Up until this point in the review we have taken the performance figures for Intel using their i3-2120 CPU which is priced similarly to the A10 APU range. It contains the HD 2000 GPU, a DirectX 10.1 part which will cause us issues when comparing performance in the latest DX11 games. For this reason and due to the performance in the table below we are going to move to the HD 4000 GPU found in the latest Ivy Bridge processors for the this page… so its £100 AMD vs more expensive Intel chip from now on. (NOTE: Clearly the Intel chip would offer enhanced CPU performance for that money, keep that in mind)
In one of the few game tests where we can use the same graphics settings we see that the A10 APU offers significantly faster performance than the HD 2000. Really there is no comparison, the AMD model is in a different league. So what about the HD 4000 from Intel?
We start the results above with Borderlands 2 and while the game is playable at 1920×1080 on the A10 APU we had to reduce detail levels a little too much for our liking. A far more desirable balance was moving to 1280×768 resolution and high detail where the system had no problems delivering a good visual experience with smooth framerates.
Moving to Counter Strike: Global Operations there was no need to reduce detail levels, we averaged nearly 60fps with maximum detail. This smooth performance continues on through World of WarCraft: Mists of Pandaria and DOTA 2 where a mixture of Medium and High settings allowed us to play at 1920×1080 without issue.
Star Wars: The Old Republic with the latest 1.4 patch skirted the edge of playable with 1920×1080 and high settings. Medium would offer a smoother experience but F1 2012 was a game where the A10/Virgo platform excelled. At 1920×1080 we were able to turn on High detail and race with an average of 35frames per second.
And what of the HD 4000? Quite simply AMD’s A10-5800K APU with built in Radeon 7000 Series graphics significantly outperforms the Intel part. We can game faster, and if we wish with higher detail levels on the A10.
In recent months we have taken a look at a number of Z97 boards, including Gigabytes exceptional Z97X- Gaming G1 WIFI-BK and their more affordable, mainstream Z97X-Gaming 5. Of course when it comes to motherboards there are many needs and budgets which require solutions and so as with their...