The 7660G is the newest integrated GPU from AMD’s oven and the fastest of them all and is found in the “Trinity” quad core A10-4600M CPU. The Trinity comes after the “Liano” architecture and offers higher core clocks, higher power efficiency and a newer and faster integrated GPU. A similar GPU is found in the quad core A10-4655M which is more power efficient part with a TDP of 25W (vs 35W of the A10-4600M). The 7660G predecessor was the 6620G
The HD 4000 is Intel’s newest and fastest integrated GPUs and it’s found in Intel’s Ivy Bridge CPUs. It’s faster than the HD 3000 significantly.
First thing is to remember that these are integrated GPUs. They do not come as a descrete card and are coupled to a specific CPU. Due to the fact that Intel HDs come with their Sandy Bridge / Ivy Bridge CPUs, the comparison between the integrated performance is not sterile and the numbers include the fact that the Intel CPUs have a good advantage over AMD’s CPUs, but then - the prices are also different.
Tiny Giants: Intel HD 4000 vs AMD Radeon 7660G
Let me start by being accurate – sometimes the the HD 4000 systems (with the fast I7-3610QM or I7-3720QM CPUs) has the upper hand but in most cases the 7660G has the advantage, however thin. While the previous sentence is true, it is also not enough as we have to separate the performance differences into different cases to see a more complete picture – we are gonna investigate the games in which the HD 4000 appears to have an advantage.
For example, Anandtech numbers show that in The Elders Scrolls V: Skyrim, 1366×768 and 1600×900 resolutions and and no AA, the HD 4000 has a small but visible advantage, but checking further we see that with AA filtering and “Ultra” preset activated, the 7660G system gets a considerable lead (15 vs 10 FPS). That leads to the assumption that the 7660G shine will be brighter when using higher graphical intensive settings. Similar results appear in notebookcheck tests where in low detailed settings and no AA the 7660G and HD 4000 get very similar results but using higher settings and activating filters make the 7660G a winner. Lets check another game – Batman: Arkham City.
In Batman: Arkham City, the HD 4000 system has an advantage in DX9 mode and low/medium settings., However, switching to DX11 and higher settings and resolution, the 7660G equals the HD 4000 or even surpasses it. But then again, according to Anandtech benchmarks, when using 1080p resolution and high AA filters setting it seems that the I7 system takes the lead again which might mean that the A10 and 7660G met their ceiling with these settings. We are talking about less then 10FPSs – not really playable, but you can disable the AA filters and reduce the settings to “High” instead of “Extreme”.
This case was different because we see that there are cases that the A10 system just have a problem – it might be about the games and settings that require higher memory bandwidth.
Now to a different kind of cases. The A10 + 7660G and even Liano GPU(6620G) seems to have a big advantage in some games. Civilization V is one such game with the 7660G having about twice the performance (averagly) compared to the I7-3720QM + HD 4000 system. Actually, it seems that the 7660G is also really competitive compared to Nvidia solutions too, like the GT 540M. These numbers are shown in more than one test over more than one site.
More extreme cases are Portal 2 (~ +50% advantage in favor of the 7660G), Starcraft II (around +50% for higher settings) and Total War: Shogun 2 (another good +50%). I didn’t see such cases in favor of the HD 4000. So, if these games are your cup of tea and you want to save money the 7660G (and we’ll that the 6620G too) is a good way to go as you get a very good performance and the benefit of having low-power cpu+gpu combination.
Now, all these numbers are for the HD 4000 found in the quad I7 CPUs. Meaning – HD 4000 will fulfill its potential, unlike the case of ULV CPUs and other CPU like the I5-3210M which HD 4000 part clocks are limited to 1050MHZ and 1100MHZ respectively. The 7660G will have a larger advantage comparing to such CPUs.
Otherwise, the 7660G has small-but-not-to-small advantage over HD 4000 systems and is overall the better performer.
conclusion: Performance-wise, for low budget gaming, you better take the 7660G, unless you need the Ivy Bridge CPU computing power for non-gaming scenarios – that means that if your budget is tight, you better look for Trinity 7660G solution rather than the faster Intel CPU and the idea is that you can find a Trinity based system for lower prices compared to Intel equipped laptop. Otherwise for the same money you can get a quad A10-4600M system while getting only one of the slower Intel CPU, although featuring HD 4000 GPU like the dual core I5-3317U which has much lower core clock than the regular I5 and its HD 4000 clocks are limited by 300MHZ to 1050MHZ compared to the 1350MHZ of the full blown version (77%) – so you’ll actually have even higher advantage with the 7660G.
Important thing - You shouldn’t get the 7660G or HD 4000 just to get its performance, because for its price you can get the Radeon 7670M / 7730M based laptops or GT 540M / GT 630M quite easily. It’s only in case you find some deal OR you don’t buy a gaming machine but a laptop for general purposes, for example, and won’t to get the highest experience you can get. A good example is the HP dv6z-7000 with which you can get a FullHD screen and a good performance for quite a low price as of the writing of these lines.
We’ll also see that compared to the HD 3000, the 7660G is a monster. I only wish that AMD will do something with their CPU performance as they can’t keep it like that.
Examining the battery running times and power consumption, the Trinity based system (A10 + 7660G in our case) delivers a good performance having lower power consumption than Intel’s non-ULV cpus (including dual cores and celerons). Power consumption while surfing the web and using youtube is good too, but isn’t really better than HD 4000 systems.
AMD Radeon 7660G vs AMD Radeon 6620G
The Radeon 6620G is the older Liano based CPU. We’ll make it shorter than the 7660G vs HD 4000 comparison. The main point is that the 7660G has an average of 15-20% lead over the 6620G without the need for more power and actually, the Trinity based systems are more power efficient to the level you’ll notice a difference and your laptop, with same battery capacity, will last longer.
Some games will benefit more from the move to 7660G, like BF3, Starcraft II, Portal 2, Skyrim and more – all gaining +20-30% in performance.
conclusion: Depends on the price, ofcourse. You can find the 6620G solutions for a lower price and sometimes – much lower but as I said in the 7660G / HD 4000 section – don’t focus your search only on laptops with specific integrated GPUs just in order to get their gaming performance, because you might be able to find better GPUs for this price.
Taking into account that the Trinity systems are also more power efficient, it’s hard to defend the 6620G offers except in cases of very good deals – that’s their domain.
AMD Radeon 6620G vs Intel HD 4000
Very similar to the previous section. You can find the 6620G for less. Unlike the 7660G, the 6620G and HD 4000 are more or less on par as far as gaming performance goes with the same exceptions as with the 7660G – Starcraft II, Portal 2, Civ V and Total War: Shogun 2 are all strongholds of the 6620G systems and again – this advantage is even higher when talking about Intel’s ULVs or I5-3210M kind of CPUs where the HD 4000 GPUs clocks are limited.
However, the Liano based systems power efficiency is lower than this of the Trinity systems and HD 4000 systems. If battery running time are more important to you, you should check the prices of Trinity and Ivy Bridge laptops.
And again, it’s a matter of price. You should look for deals. The performance will be about the same and the power consumption higher. You needs to think what do you prefer.
Intel HD 3000 vs Intel HD 4000
The HD 4000 is a clear winner with an average of 30-40% performance gain. The trade off is power consumption when under full load probably. Overall, the performance per price and per watt is significantly higher. If your choice, for the same price range, is between the HD 3000 and HD 4000, then the HD 4000 should be your choice – no doubt.
But that is not really the competition as you have the 6620G and 7660G on your mind too. 6620G is clearly faster than the HD 3000 and even rivaling the HD 4000 found in some of Intel’s CPUs (ULVs, I5-3210M, I5-3320M).
A10 + 7660G is the fastest system for gaming, even compared to the faster Intel I7 CPUs. 6620G rivals the HD 4000 for much lower price but is less power efficient. The HD 3000 is the slowest but also has lower power consumption than the 6620G and you can find laptops that will last longer than the 6620G ones.
As I repeated trough the whole post – don’t buy your laptop just to get the integrated GPUs gaming performance as you probably can get higher performance with dedicated GPUs. However, you sometimes have higher priorities other than gaming performance, like computing power, longer battery times, lower heat dissipation, better screen or lower price. In that case, the integrated solution might come very handy. I gave an example – with the HP dv6z-7000 you can get a good FullHD screen and a good AMD cpu for a good price and while you could get higher gaming performance for that price, you wouldn’t get it with a FullHD screen probably.
We will have another article about integrated vs dedicated GPUs.