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Intel CPUs can boost Nvidia / AMD GPU performance thanks to unused iGPU power and DirectX 12 potential

This feature is only available on DX 12, so games that are only optimized for DX 11 or DX may not benefit from it. (Image Source: Microsoft)
This feature is only available on DX 12, so games that are only optimized for DX 11 or DX may not benefit from it. (Image Source: Microsoft)
DX 12 apparently allows iGPUs to work in tandem with any kind of dGPU, so Intel is suggesting that only its desktop CPUs can do that, since AMD's desktop processors do not include iGPUs. However, AMD still has APU models, though not as powerful as the desktop chips, but they can easily take advantage of this feature, as well.
Bogdan Solca,
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Intel is clearly concerned about AMD’s ascension and is trying to come up with features that would somehow restore its supremacy. The chip giant may not be able to out 10 nm, let alone 7 nm desktop chips too soon, but it turns out that it can use the iGPUs in its existing desktop CPUs to provide more graphics power in combination with discrete GPUs from Nvidia, AMD and even for its own upcoming Xe models. AMD’s desktop CPUs do not include iGPUs, so Intel hopes to stay relevant with the CPU + iGPU advantage.

How does this advantage even work? Intel developer Allen Hux recently made a presentation for the online-only Games Developer Conference detailing how DirectX 12 and Intel CPUs can boost any discrete GPU, be it from competitors like Nvidia and AMD or its own Xe models that will launch later this year. iGPUs are usually useless when a discrete GPU is detected by the DX API, but with DX 12 there is now a feature that allows iGPUs to work together with dGPUs and squeeze a bit more performance.

The iGPU and CPU would thus offload some of the compute tasks and free up the dGPU, leading to a decent performance boost. Now, we shouldn’t expect RTX 2060 GPUs to reach RTX 2080 performance levels this way. Apparently, this would be more helpful for gaming laptops that are limited by power requirements, but Intel also hopes to make this a thing for desktop CPUs combined with its upcoming Xe dGPUs. If this is indeed possible, what is to stop AMD to enable this feature in its laptop and desktop APUs?

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Bogdan Solca
Bogdan Solca - Senior Tech Writer - 1541 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
I first stepped into the wondrous IT&C world when I was around seven years old. I was instantly fascinated by computerized graphics, whether they were from games or 3D applications like 3D Max. I'm also an avid reader of science fiction, an astrophysics aficionado, and a crypto geek. I started writing PC-related articles for Softpedia and a few blogs back in 2006. I joined the Notebookcheck team in the summer of 2017 and am currently a senior tech writer mostly covering processor, GPU, and laptop news.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 03 > Intel CPUs can boost Nvidia / AMD GPU performance thanks to unused iGPU power and DirectX 12 potential
Bogdan Solca, 2020-03-26 (Update: 2020-03-26)