Integrated graphics faceoff: Intel Iris Pro 6200 vs. AMD Radeon R7
Performance and conclusion
Integrated Graphics Performance
3DMark (2013) Results
For the 3DMark (2013) tests, we would usually use the Fire Strike Extreme to stress out the GPU cores; however, the AMD APU had some issues with the test, so we were had to deviate from norm and use the Sky Diver and Fire Strike tests. Do note the following differences between the respective test rigs.
- The official operating clock speed of the memory modules for the Intel processor is kept at 1600MHZ, while for the AMD APU, its official supported clock speed is 2133MHz.
- the video memory for the Core i7-5775C was capped at a maximum of 512MB, and for the A10-7870K, its video memory was set to a maximum of 2GB.
For the Sky Diver test, the A10-7870K pulled ahead by less than 1%; however, for the more demanding Fire Strike test, the higher video memory and its higher clock speed of the system RAM, the AMD APU managed a 5.2% winning margin against the Intel CPU.
We put the game settings to the generic Normal mode, and tested the processors at two resolutions. The Intel Core i7-5775C pulled ahead slightly, but at the higher resolution of 1,920 x 1,200 pixels, their scores flatlined at 26fps.
Handbrake Video Encoding
For the video encoding test, we upgraded the Handbrake software to version 0.10.2. The CPU prowess of the Core i7-5775C is evident despite the fact that Handbrake is supposed to support AMD's transcoding engine. The Intel processor was almost twice as fast the AMD APU for this test.
Video Decoding Performance - Blu-ray Playback
For our video decoding performance tests, the results swung back in favor, albeit only slightly, for the A10-7870K APU. In the past, we were used to CPU workloads of about 4- to 10%, and this was seen on our older Windows 7 testing platforms. However, with our new Windows 10 Home operating system, the CPU utilization loads are now in the range of 14- to 20%.
SYSmark 2014 results
Given the neck-to-neck graphics performance of both processors, we decided to throw in an additional benchmark, SYSmark 2014, in order to gauge the overall performance of each. As expected, the Intel Core i7-5775C processor pulled ahead by a wide margin of 128% for the test's overall score. The benchmark measures the response times of the PC against a slew of application workloads, so the higher the scores, the faster the response times of the system. By looking at the overall score again, we can safely conclude the Intel system is about twice as fast the AMD machine.
From the iGPU test results, it appears the A10-7870K and its Radeon R7 graphics engine has pulled ahead of the Intel chip. However, on further examination with the SYSmark 2014 benchmark, the Intel Core i7-5775C and its Iris Pro 6200 graphics core is easily the highest performing integrated graphics engine equipped processor. This is because of the strong overall performance of the Intel Broadwell processor, but we have to admit that from a technical point of view, the AMD processor is no match for the Intel processor - they are simply too big a different apart. The AMD A10-7870K is squarely a mid-range part and is closer to a true dual-core processor than a quad-core processor (at least going by traditional CPU architectures). Its price is also another dead giveaway of its intended category at just US$137. In comparison, the Intel Core i7-5775C is a high-end quad-core processor that has a suggested retail price of US$377 - nearly thrice as as expensive as the Intel counterpart.
So is our test unfair? Not at all. We set out to test the best iGPU based processors and that we did.
What's actually surprising is to see how well Intel's iGPU processor performed and it's clearly toe-to-toe with the best AMD has to offer - which is rather unheard of in the realms of Intel's integrated graphics. The Intel Iris Pro 6200 GPU has a total of 48 execution units, which is more than double in quantity, in comparison with the 20 EUs of the previous generation Intel HD Graphics 4600. In addition, there's also the presence of 128MB of eDRAM on the CPU package. What's more, Intel has managed to keep the thermal envelope of the entire chip to a low of 65W. This is definitely helped by the 14nm fabrication process behind the chip wafer. In comparison, the AMD A10-7870K APU has a higher thermal package of 95W with no significant microarchitecture difference between the current Godavari and the previous Kaveri A10-7850K APU.
In closing, if you want our recommendation for the best iGPU processor that offers great value, go for the AMD A10-7870K APU. If you really want the most powerful iGPU processor, the Intel Core i7-5775C no doubt takes the title. Either way, you can't go wrong and it's just a matter of your expectations.