Sandy Bridge, Part 1: Intel GMA HD 3000/2000 Graphics

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TEST METHODOLOGY

Common Test Components:

LGA1155 Platform:

  • Intel Core i5-2500K processor - quad core, 3.3 GHz, 32nm, 95W
  • Intel DH67BL motherboard - H67 chipset, microATX

LGA1156 Platform:


Testbed device listing.


Measurement and Analysis Tools

Video Test Suite


1080p | 24fps | ~22mbps

x264: Crash is a 1080p x264 clip encoded from the Blu-ray version of an science fiction film. It features the aftermath of a helicopter crash. It has an unusually high bitrate for video of this type.



1080p | 24fps | ~3.4mbps

Flash: Avatar is a 1080p Flash trailer of the motion picture "Avatar" from YouTube.



1080p | 24fps | ~33mbps
Blu-ray: Disturbia is a short section (chapter 4) of the Blu-ray version of Disturbia, the motion picture, played directly off the Blu-ray disc. It is encoded with H.264/AVC.


1080p | 24fps | ~36mbps
Blu-ray: Becoming Jane is a short section (chapter 7) of the Blu-ray version of Becoming Jane, the motion picture, played directly off the Blu-ray disc. It is encoded with VC-1.

Estimating DC Power

The following power efficiency figures were obtained for the Seasonic SS-400ET used in our test system:

Seasonic SS-400ET Test Results
DC Output (W)
21.2
41.6
60.2
81.9
104.7
124.1
145.2
AC Input (W)
32.0
58.0
78.0
102.0
128.0
150.0
175.0
Efficiency
66.3%
71.7%
77.1%
80.3%
81.8%
82.8%
83.0%

This data is enough to give us a very good estimate of DC demand in our test system. We extrapolate the DC power output from the measured AC power input based on this data. We won't go through the math; it's easy enough to figure out for yourself if you really want to.

Testing Procedures

If available, the latest motherboard BIOS is installed prior to testing. Certain services/features like Indexing, Superfetch, System Restore, and Windows Defender are disabled to prevent them from causing spikes in CPU/HDD usage. We also make note if energy saving features like Cool'n'Quiet/SpeedStep or S3 suspend-to-RAM do not function properly.

Our main test procedure is designed to determine the overall system power consumption at various states (measured using a Seasonic Power Angel). To stress CPUs we use either Prime95 (large FFTs setting) or CPUBurn depending on which produces higher system power consumption. To stress the IGP, we use FurMark, an OpenGL benchmarking and stability testing utility. Power consumption during playback of high definition video is also recorded.

Our video test suite features a variety of high definition video clips. If the video (and/or audio) skips or freezes, we conclude the board's IGP (in conjunction with the processor) is inadequate to decompress the clip properly. High CPU usage is indicative of poor video decoding ability on the part of the integrated graphics subsystem.



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