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Intel Tiger Lake With Xe Graphics Outperforms AMD’s Fastest 7nm Vega Integrated GPU

Mar 24, 2020
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Intel's Tiger Lake CPUs are expected to launch later this year, featuring the company's brand new Xe graphics architecture based integrated GPU. There have been lots of rumors and speculation over the Xe graphics architecture but its latest performance leak from an early sample show that it's easily going to outperform AMD's updated 7nm Vega GPU inside Renoir Ryzen 4000 CPUs.

Intel's 11th Generation Tiger Lake Processors With Xe GPUs Outperform AMD's 7nm Vega Integrated Graphics

Yesterday, we reported an 11th Generation Intel Tiger Lake CPU running at boost clocks of up to 4.30 GHz. The variant that leaked out today isn't faster than the one we reported earlier but we do get to see how it handles graphics workloads, at least in a synthetic benchmark. This particular variant features 4 cores and 8 threads like all the previous Tiger Lake-U listings we have seen and has a base clock of 2.70 GHz. The chip has a reported maximum turbo core clock of 2.8 GHz which means that its boost functionality is either disabled or not being utilized under the 3DMark work-load.

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The GPU, on the other hand, is based on the Xe (Gen 12) graphics architecture. The core clocks for the GPU are not mentioned but the Tiger Lake chips are equipped with 96 EUs which is the same number as the one featured on its DG1 class GPUs. The DG1 GPU is based off the Xe LP micro-architecture which would be utilized by Ultra Mobile, PC Mobile, and entry to mid-range discrete graphics cards.

The Intel Tiger Lake CPU with Xe GPU was tested against the AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS which is the most high-end Renoir mobility product available. The CPU features 8 cores, 16 threads, a base clock of 3.0 GHz, boost clock of 4.3 GHz and 12 MB of cache (4 MB L2 + 8 MB L3). The graphics side includes the enhanced 7nm Vega GPU which delivers more than 50% performance uplift per CU over the 12nm 'Picasso' Vega graphics. The chip comes with 8 Vega CUs for a total of 512 stream processors clocked at 1750 MHz. One thing to note is that the Intel Tiger Lake chip was using the LPDDR4X memory (8 GB) versus 3200 MHz LPDDR4 memory (16 GB) memory on the Ryzen 4000 based laptop.

Intel's 11th Generation Tiger Lake CPU with Xe graphics tested against AMD's Ryzen 4000 with 7nm Vega GPU. (Image Credits: Rogame)

Coming to the performance numbers, you can expect the performance of the CPU to be lower than that of AMD's Ryzen 4900HS due to the lower clock and core count which is to be expected since this comparison is being made between a 35W high-performance mobility chips versus a 15W-28W Ultra-Low Power Tiger Lake chip. The CPU tests show that the AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS is up to 64% faster than Intel's Tiger Lake-U but its the graphics score that we really need to talk about.

In the graphics tests, the Intel Tiger Lake's Xe GPU is up to 10% faster than AMD's 7nm Vega GPU. It is also up to 14% faster in the second graphics test and these are still preliminary numbers which would definitely improve with optimized drivers and improved clocks on the final variant.

With that said, we can compare the Intel Tiger Lake U chip with AMD's own Ryzen 4000 U-series processors. The Pro lineup's 3DMark Firestrike scores leaked a while back and we can use those for comparison. The Ryzen 3 Pro 4450U features 4 cores and 8 threads with a base clock of 2.50 GHz and a boost clock of 3.80 GHz, the Ryzen 5 Pro 4650U features 6 cores and 12 threads with base clocks of 2.1 GHz and a boost clock of 4.0 GHz while the Ryzen 7 4750U features 8 cores and 16 threads with a base clock of 1.7 GHz and a boost clock of 4.2 GHz. Here you can see that the Intel chip is able to outperform the 6 core / 12 thread Ryzen 4000 Pro processor while dashing past the 4 core / 8 thread Ryzen Pro 4450U with a 34% lead.

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Intel's Tiger Lake-U versus AMD's Ryzen U-series CPUs in 3DMark Physics test. (Image Credits: TUM_APISAK)

Since the Xe GPU already beats out the 7nm Vega graphics on the Ryzen 4000 H-series chips, it will also be ahead of the U-series parts which might have slightly lower performance than the 35-45W parts due to their constrained 15W TDP. Again, these numbers are preliminary and expected to be improved in the final variants.

Intel Tiger Lake processors are expected to arrive in 2020 and will feature some new changes to the architecture. First up, they will have the new Willow Cove cores replacing Sunny Cove cores which are currently featured on Ice Lake processors. Along with the new cores, we will get cache redesigns as stated above, new transistor-level optimizations and enhanced security features. Intel will also be featuring their Xe GPUs on Tiger Lake chips which would deliver a 2x increase in perf over the Gen 11 GPU featured currently on Ice Lake chips.

That and coupled with the Xe GPU architecture, the 10nm+ node should also deliver increased clocks compared to the first iteration of the 10nm+ architecture featured on Ice Lake chips. The 10nm Tiger Lake CPUs would tackle AMD's 7nm Zen 2 based Ryzen 4000 'Renoir' family in the second half of 2020. We can also expect brand new 11th Generation based NUC's that are coming out in 2H of 2020 as part of the Phantom Canyon and Panther Canyon lineup.

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