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Intel Haswell GPU: HD Graphics becomes Iris (Pro)

Are integrated graphics are finally 'good enough'?

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Introduction

Intel released more information today about the GPUs in the fourth generation of Core processors, which we are publishing an in-depth preview about tomorrow. The Haswell processors will be launched on June 4, and Intel now claims they will offer up to three times the 3D performance of the current Ivy Bridge generation. The fastest integrated GPUs will be called Intel Iris and Intel Iris Pro.


You'll learn tomorrow in our preview that Intel is developing three versions of the Haswell integrated GPUs, with the codenames GT1, GT2 and GT3. These have 6, 20 and 40 cores, respectively. The GT3 will come in a version with 128 MB of integrated video memory (eDRAM), which will be known as GT3e. Intel's goal was for the GT3e GPU was to achieve performance equal to the Nvidia GeForce GT 650M, which would mean the performance of a dedicated mid-range graphics card integrated into the processor.

Today Intel released the official names for the new integrated GPUs. What's different this time around is that the two fastest versions, GT3 and GT3e, received a completely new name: Iris and Iris Pro. With this new approach Intel would like to follow the example of the GeForce and Radeon brands, and offer a third alternative in the area of powerful 3D graphics. 

The GT3e GPU will officially be called Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200. The GT3 will come in two versions for mobile GPUs with a TDP of 28W and 15W, respectively. The faster GT3 version will be called Intel Iris Graphics 5100, and the slower one Intel HD Graphics 5000. The only difference between the two is the maximum clock frequency of the GPU, which is determined by the TDP. From the overview it's clear that the Iris branding will be limited to the high-performance GPUs.

The GT2 version, for now the fastest available version for separate desktop CPUs, will be named differently according to the type of CPU (and its clock frequency): Intel HD Graphics 4200, 4400 or 4600. The GT1 version will just be called Intel HD Graphics.


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