The new Ivy Bridge platform is most significant for notebooks that lack dedicated graphics because the Intel HD 4000 integrated GPU performs much, much better than the outgoing Intel HD 3000 on Sandy Bridge. So how much of a difference does it make on a powerful laptop like the Sony Vaio Z third gen, model SVZ1311? Lots! Today's most challenging titles become playable without using the separate Portable Media Dock that houses a dedicated AMD Radeon GPU (along with a Blu-ray drive and added ports).
This 2.5lb. notebook has a full mobile Intel Core i7-3612QM quad core Ivy Bridge CPU, Intel HD 4000 graphics and a very fast SSD. It roars where Ultrabooks based on ULV CPUs meow.
So we put the Sony Vaio Z3 to the test with Diablo III, Skyrim and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. If it can play these, it can play anything (except Crysis) decently. In some cases we kept effect settings low (Skyrim) and then managed 30 fps or better gameplay at 1920 x 1080. In other cases we dropped down from full 1080p to achieve respectable fps (MW3).
Here's our gaming demo video of the Sony Vaio Z (2012 model SVZ) playing these games using only Intel HD 4000 graphics. We show the setting used in each game as well.