Ryan Shrout, a former hack and now the chief performance strategist for Intel, said that Chipzilla doesn’t make the claim lightly. “I don’t think we can overstate how important this is for us, to make this claim and this statement about the one area that people railed on us for in the mobile space.”
While Intel supplies the largest number of integrated graphics chipsets in the PC space, it does so on the strength of its CPU performance.
AMD has used its Radeon "Vega" GPUs to attract buyers seeking a more powerful integrated graphics solution. But what Intel is trying to do now, with its Xe discrete graphics on the horizon, is let its GPUs stand on their own merits.
So obviously the proof is in the benchmarks and Intel has been using the 3DMark Sky Diver test to Fortnite to Overwatch, Intel claims performance that’s three to 15 percent faster than the Ryzen 7. Intel’s argument is based on a comparison of a U-series Ice Lake part at 25 watts, versus a Ryzen 7 3700U, also at 25 watts.
However, PC World points out the comparisons don’t uniformly favour Intel. In the 3DMark Night Raid test, for example, AMD tops Intel’s Ice Lake by about six percent. The Ryzen 7 3700W is also a 15-watt part, and Intel is running it at 25 watts. The comparisons are generally made on “Low” settings, as opposed to the “High” settings gamers prefer.
Intel also provided a more direct comparison between what you can expect within Ice Lake to the graphics performance available to current generation of 8th-gen “Whiskey Lake” U-series parts. Here, there’s a direct comparison between two 15-watt chips, the older using what Intel calls Gen9.5 graphics, and Ice Lake’s Gen11 graphics.
Using generally the same benchmarks, the Gen11 graphics in Ice Lake offer anywhere from 1.43X to over double the performance of the older chips in a variety of games and benchmarks.
Intel’s Gen11 graphics support variable-rate shading, a technology that is somewhat similar to the foveated rendering used in VR headsets. Variable-rate shading affects how quickly a shader is called, and how quickly a shader is called affects how a pixel looks in terms of visual fidelity. Intelligently slowing down the shader rate in parts of the scene that the viewer shouldn’t be looking at allows the overall frame rate to increase, without a noticeable effect in how the scene appears.
However, while Ice Lake might look promising, but AMD has its 7nm “Vega” technology and its own next-gen Ryzen parts around the corner.