The Intel HD Graphics (Cherry Trail) is an integrated graphics card in the Cherry-Trail SoCs (e.g. Atom x7-Z8700). Based on a Broadwell GPU (Intel Gen8) and supports DirectX 11.2. Depending on the SoC offers 12 or 16 EUs.
Atom x7-Z8700: 16 EUs @ 200 - 600 MHz, dual-channel memory Atom x5-Z8500: 12 EUs @ 200 - 600 MHz, dual-channel memory Atom x5-Z8300: 12 EUs @ 200 - 500 MHz, single-channel memory
In Windows, gaming is limited to less demanding or quite old games. Using Android, even high end 3D games should run fluently. For example Team Fortress 2 was running on the Surface 3 (x7-Z8700) only in lowest settings and 1280x720 fluently (11 - 69 fps range).
The integrated video decoder is able to display even 4K videos (H.264 tested) fluently.
The Intel HD Graphics GPU in our review sample of the MS Surface 3 (Atom x7-Z8700) only supported DisplayPort 1.1 as it seems, as 4K (3840x2160) with 30 Hz was the maximum Refresh Rate we could achieve (no 60 Hz selectable with the pre-installed drivers).
The Intel HD Graphics 2500 (or Ivy Bridge GT1) is an integrated graphics card in the Ivy Bridge codenamed desktop processors. It is the successor the the Intel HD Graphics 2000 in the Sandy Bridge CPUs and performs between the old HD 2000 and 3000 GPU (see benchmarks below). Usually it is used in the cheaper desktop Ivy bridge CPUs. The mobile version is simply called Intel HD Graphics and integrated in the Pentium and Celeron line.
Compared to the faster HD Graphics 4000, the 2500 one features less Execution Units (6 versus 16) and only one texture sampler. Therefore, the performance is clearly worse and only suited for low demanding gaming. Intel states a 10 to 15% higher performance compared to the old Sandy Bridge based HD Graphics 2000. Therefore, only older casual games with low requirements are playable with the HD 2500.
A speciality of the Ivy Bridge GPUs is that 4x MSAA is supported in hardware now. However, 2x is only supported through software. The algorithm to support 2x is going through the 4x pipeline with a software algorithm, so performance is similar to 4x MSAA.
The integrated video decoder called Multi Format Codec Engine (MFX) was also improved and should allow even simultaneus 4K video decoding. DXVAChecker lists MPEG2, VC1, WMV9, and H264 as supported codecs. QuickSync for fast transcoding of videos was also optimized for higher performance and better image quality.
Another new feature is the support for up to 3 independent displays as AMD offers with theirs Eyefinity support (up to 6 displays).
Due to the 22nm 3D Tri-Gate production process, the power consumption is relatively low (the development was focused on performance per Watt).
The Intel HD Graphics 5500 (GT2) is an integrated Broadwell graphics card revealed in Q1 2015. It can be found in several ULV SoCs (15 W TDP) such as the Core i5-5200U or i7-5600U. While Core i5 and Core i7 chips feature 24 EUs, the Core i3 version offers just 23 EUs. Depending on the specific CPU, the maximum GPU frequency varies between 850 and 950 MHz.
Architecture and Features
Broadwell features a GPU based on the Intel Gen8 architecture, which has been optimized in various aspects compared to the previous Gen7.5 (Haswell). Inter alia, the shader arrays called "subslice" have been reorganized and now offer 8 Execution Units (EUs) each. Three subslices form a "slice" for a total of 24 EUs. Combined with other improvements such as larger L1 caches and an optimized frontend, the integrated GPU has become faster and more efficient than its predecessor.
The HD Graphics 5500 represents the mid-range version of the Broadwell GPU family and consists of one slice with 24 EUs. Beyond that, there is also a low-end variant (GT1, 12 EUs) as well as higher-end models (GT3/GT3e + eDRAM, 48 EUs).
All Broadwell GPUs support OpenCL 2.0 and DirectX 12 (FL 11_1). The video engine can now decode H.265 using both fixed function hardware as well as available GPU shaders. Up to three displays can be connected via DP 1.2/eDP 1.3 (max. 3840 x 2160 @ 60 Hz) or HDMI 1.4a (max. 3840 x 2160 @ 24 Hz). HDMI 2.0, however, is not supported.
Depending on the specific CPU, the maximum GPU frequency varies between 850 and 950 MHz. Due to the low TDP, however, the average clock in 3D applications will be somewhat lower.
Equipped with fast dual-channel memory, the HD Graphics 5500 outperforms the HD Graphics 4400 (Haswell, 20 EUs) by 20 - 25 percent and also beats the HD Graphics 5000 (Haswell, 40 EUs). However, even a low-end dedicated GeForce 820M ist about 10 - 30 percent faster than the HD 5500. Games as of 2014/2015 will usually run fluently only at (very) low settings.
Utilizing a new 14 nm process, the Broadwell ULV chips are specified at just 15 W TDP and therefore suited for thin ultrabooks. The TDP is flexible and can be further reduced (7.5 or 10 W), which has a significant impact on performance.
Average Benchmarks Intel HD Graphics (Cherry Trail) → 100%n=13
Average Benchmarks Intel HD Graphics 2500 → 136%n=13
Average Benchmarks Intel HD Graphics 5500 → 289%n=13
- Range of benchmark values for this graphics card - Average benchmark values for this graphics card * Smaller numbers mean a higher performance 1 This benchmark is not used for the average calculation
The following benchmarks stem from our benchmarks of review laptops. The performance depends on the used graphics memory, clock rate, processor, system settings, drivers, and operating systems. So the results don't have to be representative for all laptops with this GPU. For detailed information on the benchmark results, click on the fps number.