We have finished a couple of benchmarks on a Dell Inspiron 17R laptop with the Nvidia GeForce GT 525M dedicated video card and Intel’s Core i3-2330M processor.
The notebook has both the 128-bit GT 525M 1GB GPU for more intensive graphics tasks and the Intel HD 3000 integrated graphics on the CPU for better power efficiency, so it’s pretty handy for comparison of these two. 3D Mark Vantage, PC Mark Vantage, and Crysis benchmarks we did on the system can help you decide if the Nvidia GeForce GT 525M is worth extra money when choosing between a more expensive laptop configuration with the 525M and a cheaper one with integrated Intel HD only.
The tested 17.3″ Inspiron 17R also has 4GB of RAM, a 500GB 5,400rpm hard drive, and Windows 7 Home Premium OS.
In the Nvidia Control Panel, you can choose which application will run on which graphics processor.
First, we ran 3D Mark Vantage, where the GeForce GT 525M scored 3771 points in Peformance mode, while the Intel HD 3000 had more than two times lower result – 1453. GPU selection also had an impact on overall system peformance measured using PC Mark Vantage, but the difference (4930 vs 4529 points) is not that big since graphics is only one factor besides many others in PC Mark calculations.
In Crysis, different GPU choices also reveal big performance difference of up to 3X in favor of the Nvidia chip.
Obviously, the GT 525M enables playable frame rates on low and medium settings even in hardware-demanding games and that’s not the case with Intel’s integrated graphics built into their “Sandy Bridge” processors. For casual gamers, an investment of about $75-$100 for the discrete GPU would be justified. But, the GPU doesn’t help much in other computing tasks, such as web browsing, office apps, etc. Even 1080p video playback runs equally smoothly on both GeForce and Intel HD, so if you don’t plan to use your next laptop for any gaming, you will be fine with the integrated solution.
Note: Full Dell Inspiron N7110 review is here.