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The GT3 is considered the top-of-the-line of Intel Haswell processors

I'm a huge "Skyrim" nerd -- and that's why I was delighted to see it being demoed using the latest Haswell processors at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) 2012.

For those who are a little behind, Haswell is the codename for Intel's 4th Generation processors -- the successor to the Ivy Bridge architecture. It is based on the 22 nanometer (nm) process node and is the first to be built from top to bottom for power savings and performance in regards to 3D/tri-gate transistors. They will mainly power Ultrabooks and some tablets.

David Perlmutter, executive vice president and general manager of Intel Architecture Group, gave a sneak peek at the Haswell chips at IDF 2012's first keynote yesterday. According to Perlmutter, Haswell will provide 2x the graphics performance of Ivy Bridge -- and this was demonstrated in two videos running side by side, where one was Haswell-powered and the other was Ivy Bridge-powered.

However, I got a closer look at Haswell graphics today. Two monitors were showing a "Skyrim" game in progress, where one was powered by 3rd Generation Core GT2 and the second was powered by Haswell GT3. The difference? Performance level, where the GT3 is considered top-of-the-line. The GT3 has double the number of execution units (EUs) as the GT2 while still maintaining low power comparable to the Intel HD 4000.

The GT3 is running "Skyrim" at 1920x1080 resolution with High settings, while the HD 4000 GPU next door is running the same game at the same frame rate, but at Medium settings and a 1366x768 resolution.

Overall, Haswell will keep certain aspects of Ivy Bridge, like Intel Hyper-Threading, Ring Interconnect and Intel Turbo Boost. However, they provide twice the performance while cutting power significantly.

Here's a shot of the two monitors showing "Skyrim," with GT2 on the left and GT3 on the right:

[Image Source: Tiffany Kaiser/DailyTech]


4th Generation Core GT3:
 
[Image Source: Tiffany Kaiser/DailyTech]

 
Haswell chips are expected to be released sometime in the first half of 2013.


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RE: What?
By vol7ron on 9/12/2012 11:32:21 PM , Rating: 2
Does it make sense to design games for the ~20 million when (let's say) ~25 million of the ~200 million want to play those games?

At some point you have to give up the fast-food mentality and say, "this is how we make it, eat it or leave it"


RE: What?
By SPOOFE on 9/12/2012 11:40:50 PM , Rating: 2
Eh. Money is money, and gamers are a very demanding bunch. For as much as people seem to be very vocal about innovation, they tend to slavishly follow the pretty, pretty graphics.


RE: What?
By SlyNine on 9/13/2012 12:18:48 AM , Rating: 2
False dichotomy. They can design a game for both and allow the graphics to scale. Does this require some more work and resources, of course. But you are also more likely to catch more of those 20 million in the process.


RE: What?
By NellyFromMA on 9/13/12, Rating: -1
RE: What?
By NellyFromMA on 9/14/2012 2:40:18 PM , Rating: 1
It's true, sorry if you don't like it but it is. Tough life, right?


RE: What?
By jRaskell on 9/13/2012 4:21:46 PM , Rating: 2
Graphics scaling is a lot like cross platform portability. In theory, they're great ideas. In actual practice, they both come with a variety of potential hurdles and headaches that can take significant time and effort to overcome.

And the larger the breadth of scaling you attempt to accomplish, the more hurdles and headaches you are going to have to deal with. Nothing in life is free. That really is a mantra to live by, and graphics scaling is no exception.


"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs














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