IntelHD 520 vs NVIDIA 940M benchmark question (Asus Zenbook UX303UB)

I recently bought a Asus Zenbook UX303UB with a skylake 520 and a dedicated NVIDIA 940M GPUs.

If I run Cinebench R15 I get a fps at 40.59 with the 520 and 33.88 fps with the NVIDIA 940M.
In 3DMARK Cloud Gate I get 37.70 fps with the 520 and 31.83 fps with the NVIDIA 940M.

As far as I can see the 520 runs OpenGL 4.4 and the 940M runs OpenGL 4.5.
The IntelHD out performs the NVIDIA card in OpenGL applications but not in DirectX applications like CS:GO (CounterStrike: Global Offensive) for example.

How come? Is the 520 better at OpenGL even though the nvidia uses a later version?


It’s not uncommon for an Intel to outperform an NVIDIA or AMD in certain benchmarks.

First of all, the days when you could automatically say “Intel graphics == useless” are behind us, and have been for some time. Intel have been gradually sneaking up, and since about the HD 4000 have actually been quite OK.

Secondly, always always always remember that a benchmark is a synthetic test. It tests a very specific workload under very specific conditions, and Intels - due to the fact that they’re tiled renderers with shared memory - have a different set of performance characteristics to the others. In general terms, a reasonably lightweight load that doesn’t have lots of blend passes will show higher performance on an Intel. In your case, Cinebench R15 is no longer state-of-the-art, whereas 3DMark Cloud Gate is explicitly a less demanding benchmark aimed at notebooks.

The only valid general-case conclusion you have is that “Intel graphics excel at things at which Intel graphics excel”, and your Direct 3D results are actually more like what you’d see if you did a gaming-comparison using an OpenGL game.