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 Post subject: How powerful is a Sandy Bridge IGP?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:09 am 
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I want to make a fanless computer alike this Silent Mini-ITX build. I am only using Linux nowdays and as far as gaming goes, the most demanding applications graphics processing wise which I run on my current system is playing Quake Wars, bSNES and making images in both pixel and vector formats.

I have had the urge to build a completely fanless system for quite a while and the only conundrum that is holding me back is the uncertainty if a system without a dedicated graphics card would have the sufficient power for my use.


Last edited by lordmetroid on Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:02 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: How powerful is a Sandy Bridge IGP?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:35 am 
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Your 3D game is the only thing you mentionned which could possibly use a nice GPU.
The basic Sandy Bridge IGP is not a gaming GPU but you can still play games on it as long as they only require modest 3D performance. The only game I played on it was FS2O.
I suppose your game would run well on the Sandy Bridge IGP. It might even run well in software since you'll be using a much more powerful CPU than the game was probably designed for. But I don't know. Ask the people who play your game!


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 Post subject: Re: How powerful is a Sandy Bridge IGP?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:43 am 
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Looks like you can get 55-70fps at 1024x768 low quality mode in Quake Wars, depending on HD2000 or HD3000. So, maybe 30fps with HD3000 in low quality mode at 1680x1050. Benchmark is halfway down this page at HotHardware.

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 Post subject: Re: How powerful is a Sandy Bridge IGP?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:26 pm 
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From those benchmarks, it seems I would want an AMD CPU. However the TDP is so extremely high compared for and AMD CPU compared to an Intel CPU, I could probably never even dream about getting and AMD CPU fanless.


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 Post subject: Re: How powerful is a Sandy Bridge IGP?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:53 pm 
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If I build a 0dB AMD system and the Thermalright HR-2 Macho is insufficient to cool the CPU under heavy loads, what measures would you recommend me to take to maintain as inaudible system as possible?

Also I am wondering if there are any rumors on the horizon for new AMD CPUs in 2012? If there are I am hoping one of those new CPUs maintain the same performance but require less power.


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 Post subject: Re: How powerful is a Sandy Bridge IGP?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:05 pm 
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Or,

- If you don't need to build until this summer, you could wait for Ivy Bridge and HD4000. Supposedly 2x HD3000 fps and significantly lower CPU load power at similar GHz.
- You could find a small case that supports half height passive PCI-e card from ATI. Some more benchmarks.
- You could wait for the next gen AMD APU...in late 2012.

:)

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 Post subject: Re: How powerful is a Sandy Bridge IGP?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:22 pm 
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Benchmarks are misleading, especially if you don't read the small print.

A completely fanless system can't get very good gaming benchmarks.

If you're going to use one of these large CPU heatsinks, I guess you're better off with an Intel and a separate GPU with an equally crazy heatsink as suggested above. The Intel will heat up less if its IGP is disabled and that'll be welcome if you don't spin any fans.

The advantage of AMD Fusions (but not one of their other CPUs!) is their halfway decent gaming IGP. In theory this gives you a single heat source you can cool efficiently with heatpipes and a large chunk of metal with radiators.
Without any fans, I don't think a conventional heatsink would be sufficient to cool a Fusion running a 3D game at higher settings than Sandy Bridge can achieve. The extra heat of the IGP is going to be a problem. But I don't know for sure. Maybe someone tried it.

If you're careful, a build with a couple fans running at low speed can be so quiet you would normally not hear the noise. That's the most sensible thing to do if you want to run 3D games at high resolutions without spending a lot of money.


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 Post subject: Re: How powerful is a Sandy Bridge IGP?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:46 am 
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lordmetroid wrote:
I have had the urge to build a completely fanless system for quite a while and the only conundrum that is holding me back is the uncertainty if a system without a dedicated graphics card would have the sufficient power for my use.
That may be emotionally appealing, but it is a world of difference between fanless and one or two 500 rpm fans that are for all practical (and impractical) purposes also silent. Go with the fans and you will end up with a much easier design and a result you will be happier with.

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 Post subject: Re: How powerful is a Sandy Bridge IGP?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:05 am 
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I will make a fanless system, I want to use it as my home-server as well as desktop and after having experienced the fanless Intel Atom D525 I have, I got very sensetive hearing and it is so awesome to have complete silent system. The system featured on Sweclockers shows that the temperatures are acceptable even with a CPU with a TDP of 65W. I will wait for the reviews for HD4000 in the Ivy Bridge before I make a purchase and I will probably choose a CPU with a TDP lower than 65W.

I like how the m350 mini itx case is as small as one can get. The system featured on Sweclockers uses a Morex T3500 which is a little bit larger but have the advantages of a built in PSU and the harddrive mounting under the motherboard which gives me more freedom to fit the heatsink. I would like to use the m350 as I already have two of those cases at home but I fear I will not be able to do so. I did a mock-up of the Thermalright-HR02 Macho heatsink and I am guessing I may actually be able to fit the heatsink into the m350 case if I carefully choose a motherboard with the CPU mount positioned as far to the edge as possible[1][2]. However the SSD would sit right next to it on the other half of the motherboard and the RAM right under it which could perhaps cause trouble.

Also, my Atom D525 have according to my kill-a-watt measurments an idle power draw of 15W and uses 20W during load. While my normal E8500 with a GeForce GTX 460 system idles at 80 Watts and uses 140W during load. 15W will result in a 15*24*365 = 131,4kWh and a normal system will use 700,8kWh, significantly more power! I am not so sure if I am comfortable with a server that draws so much more power.


Last edited by lordmetroid on Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:28 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: How powerful is a Sandy Bridge IGP?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:20 am 
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lordmetroid wrote:
The system featured on Sweclockers shows that the temperatures are acceptable even with a CPU with a TDP of 65W.

The official TDP value is useless. That CPU actually uses a good bit less than 65W. The fastest 65W CPU of that range is the only one that could possibly be said to be a 65W CPU.
So don't pick a CPU based only on its official rating or you may have a nasty surprise!

lordmetroid wrote:
I will wait for the reviews for HD4000 in the Ivy Bridge

Pay special attention to the power consumption when the IGP is stressed.
I don't think 3D processing temperatures were posted for the build you looked at. But you want to game on this thing so be careful!

lordmetroid wrote:
a little bit larger ... the harddrive mounting under the motherboard

FYI, these are good for fanless operation. Don't expect the same temperatures in a different case (although you'll obviously get less differences if you cut the case to make the heatsink stick out of the case).


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 Post subject: Re: How powerful is a Sandy Bridge IGP?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 11:39 am 
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lordmetroid wrote:
my normal E8500 with a GeForce GTX 460 system idles at 80 Watts and uses 140W during load. ... I am not so sure if I am comfortable with a server that draws so much more power.

Yeah, it makes no sense to use that graphics card in a server.
But don't worry: a Sandy/Ivy Bridge system without dedicated graphics and with a single drive will never burn anything like 80W at idle. You'll probably get less than 20W idle with a decent PSU.


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 Post subject: Re: How powerful is a Sandy Bridge IGP?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:53 pm 
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lordmetroid wrote:
I like how the m350 mini itx case is as small as one can get. The system featured on Sweclockers uses a Morex T3500 which is a little bit larger but have the advantages of a built in PSU and the harddrive mounting under the motherboard which gives me more freedom to fit the heatsink. I would like to use the m350 as I already have two of those cases at home but I fear I will not be able to do so. I did a mock-up of the Thermalright-HR02 Macho heatsink and I am guessing I may actually be able to fit the heatsink into the m350 case if I carefully choose a motherboard with the CPU mount positioned as far to the edge as possible[1][2]. However the SSD would sit right next to it on the other half of the motherboard and the RAM right under it which could perhaps cause trouble.

Also, my Atom D525 have according to my kill-a-watt measurments an idle power draw of 15W and uses 20W during load. While my normal E8500 with a GeForce GTX 460 system idles at 80 Watts and uses 140W during load. 15W will result in a 15*24*365 = 131,4kWh and a normal system will use 700,8kWh, significantly more power! I am not so sure if I am comfortable with a server that draws so much more power.

If you for some reason like the look of a Morex T3500 with huge heatsinks sticking out, I kind of get it. Otherwise, why not use a slightly larger case that can actually house the hardware? Or, if small size is important, I would go for a more expensive heatpipe-case. The Streacom FC8 is not that expensive, considering that there's no need to get a third party CPU cooler.

Atom is nice and cheap, Sandy Bridge will cost a little bit more and draw a little bit more at full load (still <60W so not that bad) but idle power consumption will be pretty much like the Atom.

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 Post subject: Re: How powerful is a Sandy Bridge IGP?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 5:05 pm 
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lordmetroid wrote:
I want to make a fanless computer alike this Silent Mini-ITX build.
That is a pretty system. Why not wait until ivybridge comes out in two months then run with it. That is about as good as your are going to get with passive cooling.

If you copy it, let me know how you do the cut outs for the heat sinks. I would like one myself.

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 Post subject: Re: How powerful is a Sandy Bridge IGP?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 11:32 pm 
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I am mighty interested in some power readings and would greatly appreciate it if someone with a sandy bridge system(preferably without a video card and with an SSD) could do some measurements on the power draw from the outlet when the system is in idle and during load.


Last edited by lordmetroid on Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: How powerful is a Sandy Bridge IGP?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:19 am 
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The HTPC in my signature draws ~30W idle, and running full tilt on the cpu+gpu (4 threads + gpu) it draws 64W on default settings. Undervolting can draw that lower into the high 50's. This is messured at the wall.

I also have a small LCD display/ir-monitor combo running from internal usb, and an extra Intel Gigabit NIC which add slightly to the total draw.

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 Post subject: Re: How powerful is a Sandy Bridge IGP?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:31 am 
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I'll post for Abula. :D

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 Post subject: Re: How powerful is a Sandy Bridge IGP?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:24 am 
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Power levels in idle for the reported systems seems very acceptable. Very positive news which assures me that an Ivy Bridge is the way to go.

In the system featured on Sweclockers, there are two heat-sinks, the Thermalright HR-02 Macho for the CPU and a Thermalright HR-05 SLI for the PCH. I will definitely have to get the CPU cooled but I am quite dubious to why it would be necessary to fit the PCH with extra cooling than what is already provided by the motherboard from the factory. Is the Thermalright HR-05 SLI really necessary?


Last edited by lordmetroid on Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: How powerful is a Sandy Bridge IGP?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:33 pm 
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lordmetroid wrote:
Is the Thermalright HR-05 SLI really necessary?
It is unlikely to be necessary... but in my opinion it adds something to the appearance. I just plain like it.

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 Post subject: Re: How powerful is a Sandy Bridge IGP?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:36 pm 
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I'm running this system with 2 very slow spinning case-mounted Scythe pwm fans (<450rpm). I have tried running with no active cooling, but to me the southbridge turned uncomfortably hot. Don't have the equipment to check heatsink surface temp and the onboard temp monitor isn't known for exact readings, but it was in the *ouch ouch*-region when touched. Motherboard reported temps in the high 40's.

But this case is also designed with active cooling in mind and doesn't have a lot of perforated vents on the top cover for hot air to escape. It is however for all intents and purposes dead silent. More then 30cm away and you can't even hear the moving air.

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 Post subject: Re: How powerful is a Sandy Bridge IGP?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:38 am 
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Locklear wrote:
But this case is also designed with active cooling in mind and doesn't have a lot of perforated vents on the top cover for hot air to escape. It is however for all intents and purposes dead silent. More then 30cm away and you can't even hear the moving air.
What case are you referring to?

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 Post subject: Re: How powerful is a Sandy Bridge IGP?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:10 pm 
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That would be the one in my signature: Antec NSK2480B.
Basically an Antec Fusion case.

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 Post subject: Re: How powerful is a Sandy Bridge IGP?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:10 am 
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I would think that HD3000 would be able to handle Quake Wars - I'm playing Starcraft2 on my 2500K integrated graphics, and that's a newer game with higher requirements. You might be able to get away with cooling an i3-21(0/2)5 or i5-2405S passively with a big heatsink, as long as your gaming stays mild. I used a fanless Silverstone (NT05 I think?) for a while, and it handled UT2004 just fine, though it couldn't swing 4xP95. As a worst-case scenario, would it be that bad to use a Big Shuriken 2 and a severely undervolted fan? That'd make your task a whole lot easier.

But yes, Ivy Bridge is due April 8 (though it seems now that may be small quantities only). I don't think that will actually reduce power draw on the low end much, the big thing there was the SNB 95W CPUs dropping to 77W, and I don't believe anything lower than 65W is going to be released before late summer. If you think a 2105 or 2125 will be enough, buying now would be a good idea.


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 Post subject: Re: How powerful is a Sandy Bridge IGP?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:23 am 
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I would probably wait for the new ivy bridge cpus, couple of months away, First desktop Core i3 Ivy Bridge processors leaked ahead of launch, the Core i3-3225 comes with the HD4000 that should be 30-50% faster than the HD3000, also lower consumption and probably less heat due to smaller arch, so could be easier to cool.

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 Post subject: Re: How powerful is a Sandy Bridge IGP?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:15 am 
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As the review shows at HotHardware posted earlier, Quake Wars can be played on the Sandy Bridge HD2000 IGP but only if the resolution and settings are set to very low. This tells me that the Sandy Bridge is not powerful enough for my demands but the Ivy Bridge with a HD4000 will probably be. One can also make a few noticeable observations from that review which is that with a 6MB cache in the Core i5-2500 compared to 3MB cache in the Core i3-2120(all other spec are equal), there is roughly a 5fps increase; That with a Core i3-2120 which has a clockspeed of 3,3GHz CPU & 850Mhz GPU compared to the Core-i3 2100T which has a clockspeed of 2,5GHz CPU & 650 MHz GPU(all other spec are equal) there is a major significant increase of 10fps.

The interesting options in my opinion are the processors with a HD4000 IGP and a TDP of 65W or preferably lower(as the system featured of Sweclockers had a 65W TDP and was just on the edge of reasonable temperatures):
Core i3-3225N which has 3MB cache running at 3,3GHz CPU & 650Mhz GPU (55W TDP)
Core i5-3475S which has 6MB cache running at 2,9Ghz CPU & 650Mhz GPU (65W TDP)
Core i7-3770T which has 8MB cache running at 2,5Ghz CPU & 650Mhz GPU (45W TDP)
Core i7-3770S which has 8MB cache running at 3,1Ghz CPU & 650MHz GPU (65W TDP)

Considering one variable at a time, one can estimate that the relative performance difference between a Core i3-3225 and a Core i5-3475S is 5fps and compared to a Core i7-3770T it would be 8fps based on available cache alone.

Oddly enough there is no Ivy Bridge with a 850Mhz GPU clockspeed, perhaps the engineers did not find a faster GPU necessary or it was not was worth the extra power consumption or most likely it is planned for a later release. Comparing the second variable of clockspeed a little bit more difficult as I am not so sure if the framerate difference in the HotHardware review between Core i3-2120 and Core-i3 2100T is because of the faster GPU or if the clockspeed on the CPU is also important.

Of course the price of the processors are also going to be a major important factor for which to choose. At this point, the only thing I can do is wait and see what the upcoming release reviews and pricelists has to tell.


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 Post subject: Re: How powerful is a Sandy Bridge IGP?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:04 am 
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Just as I finished writing the above post, EXPreview posted some leaked performance number on the HD4000 compared to HD3000 in their new article Ivy Bridge Core i5 3570K Engineering Sample Test. Which shows some very promising numbers.


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 Post subject: Re: How powerful is a Sandy Bridge IGP?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:08 am 
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The Hothardware review showed no such thing. CA_Steve misread it and made an inference which contradicts the review. This happens all the time when people look at benchmarks.
Good benchmarks don't guarantee fluid gameplay and bad benchmarks don't necessarily mean the game is actually unplayable on reasonable settings.
Don't take any bullshit. Ask people who actually play the game on Sandy Bridge. They're the only ones who actually know what results you're going to get.

Obviously, Ivy Bridge would be better. I'm not disputing that.
The trouble is that the GPU may well consume more power if you push it beyond what Sandy Bridge could deliver. If you were willing to use a fan it wouldn't be a problem but the TDP values are as useless as benchmarks.


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 Post subject: Re: How powerful is a Sandy Bridge IGP?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:36 am 
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lordmetroid wrote:
As the review shows at HotHardware posted earlier, Quake Wars can be played on the Sandy Bridge HD2000 IGP but only if the resolution and settings are set to very low. This tells me that the Sandy Bridge is not powerful enough for my demands but the Ivy Bridge with a HD4000 will probably be.


Any reason you aren't looking at an HD3000-equipped CPU like the 2125 or 2500K? I wouldn't use HD2000 for anything 3d. Regardless though, yes, at this point I'd wait for Ivy Bridge, in your position. Less than two months away.


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 Post subject: Re: How powerful is a Sandy Bridge IGP?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:15 am 
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I would gladly purchase an HD3000 equipped 2125 or 2500K, however I am not certain of the HD3000 performance capabilities. The only requirement I have is to be able to play Quake Wars, can I do that on the HD3000?


Last edited by lordmetroid on Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:07 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: How powerful is a Sandy Bridge IGP?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:22 am 
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The Ivy Bridge HD4000 is supposed to be very powerful. Why not wait a month or two to see what that does. From its description it seems like it might fit our bill.

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 Post subject: Re: How powerful is a Sandy Bridge IGP?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:51 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:59 pm
Posts: 115
Location: Canada
I'm able to play StarCraft II at 1080p on some Low, mostly Medium settings smoothly (~30 fps) using a i5 2500 with HD 2000 overclocked to 1800MHz GPU boost.
Hope that helps.


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