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Intel Iris Pro 5200 graphics review: the end of mid-range GPUs?

Intel Haswell processor with GT3e graphics tested

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Introduction

In June, Intel introduced its fourth generation Core processors, the review of which you can find here. A special version of the processor wasn't available immediately at launch, a series intended for laptops and all-in-one PCs. It contains Iris Pro 5200 graphics, an integrated GPU that is supposed to perform on the level of mid-range mobile GPUs from AMD and Nvidia. BTO sent us the U.Book 14CL16, which is equipped with one of those Haswell chips with Iris Pro 5200 graphics. Today we'll take a closer look at what that processor has to offer, and whether Intel can live up to its claim. 


GT3e

First a quick recap of how the Haswell integrated graphics have been implemented, as you can also read in our original review. There is a model with six cores (codenamed GT1), a model with 20 cores (GT2) and a model with 40 cores (GT3). The GT3e version will even feature 128 MB of embedded memory. Ivy Bridge only had a GT1 (HD Graphics 2500) with six cores and a GT2 (HD Graphics 4000) with 16 cores.

For the desktop Haswell processors Intel has so far only planned for models with GT2. This integrated GPU will be called Intel HD Graphics 4600 for desktop processors. For certain notebook CPUs with a lower-clocked GT2 version Intel calls it HD Graphics 4400 or 4200. Chipsets with GT3 will eventually arrive for Ultrabooks and All-in-One PCs. The GT3e GPU with 128 MB embedded memory is supposed to equal the performance of the Nvidia GeForce GT 650M, a mid-range graphics card but then as part of a CPU.

The GT3e GPU is officially called Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200, and that's exactly what we find in the BTO machine. There will be two versions of GT3 for mobile GPUs with TDPs of 28W and 15W. The faster of the two will be called Intel Iris Graphics 5100, but that one is not yet available. The other, Intel HD Graphics 5000, is used in the latest generation MacBook Airs. The only difference between the two is the clock frequency, determined by the TDP. Intel is using the Iris brand only for its high-performance GPUs.

 BTO-Notebooks U.Book 14CL16
The BTO U.Book 14CL16 with Core i7 4750HQ processor and Iris Pro Graphics 5200

two products discussed in this review

  Product Lowest price
Intel Core i7 4750HQ
REVIEW

2 GHz, 4 cores, 22 nm, 47 W, Integrated graphics

Specifications Test results Reviews

Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200
REVIEW

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