When you’re shopping for a computer with great graphics performance, “Intel HD Graphics” is not the spec you’re usually looking for. Although Intel’s integrated graphics solutions have improved over the years, they still lag badly performance wise behind dedicated GPUs.
Now, Intel hopes to break the cycle and the naming association in one fell swoop. The company claims its new Intel “Iris” Graphics, embedded in upcoming Haswell CPUs, can offer double or triple the performance of the Intel HD Graphics 4000 that comes with current Ivy Bridge processors. That’s significant: typically each generation offers only a double-digit percentage boost.
Not every Haswell processor will come with the highest graphics performance, Intel will have five levels of integrated graphics in 2013, including Intel HD, Intel HD Graphics 4600, Intel HD Graphics 5000, with Intel Iris 5100 and Iris Pro 5200 at the tip top.
Only the higher power 28W laptop processor has a 2X boost where laptop chips are concerned. Those chips may require too much cooling for thiner and lighter laptops.
For beefier laptops, and desktops with plenty of cooling, there can be a significant performance difference.The desktop class (65W TDP) Core i7-4770R shows nearly a 3x boost in 3DMark 11 benchmarking tool, and a 47W TDP Core i7-4960HQ shows a 2.5x boost as well
It sounds as if the new Intel integrated graphics setups will be much improved. How they will stack up to other offerings has yet to be seen.