Intel releases performance details for Haswell's "Iris" graphics
Intel's Haswell processors are set to debut this June, and Intel has now outlined some of the specifics behind the new generation's graphical processing. For many years Intel's integrated graphics had trouble running even the most basic of games, but that has changed in recent years with the Intel HD 3000 (Sandy Bridge) and HD 4000 (Ivy Bridge) integrated graphics.
Now, the new Haswell lineup hopes to build upon those developments, and the actual benchmark performances of the "Iris" graphics have been released. According to the 3DMark11 benchmark, the new Core i7-4650U CPU outperforms its predecessor, the Core i7-3687U, by a margin of over 50%. This performance is close to that of the GeForce GT 620M, all while using only 15W of thermal design power (TDP).
Furthermore, Intel also listed the new Core i7-4558U, which features 28W of TDP and is designed for larger 15" devices. This CPU managed performance that was 2.25 times that of the 3687U, garnering a score of around 1,350 points. Astonishingly, this is not only faster than AMD's Radeon HD 7660G, but also rivals that of the dedicated GeForce GT 640M LE.
Intel also released info about their Quad-Core CPUs, which compete in the 45-47 watt TDP class and promise even greater growth rates. The CPU used for comparison is the current Core i7-3840QM, which received a score of around 700 points in 3DMark11. This number is greatly eclipsed by the Haswell Core i7-4900MQ which totaled 1,150 points, or around the performance of a GeForce GT 630M.
Of course, the most impressive figures belonged to the Haswell Core i7-4950HQ, which features integrated HD 5200 graphics and an eDRAM cache. This combination resulted in an astounding 1,800 score on 3DMark11, higher than even the GeForce GT 640M. Furthermore, Intel is offering a Power Level 1 version which has 55W of TDP (compared to the base 47W) and should provide even greater performance.
While these numbers are definitely promising and will provide much buzz for Haswell's eventual launch, it should be noted that the CPUs are tested under optimal manufacturer conditions and independent verification is likely warranted. Nonetheless, the performance is an unprecedented leap for Intel's integrated graphics and also explains the change in nomenclature. From now on, the "HD 5100" and "HD 5200" will be known as "Iris 5100 graphics" and "Iris Pro Graphics 5200", thereby likening them to the current NVIDIA and AMD options.
Unfortunately, the Haswell generation won't be hitting stores until next month at the earliest, but until then you can always check out the rest of Intel's performance benchmarks below.