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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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Running Skyrim on Intel IGP
By muhahaaha on 9/12/2012 11:47:49 PM , Rating: 2
They just forgot to say the frame rate. It will run on a Voodoo2 card too, but you'd have to wait 2 minutes for a screen refresh.

Seriously though, with all the great tech Intel puts into their processors, why can't they get graphics right?

RE: Running Skyrim on Intel IGP
By someguy123 on 9/13/2012 12:58:04 AM , Rating: 2
It's pretty difficult and AMD/nvidia have direct relationships with tons of developers yet still manage to cause problems (fans turning off, Rage getting drivers shipped too late while also being the wrong drivers). It wasn't too long ago that nvidia drivers were the cause of 28% of vista crashes.

RE: Running Skyrim on Intel IGP
By piroroadkill on 9/13/2012 6:26:37 AM , Rating: 2
Nope, it wouldn't run on Voodoo2.
It requires DirectX9c support, thus shader model 3, and so at the bare minimum this means a Radeon X1xxx series card, or a Geforce 6xxx series card.

By StevoLincolnite on 9/13/2012 7:13:58 AM , Rating: 2
It *could* run on a Voodoo 2.

Take Oblivion for example which required Shader Model 2.0 at a minimum.
Some clever chaps re-wrote the shader code and did some other under-the-hood changes, called it "Oldblivion" and made the game Shader Model 1.0 compliant; so it could run on a Geforce 3 or Radeon 8500.

Now Skyrim's engine isn't that far removed from Oblivions...
It's just that almost every graphics card made in the last 5+ years has been Shader Model 3 compatible.

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