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New GPUs will highlight Intel's 22 nm fourth-gen Core chips

As Intel Corp. (INTCwinds up towards the launch of Haswell Intel's 22 nm node architecture refresh and designated CPU core for fourth-generation Core i-Series processors, it's spilling details on the chips' graphics processing unit.  Haswell cores will be paired with three different tiers of GPUs, depending on the power envelope.

I. Enter a New GPU Brand

The top two tiers of the on-die GPU lineup introduce Intel's first ever branded GPU lineup.  Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) has Radeon, NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA) has GeForce, now Intel has announced it will call its high end GPUs "Iris".  In the past it relied on humble numbered die-parts with no separate branding (e.g. last generation's Intel HD 2500 and Intel HD 5000).

Intel had briefly toyed with the idea of releasing Larrabee-branded computation-heavy discrete GPUs.  Ultimately Intel abandoned that project choosing to stick on an embedded path, which took it to Iris.

The new GPUs have been referred to as GT3 in past roadmaps (and shown running Skyrim in demoes).  All of the new chips will pack support for OpenGL 4.0 and DirectX 11.1.

Intel GT3/"Iris" GPU running Skyrim [Image Source: Tiffany Kaiser/DailyTech]

On the lowest end power-wise, Intel's 15 watt Haswell chips (like the one presumably powering the company's 17 mm-thick hybrid ultrabook reference design) will get the HD 5000, a mild upgrade.  The performance increase in this segment is expected to be around 50 percent (over the HD 2500).

Intel Iris Intel graphics
[Click to enlarge]I

AMD's Fusion efforts were ultimately a wakeup call to Intel on the value of a high-quality embeddded GPU.  But it appears that the student has now become the master; the performance of Iris and Iris Pro come closer to matching a discrete GPU than AMD's Fusion chips have thus far.

II. Discrete Graphics Performance in an Embedded Package

Things will start to heat up in the U-Series (like Core i5 branded) 28W mobile CPUs, which will get the new "Iris" branded GPU unit (the full name is Intel Iris HD 5100).  It's roughly 2x faster than the HD 4000.
 
Intel Iris

The Iris Pro gets a special boost -- new dedicated EDRAM (embedded dynamic random access memory) is also now for the first time included with the GPU part of the die.  On high-end laptop chips -- the Core i7 branded H-series of mobile chips (47-55W of typical power) -- this is expected to again represent about a 2x speedup.
 
Intel Iris Pro

On the desktop side, Intel's GT3e "Iris Pro" part will get an even bigger boost, reaching a 3x speedup in the R-Series (65-84W) desktop chips.  The M-series laptop and K-Series desktop chips are expected to also have access to Iris Pro, although Intel hasn't revealed their exact level of performance increase.

Intel Iris Pro 2

An Ivy Bridge i7-3770K part scored around 1560 in 3DMark 2011 [source], thus the new Iris Pro-equipped chips should be scoring over 3000, if Intel's performance claims are accurate.  That indicates that the Intel's on-die graphics will be slightly better than a full discrete AMD Radeon HD 7750 GPU which scores around 2900 [source].  
Radeon 7750 HD
The IrisPro on-die GPU is approximately as powerful as last generation's Radeon HD 7750.
[Image Source: AMD]

Whether the real-world performance truly lives up to that remains to be seen, but it's clear that this is Intel's most powerful GPU ever, and worthy of its first-ever branding.

[All slides are courtesy of Intel, via AnandTech]

Sources: Intel via AnandTech, Intel



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Not thrilled
By Ammohunt on 5/2/2013 11:43:17 AM , Rating: 5
Other than a laptop or an HTPC i am not thrilled about mating my GPU on die with my CPU since i would sooner swap out my video card than my processor on my gaming rig.




RE: Not thrilled
By Motoman on 5/2/2013 12:23:07 PM , Rating: 2
That probably depends on what the integrated part winds up costing. For the cost of the integrated AMD parts...who cares? The part costs less than a dedicated video card anyway.


RE: Not thrilled
By JasonMick (blog) on 5/2/2013 12:51:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That probably depends on what the integrated part winds up costing. For the cost of the integrated AMD parts...who cares? The part costs less than a dedicated video card anyway.
True, what's keeping AMD competitive is aggressive pricing on APUs/server parts.


RE: Not thrilled
By BSMonitor on 5/3/2013 3:16:19 PM , Rating: 4
Or, the fact that a separate company aka GlobalFoundries takes huge losses on AMD APU's so that "AMD" can appear to price aggressively and still profit..


RE: Not thrilled
By Jeffk464 on 5/2/2013 5:19:13 PM , Rating: 3
These apu's aren't designed for true "gaming rigs" its more for the basic user that wants to mess around a little with games. I'm sure someday, apu's will be all anyone has but that's a ways down the road.


RE: Not thrilled
By Strunf on 5/3/2013 5:16:04 AM , Rating: 2
That will probably never happen, there will always be a need for more processing power and processing power on given architecture scales with the number of transistors, sure with the decrease in size you can pack more transistors on a given surface but as long as the CPU and GPU are separated you have roughly 2 x the surface to pack transistors, what I hope is that Intel,nVIDIA and AMD can make everything work together instead of one or the other.


RE: Not thrilled
By Hector2 on 5/3/2013 1:41:12 PM , Rating: 2
In the end, it's a black box and all that matters is price, performance and power -- and for laptops, size.

If you want to add an external video card that overrides embedded graphics, you still have that option


RE: Not thrilled
By BRB29 on 5/3/2013 3:21:20 PM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure for laptop, it's mostly about power consumption


RE: Not thrilled
By ShaolinSoccer on 5/3/2013 5:18:56 PM , Rating: 2
It's nice to have if your video card dies. That way you can keep using your PC while you wait for the new one being shipped to you.


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