First Haswell Ultrabook GPU Performance Tests

Updated on 11 June 2013 by


It’s going to be a confusing year for Ultrabook graphics as Haswell feeds-in. Not only are we still seeing sales of Sandy Bridge 2nd-gen Core-based Ultrabooks [can we take these out of the Ultrabook arena please, Intel?] but the new 4th-Gen Ultrabooks will be coming with a wider range of GPU options than ever before.  HD 4200, HD 4400, HD 5000 and HD 5100 (Intel Iris) GPUs are listed. Today we get the first indicators of performance on the HD4xxx range with HD5xxxx performance indicators likely in the next 24hrs thanks to a new Apple MacBook Air that was launched yesterday.

It’s the HD4000-range that has surprised us. Back in September Intel led us to believe that all Ultrabooks would come with ‘dual-slice’ graphics (HD5xxx-series) but it’s not the case as the new Acer S7 Ultrabook proves. The Sony Vaio Duo 13 and Toshiba Z10T are two other devices (arguably not Ultrabooks though) that are getting an HD4xxx option. The Lifebook UH90 is another.

The Acer S7 with Intel Core i7-4500U has been tested by Anandtech. The Sony Vaio Pro 11 (with the same processor) has been tested by Laptopmag.


Test Acer S7 (HD4400) Vaio Pro 11 (HD4400) Our Ivy Bridge Average
Cinebench OpenGL na 14 14.2
3DMark 11 na 647 na
3DMark06 5691 na 4323


The HD4400 uses a similar architecture to Ivy Bridges HD4000 and a max clock of 1Ghz (*1.1Ghz in the Core i7 processors) so it’s no surprise that performance results are in the Ivy-Bridge class. Anand comments: “Intel’s HD 4400 takes half a step forward, but it doesn’t dramatically change the playability of games that HD 4000 couldn’t run well.” Add the fact that the CPU performance isn’t greatly improved over Ivy Bridge and what have you got? We all expect performance improvements in updated processor platforms but in this case, Ultrabook-category processors that include HD4xxx graphics are focused purely on longer battery life, smaller mainboard footprint and lower TDP for ‘tighter’ designs. Those battery life improvements are huge though so don’t ignore it.

As for HD5000 graphics we’ve got readers here that have ordered the Sony Vaio Duo 13 with the HD5000 option.  [Keep us posted, Matt!] and we’ll have a fresh data-point soon when people start testing the HD5000 GPU on the new Apple MacBook Air 11 and 13 with Core i5-4250U (that are offering up to 9hrs web-working on a 35Wh battery and 12 hours on a 50Wh battery.)

HD5100 Intel Iris graphics (in a 28W TDP package) will be available on processors such as the Core i3-4158UCore-i5 4288U, Core i5-4258U and Core i7-4558U later in the year.

18 Comments For This Post

  1. Touko says:

    Hi Steve,

    There are already some IRIS performance tests on IRIS, I will try to find a link and post it here.

    Also, has run benchmarks on the HD-4600

  2. Steve Chippy Paine says:

    Hi Touko. Semiaccurate did HD 4600 with a quad-core desktop part though, i think, right? I think it’s important (here) to be reporting HD graphics performance on the U and Y-series processors.

  3. Touko says:

    Of course, you’re right. All that desktop HD-4600 benchmarks can do is give us a high water line, since the U and Y series are not likely to match desktop performance.

    So in that way, the test was enough to dowse my interest in any HD-4×00 part.

  4. Mike says:

    Hey Chippy. I’ve done a couple of tests myself as well.

    Vaio Pro with Intel Hd 4600. I also have a video showing how it deals with games

  5. Steve Chippy Paine says:

    Hey Mike.
    I must keep a closer watch on your site. Good stuff. I’ve added it to the product page.
    Do you still have the Pro 13?

  6. DavidC1 says:

    I see where you got the “HD 4600” from. The GPU monitoring utilities are not good finding out infos on Intel GPUs, because Intel doesn’t release information directly to the developers. HD 4600 is on the regular voltage chips and desktops.

    But Core i5 4200U is using HD 4400. That’s stated right on the Intel site.

  7. Touko says:

    Thanks for the review, Mike!

    You’re the second person who talks about the flex of the machine making it feel precarious…

    Flex certainly is not good for circuit boards, as the thousands of tiny leads on them easily develop intermittent contact. So we can only hope that the chassis flex does not translate into any kind of circuit board flex.

    I still haven’t forgotten about all the macbook users with bad solder joints on their nvidia cards, which then the company refused to acknowledge for a long time, before eventually helping people with unusable machines years later.

    Shareholder value should never replace honor for corporate management.

    The machine does look tempting but it seems Sony put form over function with the edge of the wrist rest.

  8. Mike says:

    I don’t, only had it from Thursday till yesterday. But I hope to get the Duo 13 and the Pro 11 as well this week.

  9. DavidC1 says:

    Mike :
    Hey Chippy. I’ve done a couple of tests myself as well.
    Vaio Pro with Intel Hd 4600. I also have a video showing how it deals with games

    It uses a HD 4400, not 4600.

  10. Mike says:

    hwinfo, gpuz and a bunch of others were all showing that it came with Intel HD 4600. I found that odd, since intel lists this cpu with 4400 and also the config on Sony’s website offers the same 4400…

  11. Alan says:

    Sounds like a software bug to me. It happens often with new chips with hwinfo, gpuz, cpuz, etc.

  12. James says:

    Could be it’s basically the same GMA, just different default settings…

    Like setting clock speeds, etc. to differentiate products it could all still be from the same FAB batch.

    Both the 4400 and 4600 have 20 execution unit cores… So the difference may only be how it’s optimized, with the 4400 likely having lower clock values to conserve power, etc.

  13. John says:

    Sony Vaio’s are known to get hot. I wonder what kind of thermal throttling people will get on them.

  14. Michael says:

    It’ll be interesting how long these Haswell ultrabooks can maintain turbo boost and at what frequency. I know for desktop Core CPUs, motherboard manufacturers actually allow you to force the max turbo normally allowed for a single core even when all cores are under load. That’s because turbo control is actually done outside the CPU. I assume notebook makers are allowed this kind of flexibility as well.

    I bet the Sony Vaios will do the worst since they’re always getting thermally throttled let alone maintaining the turbo frequency.

  15. Netbook Guru says:

    We will need to see before coming down to conclusions.

    Depending on the optimization the heat may be depreciated.

  16. Luke says:

    Notebookcheck also got a few benchmarks of the 5000:

    So far they only have benchmarks for MacBook Air but they’ll add more. Comparable to PC GPU perf?

  17. HD 4000 benchmark says:

    MYtechpartner has benchmark numbers for HD 4000 GPU as well –

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