Overall, we are impressed by Intel's new integrated graphics core. The manufacturer has solidly improved over the previous HD 3000 by a rough average of 30 percent. This difference can be even greater at 30-40 percent if the GPU is paired with a powerful quad-core Ivy Bridge CPU like the i7-3610QM. Even the top AMD Llano chips cannot compete with the HD 4000, at least in our benchmark comparisons above. Intel has the upper hand by about 15 percent or more compared to AMD's Fusion Llano offerings.
Perhaps more impressively, the Intel GPU beats the now ancient Radeon HD 7450 handily. Because of this, one may have to ponder if low-end dedicated GPUs from AMD or Nvidia would be a viable alternative at all.
Casual gamers who can live with low resolution gaming, disabled AA and subdued graphical eye candy may find the HD 4000 perfectly fine. The GPU is not future proof, of course, as users looking for a more middle-of-the-road offering should look towards systems with a GeForce GT 640M or GT 650M.
Regardless, Intel has delivered admirably with the HD 4000, at least from an integrated GPU perspective. While obviously not a threat to anything higher than a mid-range dedicated GPU, low-end options from AMD or Nvidia can potentially be in serious trouble. Since integrated GPUs make up the vast majority of notebooks out there, Intel can essentially capture a large chunk of the graphics market away from competitors. With AMD Trinity rolling along in the next few months, however, the tides can turn just as easily if the new Fusion core can both impress and dethrone Intel from the Integrated graphics market.