Wednesday, May 20th 2020

Intel Gen12 Xe iGPU Twice as Fast as Gen11, Enters AMD Vega iGPU Territory

Intel Xe graphics architecture makes its commercial debut as an iGPU solution in the company's upcoming "Tiger Lake" mobile processors. The iGPU can be configured along three tiers, with GT1 featuring 48 execution units (EUs), GT2 80 EUs, and GT3 leading the pack with 96 EUs, all within a 15 W envelope (for the total chip). There's a higher tier still of GT3 that comes with higher boost frequencies, tapping into the chip's overall increased 28 W TDP, but this variant of "Tiger Lake" could likely be an Apple-exclusive like its "Ice Lake" based predecessor.

NotebookCheck compiled a 3DMark FireStrike comparison between the various tiers of the Xe iGPU, and compared it to the Gen11 iGPU found with current-generation "Ice Lake-U" processors. The graph doesn't put out scores, but relative performance. Apparently, the 48 EU version of Gen12 Xe is a little over twice as fast as Gen11 GT1, and faster than even the 64 EU Gen11 GT2. The Gen12 GT2 with 80 EUs is around 1.7x faster than the Gen11 GT2 (64 EU). The 96 EU GT3 trim is over twice as fast, and its 28 W variant faster still. These performance give Gen12 a shot against AMD's Radeon Vega-based iGPU solution found in "Renoir." AMD has slimmed the number of CUs down to 8 (512 SP) with "Renoir," down from 11 CUs in the previous generation, compensating for it with higher GPU engine clocks.
Sources: NotebookCheck, via VideoCardz
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7 Comments on Intel Gen12 Xe iGPU Twice as Fast as Gen11, Enters AMD Vega iGPU Territory

#1
AnarchoPrimitiv
Good for Intel.. Finally besting a 3 year old architecture about to be replaced
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#2
watzupken
I'll be keen to see actual performance in games. Its good to finally see Intel bringing proper improvements on their ageing GPU architecture. Assuming this iGPU is really fast, people will still need to decide if they prefer higher core counts (Renoir) or faster graphics (Intel). And I feel one main problem with Intel is pricing which Intel is reluctant to compete on. If its faster GPU that I want, I suspect it is possible to get a Renoir based laptop with an integrated graphics, for the price of a laptop that sports the top end Tiger Lake CPU.
AnarchoPrimitiv
Good for Intel.. Finally besting a 3 year old architecture about to be replaced
Its a start. I feel this jump is almost as great as AMD's jump from Bulldozer to Zen. The UHD 630 have lived on for way too long, and even the GPU on Ice Lake is frankly not as good as it sounds. I still look forward to Intel wrangling their way into the GPU market to give Nvidia some extra competition.
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#3
londiste
I bet this has more to do with that 15W limit than anything inherent to Gen12. According to leaks and rumors, Tiger Lake is considerably less power constrained.
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#4
kaspar737
It's funny how Intel had to develop a brand new architecture just to beat Vega, a 3 year old architecture based on an architecture from 2011.
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#5
londiste
kaspar737
It's funny how Intel had to develop a brand new architecture just to beat Vega, a 3 year old architecture based on an architecture from 2011.
This is not about architecture. AMD Vegas are literally much larger iGPUs.
Intel's UHD 630 (that is ancient) has the same amount of shaders as Vega 3. They do perform roughly the same as well.
Ice Lake has G7 with 64EU and 512 shaders that ends up close enough to Vega 8 with close enough number of resources (512 shaders, TMU and ROP counts are different if I remember correctly).
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#6
Chrispy_
At the moment, AMD is waiting on DDR5 to remove the bandwidth bottleneck, and if Intel gets its 10nm+++ process living up to potential, then they may also finally bump into the same memory bottleneck that has largely stopped AMD's IGP process for the last three years.

I'm not counting on 10nm++ to be a resounding success though. The first 10nm generation resulted in some defective i3s and cancellations. 10nm+ was an underwhelming disappointment across the entire laptop sector as Ice Lake U failed to meet clock/power/efficiency targets across the board. At least it reached yields high enough to actually sell something and claw a little bit of money back from all that effort.

Suddenly we're supposed to believe Intel marketing goons that 10nm is fixed and the upcoming products will live up to expectations? I don't think so. Fool me once....
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#7
Tom Yum
londiste
This is not about architecture. AMD Vegas are literally much larger iGPUs.
Intel's UHD 630 (that is ancient) has the same amount of shaders as Vega 3. They do perform roughly the same as well.
Ice Lake has G7 with 64EU and 512 shaders that ends up close enough to Vega 8 with close enough number of resources (512 shaders, TMU and ROP counts are different if I remember correctly).
Not quite, the G7 is about 20% slower than the Vega 7 unit in the 4700U. Considering the CPU portion of that chip crushes the G7, it is likely Watt/Watt the Vega has even higher performance margin than Iris Pro.
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