Core i5-3210m and Radeon HD7670M – mobile gaming?

HP Pavilion g6-2260ew, nice looking notebook in mid-price. Device comes with preinstalled Windows 8 x64.

I had an opportunity to test it for few days, And I’m going to share with you all my thoughts about this really interesting lappy.

Notebook been bought for gaming and I’m going to show to you it is a gaming notebook or not. But first things first…

Installation. I’m not fan of new Windows 8 so decided to install Windows 7 x64 instead. That wasn’t as easy as it usually is, why? Because notebook is optimized to work with windows 8 only, has UEFI bios and require to mess a little bit with its settings to allow install Windows elder than Windows 8.

How to do it? You need to go to bios settings with F10 key and in there enable „Legacy mode”. This will allow you to install other operating systems. Press F10 key to save changes and reboot machine. After reboot you will be prompted to enter generated and displayed on screen code. Since now you are able to install Windows 7 without any further problems.

Drivers. I hadn’t faced big problems with installing drivers. Proper software for all hardware in notebook can be found over internet. Little tip on switchable graphics: in fact they do not require special, modded drivers from HP or modders, it is enough just to install latest available driver for Intel HD4000 and AMD Radeon HD7xxxM series graphics and switching graphics will work as it should. If somehow this is not working to you try to install drivers from http://leshcatlabs.net/ which are special, modded drivers for notebooks.

Testing. How and what i did? I checked this notebook with few games and two syntetic benchmarks. For hardware monitoring I’ve used MSI Afterburner and GPU-Z. Windows had applied all available updates. All games and software were in latest available versions. For games I did use native resolution of screen which is 1366 x 768.

Test I started with 3DMark’06. Pretty old software but it does its job as it should. Few minutes of watching nice animations in this program gave score 8801 3DMarks. As for notebook it is very good score.

Next I’ve downloaded and installed Catzilla, brand new benchmark created by polish developers. Program is testing CPU physics, GPU calculations and more. In benchmark we can find 5 profiles of testing: Kitty – dedicated for notebooks and other forms of mobile PCs, Cat – for testing low-end desktops, Tiger – for mid-end PCs plugged to FullHD displays, Catzilla – this one is for high-end computers paired with 1440p displays, and last profile is Custom, where we can customize settings. In moment of testing latest available version of program was 1.0 beta 17 and with this one I tested laptop. For this device was available only two profiles: Kitty and Custom. Kitty at HP Pavilion g6-2260ew is 2298 points high. This is pretty nice score.

Next game in my lab is Hard Reset. This is what I call AAA game! I adore this game so much that I could type in here about it much more than about laptop so I will not start describing this game in details I will say only that this is oldschool FPS with DirectX 9 engine called „Road Hog”. Engine and game were created by polish studio Flying Wild Hog. Demo of game is available at steam for free, it is worth to try. I did use built in-game benchmark. To make this test a little bit more interesting I did 3 rounds, every with other method of AA available in game. All tests were done with Ultra preset of video quality settings. Here are results:

hardreset

Difference in FPS between various methods of AA is interesting. Depending on method you can have less jagged edges and your performance can slow down a bit or to unplayable level. In case of Hard Reset FXAA seems to be best choice at this notebook.

Next game in series of tests is Crysis, the first one. I did use built-in gpu test. Crysis in 2007 was the most demanding and the most beautiful looking game. For nowadays hardware game is not so big problem but on graphics side Crysis is still rocking on. How about our laptop with i5-3210m and HD7670M 2GB? Test I performed with Ultra preset in DirectX 10 mode and x64 executable file. And the same as in case of Hard Reset I compared how it runs without AA and with highest available sample of AA. Here are results:

crysis

With ultra detail of DX10 game is fully playable and enjoyable but in case when we enable maximum available sample of AA game works slow and I doubt if anyone want to play it with this rate of FPS.

Was not last in session but last game in this review is Trine 2. Very interesting side-scroll adventure platformer. Awesome game with amazing graphics, wonderful soundtrack and impressive physics. You might not think about it like this but game is pretty demanding and requires good hardware for playing. This game unfortunately do not have built-in benchmark so I did use MSI Afterburner to log FPS. FPS been logged while run of Amadeus from his house to moment he met Trine again. Settings for game was of course very high, vertical sync on – I do not like screen tearing.

trine2

Again, difference between disabled AA and enabled is determining if game is playable or not. Without AA you can enjoy the game very much but when you enable extreme preset of AA quality… better check out lower presets or do not enable AA at all

Conclusion:

Core i5-3210m, 6GB DDR3 and HD7670M 2GB – is this enough for mobile gaming? Most games with ultra quality settings runs over 30fps which is enjoyable, but if you want to enable antialiasing for games you will needed to try various methods of AA and apply this one which performs best.

P.S.

At this laptop I did run also Assassin’s Creed 3 and Metro 2033 benchmark but I will not post their scores, why? In Assassin’s Creed 3 case because the game was released in pre-alpha stage as final product and needs a lot of bugs and performance optimization to be fixed. When game will become fixed probably I will update this post with FPS available in game. In case of Metro 2033 I have a bad news for all of you. On launch the benchmark showed to me message about unsupported video card and during benchmark I was able to see only artefacts instead of proper animation. This maybe will change with future driver updates but nothing can be sure.

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