The Blue team has taken its new 11th Gen Tiger Lake CPUs quite seriously and even though we do not see a huge bump in CPU performance, there’s a huge difference when it comes to GPU. Intel has not only upgraded to its integrated Iris Xe graphics but also launched its first discrete DG1 Discrete graphics.
Never before integrated GPUs have been soo fast on an Intel laptop, however, the new Iris Xe graphics is a huge improvement:
- 10nm++ process (lower voltage, higher performance benefits)
- Gen12 (Xe-LP) graphics (up to 96 EU as here DG1 discrete graphics)
- DDR5 / LPDDR5 memory controller support (2 controllers, 2 channels each, 5400Mt/s)
- LP-DDR4X generally used now up to 4266Mt/s (up from 3732Mt/s)
- New Image Processing Unit (IPU6) up to 4K90 resolution
- New 2x Media Encoders HEVC 4K60-10b 4:4:4 & 8K30-10b 4:2:0
- PCIe 4.0 (up to 8GB/s with x4 lanes)
Now, you would ask what is the speciality about its so-called discrete graphics? Here is the difference:
- It can be clocked higher (1.65GHz) as it has its own 15W (laptop)/25W (desktop) power budget
- Dedicated LP-DDR4X memory and thus bandwidth but no zero-copy data transfers
- Data upload/download through PCIe4 x4 (PCIe3 with current systems)
- Possible fanless due to low-power (25W, TDP-down to 15W), low-profile, single-slot
Obviously having a lot of VRAM helps the graphics to perform well along with higher clock speeds. The 96 Compute Units and 768 Stream Processors are the same as its Xe-LP iGPU on the normal Tiger Lake CPUs with a memory bandwidth of 66GB/s.
The reviews and benchmarks on the SiSoftware site show how Intel’s new discrete graphics performs in the real world:
As we see in the benchmark, the discrete Intel DG1 graphics is 18% faster than an old GT 1030 graphics from NVIDIA in Mandel FP16/Half (Mpix/s), whereas FP128 is 46% faster. It’s worth noting that the increase in clock speeds and dedicated VRAM does indeed make a difference compared to the integrated Xe graphics.
In all of these benchmarks, one thing is evident is that the new Intel DG1 discrete graphics is way better than its predecessors. On a laptop, this amount of graphics can be game changing as we see it to be almost 2x faster than NVIDIA GT 1030.
Overall, the Intel Iris Xe Max Gen12 graphics is 8% faster than integrated Xe-LP of TGL and sometimes as much as 50% in some tests. However, with optimized drivers and support Intel’s discrete graphics solution can well indeed become a turning point for the company struggling to keep up with AMD.
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