The graphics card in your computer will have a lot of say over the type and quality of games you play, so they definitely deserve their own review. We’re looking at the Intel HD Graphics 4000 to see what it offers and if it would be suitable for gaming, depending on what your favourite titles are.
When looking at your gaming setup, it’s easy to see things as simple as they are. You have a monitor to display images, a keyboard for buttons, and your computer to power everything up. Inside the computer is what really matters, though, and no part is more important to the gamer than their graphics card.
The graphics card is responsible for turning the data from the computer into an image, so it’s essential to a quality gaming experience. The Intel HD Graphics 4000 is a card found on many notebooks today, so we’re here to check out how it stacks up against others in terms of performance and quality.
The Role of A Graphics Card
Before we can get into the suitability of the Intel HD Graphics card, we need a quick lesson on what the graphics card does. These seemingly small cards hold a lot of weight in our gaming setup, and they are usually found integrated as part of an already built notebook or computer.
When we look at our computer screen during gaming and see an image, it’s made up of millions of pixels. The pixels don’t just arrive on screen though, as the graphics card acts like a translator, turning information from the CPU and turning it into this picture that you see.
Depending on the capabilities of the graphics card, each of them is capable of different things. Most games require quite a capable card in order to play, especially newer generation titles, so for the gamer to be able to enjoy their favorite pastime they need to ensure the graphics card is going to meet their requirements.
Intel and Graphics Cards
Intel has always been leaders in the world of graphics, and the company is now in their ninth generation of these amazing devices. The HD 4000 was part of their seventh generation, so things have progressed in the six or so years since then, and they are constantly at the forefront of technology in this area.
Intel is certainly no stranger to graphics cards, computers, and another important tech, but that doesn’t mean that every card they make is going to be a gamer’s dream. With graphics cards built for specific purposes, they’re not all made just for gaming. We’ll investigate its benchmarks, what computers you can find it in, and what games would be suitable for use with this card so you can make the best decision for your gaming needs.
Overview of the Intel HD Graphics 4000
The Intel HD Graphics 4000 is a processor graphics card that was made in 2012 and is part of their seventh generation of these processors. Intel designed them to be included in the Ivy Bridge processors and they still exist today in many notebooks.
In terms of performance, the notebooks that use these graphics cards are commonly for basic home and office applications. They can watch movies, view photos, work on various office documents, and run general processes, as well as do some low-end gaming.
For those looking for a serious gaming processor graphics card, this model might not be as powerful as you’d hope. It can certainly allow you to play games, but the extent to these games will vary, depending on the power elsewhere in your computer and what games you want to play. In general, it’s not necessarily deemed a game worthy graphics card, so for that purpose alone, it’s probably not ideal.
When this card was released, Intel claimed that it was a major update from the previous generation, but it doesn’t appear that too much has changed. The only real difference was the addition of four execution units, but the maximum clock speeds are the same as the last model, both checking in at 1,350MHz. However, it has managed to show off some new features and improved performance, so we’ll see exactly where they made the changes.
Features of the Graphics Card
Graphics cards are quite complex, and although we often look at a computer or notebook overall, giving special attention to this one area can teach us a lot about how it will perform. Here are some of the features that you’ll find on the Intel HD 4000 Graphics card and what they mean for its performance.
- Turbo Boost technology that allows the base clock to be automatically overclocked if required. This means a different performance level when it comes to graphics.
- DirectX 11 capable shaders, dedicated level 3 cache, Hardware Tessellation, and DirectCompute support;
- Multi-Format Codec Engine (MFX) is the integrated video encoder which has been upgraded since the last model to allow simultaneous 4K video decoding.
- QuickSync is used for higher performance and improved picture quality.
- Capable of supporting up to three different displays as long as the notebook can support it also.
- Uses a 22nm 3D Tri-Gate production process which means more energy efficiency within the notebook.
This was the newer version of graphics card from Intel, and since the Intel HD Graphics 3000, it has been completely redesigned. Benchmark testing has shown some interesting things that can display how worthy it would be for gaming and other applications.
The first testing took place with the HD Graphics 4000 in a quad-core desktop CPU rather than a notebook where they’re commonly found. This computer had a Nvidia GeForce GT 330M which helped to beef it up. The results showed that the 4000 was able to beat the HD 6620G by around 15 percent, compared to when it was in a dual core when it got around the same results.
These results show that in terms of gaming, it may be possible to play some of the more intensive games but just on a lower quality setting. However, you will have to sacrifice for less quality and lower performance just to be able to enjoy your high-end games, which might not be worth it for some gamers.
Another note worth mentioning is that because the HD Graphics 4000 can vary its clock speeds depending on the CPU it’s working with, different results are possible. This is worth noting as not all CPUs will be able to offer gameplay even on lower quality settings, so you’ll need to check with the notebook or desktop computer you’re using.
Suitable Games for the Intel HD Graphics 4000 Review
Although game compatibility has been proven to be quite good with the Intel HD 4000, that doesn’t mean all games will be able to play at high performance. Intel has released a list of popular games that may be possible to enjoy at 30 frames per second on the 4000, or anything higher.
- A Game of Thrones: Genesis
- Agatha Christie 3 in 1 Bundle
- Age of Empires Online
- Aion Tower of Eternit
- Avadon: The Black Fortress
- Babel Rising
- Back To The Future
- Batman Arkham City GOTY
- Blacklight: Retribution
- Brave: The Video Game
- Bullet Run
- Bully: Scholarship Edition
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
- Cars 2: The Video Game
- City of Heroes – Issue 21
- Civilization V (Touch)
- Civilization V: Gods & Kings
- Counter Strike: Global Offensive
- Counter-Strike Online
- Dark Orbit
- Darksiders 2
- Defense Grid: The Awakening
- Defense Grid: You Monster
- Demolition Company
- Diablo 3
- Doctor Who: The Adventure Games
- Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock
- Driver: San Francisco
- Duke Nukem Forever
- Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Endless Space
- FIFA 12
- Fifa 13
- FIFA Manager 12
- FreeStyle 2
- Galaxy on Fire 2
- Gatling Gears
- Ghost Whisperer: A Brush with Death
- Hank Haney World Golf Master
- JianXia 3
- Jurassic Park: The Game
- Killing Floor
- Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
- Legends of Altantis
- LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean
- Lord of the Rings Online: Rise of Isengard
- Lord of the Rings: War in the North
- Major League Baseball 2K11
- Marvel Super Hero Squad Online
- Max Payne 3
- Men of War: Vietnam
- Nancy Drew: The Captive Curse
- Orcs Must Die! 2
- Painkiller: Resurrection
- QQ Spee
- S2 Online
- Shaun White Snowboarding
- Sins of a Solar Empire: Trinity
- Skyrim – Dawnguard DLC
- Star Trek Online
- Star Wars Clone Wars Adventures
- Star Wars: The Old Republic
- Street Fighter X Tekken
- Sudden Attack
- The Adventures of Tintin: The Game
- The Lord of the Rings Online
- The Sims 3: Town Life Stuff
- The Treasures of Mystery Island 2: The Gates of Fate
- Warhammer 40k: Space Marine
- Warhammer Online
- World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria
- Worms Revolution
- Zombi Online
Notebooks Featuring the Intel Card
These days, it’s common for notebook manufacturers to integrate a graphics card and have it physically soldered into the device. With a graphics card that’s on the lower end of the scale in terms of picture quality, it’s not usual that people would want to place this in a higher performing CPU. These are just some of the notebooks that currently come with the Intel card as standard, with both new and refurbished models available:
- ACER: Aspire, Travelmate, W700
- Apple MacBook: Air 2012, Pro 2012
- Asus: Transformer, Taichi, Vivobook, Zenbook
- Dell: Latitude, Vostro, XPS,
- Fujitsu: Lifebook, Stylistic
- HP: EliteBook, ProBook, Envy
- Lenovo: IdeaPad, ThinkPad
- Samsung: 900X, 740U, 540U, 530U
- Sony Vaio: SV, Tap
- Toshiba: Portege, Satellite
Most of these notebooks were released in 2012 or shortly thereafter as part of their Ivy Bridge processors. To purchase one of these today would likely be in refurbished condition, so it could be considered great value for money.
Who the Intel HD 4000 Is For
Although this is part of a previous generation of graphics cards from Intel, that doesn’t mean it’s completely useless by today’s standards. For those looking to purchase a cheaper gaming laptop for low-end games, any of these notebooks that have the 4000 as its graphics component would probably be very impressed.
These cards were never designed to be the ultimate for gamers, but more suited to those with general applications. Someone who uses their laptop for the office and home, with the extent of their media usage being photos and videos, would likely be a better candidate for the 4000.
Intel is now in its ninth generation of graphics cards so it’s understandable that things have come a long way since then. However, for more basic applications this still stands up quite well to today’s comparisons so it shouldn’t be discounted entirely.
A Quality Card But Not Ideal For Performance Gaming
There’s no denying that Intel knows a thing or two about graphics, but as this is an older model now and was lower on the performance end in those days, it probably doesn’t hold up very well today. As you can see, there are plenty of titles available that would work with this card, but you must be prepared to lower the quality of the image in order to play them.
Owning any of these notebooks that have the Intel HD Graphics 4000 standard will still serve you well for basic gaming purposes, and will be more than enough for general home and office use. However, if gaming is your passion and you are seeking out something powerful enough to play the most high-end games, the 4000 sadly isn’t it.
Intel works constantly to improve their graphics cards and since this one was released, there have been quite a few showing these improvements. For the purpose of gaming, it would be best to look for something updated and more suitable for this application, otherwise, you could be playing your games in a manner that’s just not enjoyable.