Intel has said that most casual and mainstream gamers don't require a discrete graphics card as the iGPU that comes with their processors are powerful enough to meet their gaming demands. The statement was said by Vice President and General Manager of Intel's desktop client's platform, Gregory Bryant. The statement shows that Intel is confident enough to call their Iris chips as a competitive gaming solution against discrete graphics cards.
Intel Claims Casual and Mainstream Audience Don't Need a Discrete Graphics Card
Gregory mentioned that Intel has gains in the graphics department on their Core processors which is quite true. He stated that Intel's integrated graphics chips available today are 30 times more faster and better than what they were five years ago:
“We have improved graphics 30 times what they were five years ago,” Bryant said during a speech at a J.P. Morgan forum last week at CES. via PCWorld
He also said that the top-end graphics chips, known as Iris and Iris Pro can outperform 80 percent of discrete graphics chips available today however Intel hasn't done a great job to showcase the benefits of their iGPUs in the consumer market and they will try to make up for it now:
He said that the top-level graphics processors integrated in Intel's chips, called Iris and Iris Pro, can outperform 80 percent of discrete graphics chips.However he thinks that Intel has done quite a poor job of communicating the benefits of integrated graphics. via Fudzilla
There's no doubt that Intel has made a tremendous improvement on their graphics chips. Starting with the 4th generation Haswell processors, Intel gave key improvements to their graphics core which now stands with over a TFLOPs of performance (Skylake). Intel has not only gave improvements to their hardware side but also made improvements in the software department adding support for DirectX 12 API, Vulkan API to their graphics chips and supporting three 4K monitors simultaneously off a single graphics processor.
Their graphics chips currently stand on par with AMD's GCN architecture that is found on several APUs shipped in either laptops or desktop platforms. Surprisingly, the Intel Iris Pro 580 graphics chip which is expected to debut this quarter with the Intel Skull Canyon platform will actually be the first graphics chip from Intel that is faster than AMD's top-end GCN core found on their Carrizo APUs.
As for Intel saying that the chip is faster than 80% of discrete GPUs, they are probably talking about the entry level class which sell a lot in the discrete market. The Intel iGPUs are far from reaching mid-range performance but they have performance that can match entry level cards such as the GTX 750 or the Radeon R7 260. When Intel announced their next generation Skylake chips, we saw an incremental increase in graphics performance with the top level GPU going past the TFLOPs barrier with 1152 GFLOPs of processing power.
Iris Pro can easily take on several discrete GPUs in the mobility sector and even the desktop market. It was just recently revealed by NVIDIA that only 1% (13 million) of the 1.5 Billion PCs around the globe are capable of running Virtual Reality. This is a shocking figure and we know that most PCs have an Intel based processor in side them. Given that only such a low number of PCs are capable of running virtual reality for which the base requirements are either a GeForce GTX 970 or Radeon R9 290 equivalent graphics card, their can't be a whole lot of gaming PCs that are in the mid-range sector.
For several users with entry level PCs, the Iris and Iris Pro chips are already a lot faster than the discrete graphics processors they are using. In a way, AMD and NVIDIA not providing any significant improvements in the low-end, entry-level market has brought Intel to the point where they can outperform 80% of the discrete class graphics cards. If we check out AMD and NVIDIA's entry level options, we will find a card that has seen at least 2-3 rebrands from a previous generation core, namely the Radeon R5 series and the GeForce GT cards.
Intel innovating in the graphics field is a good thing for the industry but for AAA gaming on higher resolutions with full VR/AR support, users should sight at nothing less than the best from NVIDIA and AMD as they offer faster frame rates, better performance and a superb gaming experience.
Intel's Iris and Iris Pro Comparison Versus Entry Level dGPUs:
|Chip Name||GPU Core||GFlops (GPU Only)||GFlops (Whole Package)|
|AMD Radeon R7 360||Tobago Pro||1536 GFlops||N/A|
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti||Maxwell GM107||1389 GFlops||N/A|
|AMD Radeon R7 250X||Cape Verde XT||1216 GFlops||N/A|
|Intel Skylake Gen9 GT4/e||Intel Iris Pro 580||1152 GFlops @ 1 GHz||TBC|
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750||Maxwell GM107||1044 GFlops||N/A|
|AMD Radeon R9 M370X||Venus XT||992 GFlops||N/A|
|Intel Skylake Gen9 GT3/e||Intel Iris 560/570?||884 GFlops (Estimation)||TBC|
|AMD Carrizo FX-8800P||GCN 1.2||819 GFlops||1070 GFlops|
|Intel Core i7-5775C||Intel Iris Pro 6200||768 GFlops @ 1 GHz||883 GFlops|
|AMD Kaveri A10-7850K||GCN 1.1||737 GFlops||856 GFlops|
|Intel Core i7-5557U||Intel Iris 6100||724 GFlops||845 GFlops|
|AMD Richland A10-6800K||VLIW4||648 GFlops||779 GFlops|
|Intel Skylake Core i7-6700K||Intel HD 530||442 GFlops||TBC|
|Intel Haswell Core i7-4790K||Intel HD 4600||400 GFlops||512 GFlops|