While the Sandy-Bridge processors do not bring significant performance improvement in the CPU section, the integrated GPU section – called – Intel HD Graphics 3000 take a big leap. With the Intel HD Graphics 3000, we can expect a performance close to some of the entry level graphics card. This should help reduce the system cost for entry level gaming system, by not requiring additional discrete graphics component in noteboiks or a graphics card in a desktop.
The Intel HD Graphics 3000 broadens the choice a notebook or a desktop manugacturer has in building a notebook or a desktop system. The manufacturer may choose to design the system without any additional discrete graphics component or a card to keep the cost low. Or he may opt to deactivate the integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000 and use the additional graphics component. In third option, the manufacturer may choose to use the integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000 in addition to the additional graphics component or a card. In the third option, the integrated graphics is used in less intensive graphics applications which saves the system power, or may allow the CPU to increase its turbo frequency under all condition ( An active integrated graphics may reduce its ability to do so under all conditions). When the requirement in the graphics requirement increases, the external graphics component or the card takes over.
The Sandy Bridge introduces some novelity with its Intel HD Graphics 3000. For the first time the CPU and the GPU has been built on a single die with 32 nm technology. The L3 Core, that intel call the Last Level Cache, is now shared by the Intel HD Graphics 3000.
The Intel HD Graphics 3000 supports its own turbo boost. Performance wise, Intel HD Graphics 3000 has reported 100% to 125% improvement in the performance as compared to Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) HD in the Arrandale chips.
The complete benchmark result for the Intel HD Graphics 3000 is beyon the scope of starredreviews, but we encourage you to read the reviews at anandtech which has compiled detailed benchmarking results about Intel HD Graphics 3000.