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Intel Iris And Iris Pro – Brand Names Of Best Haswell iGPUs

By NAG3LT14-05-2013

Intel's new 4th Generation Core CPUs, also known by their codename "Haswell" will launch next month.  With the focus on the mobile power consumption and performance, Intel will offer models with a variety of different iGPUs. Recently, Intel has finally provided more details about its future graphics offerings.

The most we get on socketed desktop CPUs will be HD 4600 with 20EUs (Execution Units) inside. Early benchmarks show that it is 20% faster than HD 4000's from Ivy Bridge CPUs in most cases. Considering that most desktop users getting socketed CPUs will use a separate graphics card, the lack of top iGPU offerings doesn't seem very problematic.

The best Intel iGPU offerings will be present in laptop and R-series (BGA, soldered to the motherboard) desktop CPUs. The GT3 chip will have 40 EU allowing it to be much more powerful than the HD 4600, but will depend on the power envelope. Small Ultrabooks, with a 15W TDP limit on CPU, will use a lower clocked HD 5000 version, which claims a 50% performance increase over HD 4000 in current models. Larger Ultrabooks and notebooks will receive Iris Graphics 5100 with higher clocked GT3 offering 2x performance advantages over HD 4000.

The most interesting part is Iris Pro Graphics 5200, also known under internal name GT3e. As the power of iGPU increases, the memory bandwidth and latency issues become more important. To improve the performance, Iris Pro parts will come with 128 MB of embedded eDRAM on the CPU package.  This model will be present only in the best quad-core laptop parts and in R-series BGA desktop CPUs. Intel says that it will have performance similar to Nvidia's GeForce 650M graphics card, which would be quite impressive for iGPU if it is true. Intel says that Iris Pro offers 2.5x performance increase over HD 4000 in laptops and 3x in R-series BGA CPUs with higher power envelopes.

The increase in the amount of EUs will improve the QuickSync performance on all new iGPUs. From the feature standpoint, all of them will have DX11.1 with additional extensions, OpenGL 4.0 and support for 4Kx2K output. The precise details about the power usage outside demanding scenarios aren't known yet, but they are expected to be very efficient.

Overall, it is good to see that both Intel and AMD are improving the performance of their iGPUs, providing higher baseline for game requirements and making laptops much more suited for games. It also seems reasonable that more energy efficient x86 CPUs with good iGPUs will allow for lighter gaming tablets to appear allowing feature-rich PC gaming on the go.


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