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3DMark scores of 161 mobile GPUs: from 3DMark06 to Fire Strike

How do different mobile GPUs compare to each other performance-wise?

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Introduction

Yesterday we published an article comparing the Cinebench 11.5 scores of 66 mobile CPUs to 48 desktop processors. Today we will analyze the performance of laptop GPUs, as there is quite a difference in practice as many readers will have experienced. We looked at the 3DMark scores of no less than 161 different mobile GPUs from the past years, based on the test results of 200+ laptops that we've tested.


The performance of integrated graphics in part depends on the processor it's part of. When we test desktop processors, we're able to control the other variables in order to get comparable results. With laptop GPUs it's not possible to achieve this, as they're always part of a complete laptop with different processors.

We took the same approach we did with the Cinebench 11.5 CPU scores, and averaged the scores of each GPU. The same GPU in different CPUs will of course perform differently, but taking the average will provide a good indication of the general performance you can expect, and it serves as a good point of reference for making comparisons. Since we test more than 200 laptops each year, it should paint a fairly accurate picture.

For this article we looked at the different 3DMark scores, from 3DMark06 to the latest version of 3DMark that came out this year. We don't include gaming benchmarks, because it's not possible to test games on laptops in a consistent manner on many laptops.

3DMark06 came out in the DirectX 9 era, and we've used it for more than five years on every laptop we've tested. For this benchmark we have scores from 161 different mobile GPUs. We don't have as many results for 3DMark Vantage (DirectX 10), 3DMark 11 (DirectX 11) and the latest version of 3DMark (Ice Storm, Cloud Gate and Fire Strike). The newer the version of 3DMark, however, the closer the correlation between the scores and the performance with current games. You can see that the newest GPUs don't score much better in 3DMark06 than older ones, while in 3DMark11 and the newest 3DMark there certainly is a significant performance gain.


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