard I will use does not have one.

As for the benchmarks, I will run only the video part of our standard benchmarking session because that is what is influenced by the video card. Furthermore, since integrated graphics cards are much more weaker than our usual GTX 260, I will tune down some settings, which will be indicated on each page.

Test Setup

Benchmarks

Crysis: Warhead is a standalone expansion pack of the original Crysis. It uses an enhanced version of the same engine.

Bioshock is a creepy first person shooter. It is the oldest of the games in our benchmarking suite, hence the high FPS.

In both games, the HD 4200 fell behind the 790GX which has the advantage of the higher frequency and the Sideport Memory. Once it was overclocked, it lead in every resolution.

World at War is the fifth of the Call of Duty series. This time, the game is back to the Second World War, even if the fourth of the same series was futurist.

Far Cry 2 is another first person shooter. It has been developed by Ubisoft compared to the first one who has been made by Crytek. The story takes place in Africa, where the ultimate goal is to assassinate an arms dealer.

In World at War, even the 100% overclock was not enough to beat the HD 3300 with the Sideport Memory, although in Far Cry 2 it was plenty.

Left 4 Dead is a first-person shooter developed by Valve. It uses the Source Engine. Four survivors must fight against infected people in order to reach a safe area.

3DMark06 from FutureMark is purely a benchmarking program. It contains a few tests, all in different environments.

Here, the same story was repeated; the HD 4200 fell behind the HD 3300 when at stock settings.

The 785G chipset brings some great features to the table. It is the first IGP to support DX10.1. UVD2 is also part of its arsenal when it comes to multimedia.

However, it is not much different physically to the previous HD 3200. Both have 40 stream processors and are clocked at 500MHz. Performance wise, that's what made it perform worse than the 790GX in our gaming tests, since this one has an updated clock of 700MHz and a 128MB sideport memory. However, as I have experienced on the Gigabyte MA785G-UD3H, the HD 4200 can also be clocked much higher than 500MHz. It was able to complete all our benchmarks at an impressive clock of 1GHz, which lead to a win in 5 tests out of 6.

I think AMD should release another version with an updated core frequency. If the 780G chipset became the 790GX by receiving a 200MHz increase, the 785G should become the 795GX with at least that same 200MHz increase. Combined with the DDR3 Sideport Memory, it should then offer a much better performance.

Overall, what we can conclude of these tests is that the HD 4200 is not quite strong enough to handle such games, even at the lowest settings as I have tested. I must admit I was a little rough on it by running our standard benchmarking games. More suitable games would be The Sims 3, World of Warcraft, Heroes of Might and Magic V, and maybe Company of Heroes, but that needs further testing. For that purpose, I will publish a follow-up to this article in which I will test such games, as well as the multimedia performance.

Update 17/08/09: The follow-up can be found here: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Reviews/785g2/

 

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