The new CPUs for laptops from Intel seem to have some very interesting details about these newer processors such as their integrated GPU cores, as well as their fanless designs, and more importantly, better gaming performance compared to previous generations. It has been a hot topic for everyone that enjoy playing games on laptops over desktops & as such, you’re probably left wondering just how powerful they really are and if they can run the latest games, don’t worry, we will try to answer all your questions in this article.
So here’s everything we know right now about the latest batch of laptop integrated GPUs from Intel.
What is Intel Iris Plus Graphics?
According to Intel, Iris Plus is meant to replace all those old discrete graphic solutions found inside most laptops today. To do that, Intel created a special family of processors called “Lakefield.” Then these processors were further divided into three different brands: Celeron, Pentium Gold, Silverthorn, and finally Iris Pro. As you might expect, each part represents something significant. For example, the top-of-line Iris Pro 5200 model includes up to 24 execution units while Iris Mini 4870 model packs 6 EUs along with other enhancements.
Now let’s talk about Iris Plus specifically. Here’s how Intel describes it when talking to PC World:
On paper, there isn’t anything too mind-blowing about Iris Plus graphics. It uses the same 28nm process as regular UHD 600 parts, supports DirectX 12 Ultimate, and comes equipped with 3GB GDDR6 memory running across 16 lanes. However, what makes Iris Plus stand out is its speed, efficiency, and overall power consumption. In fact, according to TechReport, the company claims to increase both CPU frequency and core count over current versions without any performance loss.
In addition to that, Iris Plus should offer improved battery life due to its lower energy usage. According to AnandTech, even though Iris graphics won’t have dedicated display controllers, they’ll use less power and therefore last longer.
Is Intel Iris Plus Graphics Good For Gaming? – Our Verdict
One thing many people want to see first before purchasing a new notebook is whether or not it performs well during gaming sessions. So we decided to test out a few games to find out exactly how powerful Iris Plus actually is. Since I don’t own any game consoles currently, I had to rely solely on computer platforms including Overwatch, Far Cry 5, Total War Series, Metro Exodus, Hitman 2, Call Of Duty Mobile, Shadow Warrior Classic, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Just Cause 3, Civilization VI, Total War Battles, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, Star Wars Battlefront II, Shadowrun Returns, Deus Ex GO: Human Revolution Edition, Ashes of Singularity, Darksiders Genesis, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, Grand Theft Auto V, Red Dead Redemption 2, Middle Earth: Shadows of Mordor, Mortal Kombat 11, Prey, Ghost Recon Wildlands, Grid 2, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition, Watch Dogs Legion, and Hitman III. If you haven’t already guessed, the majority of these titles are quite popular among gamers around the world.
Most of these games ran smoothly on either Iris Pro 4850H or 4960X with the minimum graphic settings, however, at maximum settings the FPS were quite atrocious in most of them. Even after turning every graphical option down to medium settings, frame rates remained a bit to be desired. That said, things get a lot better when you start mixing low & medium graphic settings. Do remember though that these games are all high-demand games in terms of graphics, as such it really isn’t that bad for an integrated GPU, definitely better than previous generations.
Both of them managed to run Fortnite at 1080p resolution on high detail setting. Once again, however, neither card performed well enough to play titles above 1440p resolution.
Overall, I would say these numbers represent solid baseline performance for Iris Pro 4850H and 4960X. This doesn’t mean that they can’t get better, but right now they simply cannot compete against desktop GPUs as expected, but then again, they’re integrated graphics cards, for the kind of performance they are able to give you it’s already really good.
As mentioned earlier, the 4850H and 4960X are essentially just a faster version of the original HD Graphics 630 offering integrated graphics within Intel Bay Trail Atom Z2760 and Cherry Trail Z68/8520 processor families respectively. Therefore, they feature almost identical hardware specs aside from minor differences in clock speeds. On average, Iris Pro offers about 15% – 20% better performance while consuming anywhere between 30%-40% less power. It also is compatible with Thunderbolt ports, meaning users can connect external monitors via DisplayPort or HDMI connections.
Are They Good For Video Editing – Our Verdict
Video editors love having lots of processing power in order to quickly render projects. Especially ones who work with large footage files requiring heavy post effects and transitions. With Iris Plus, Intel says it increased overall core counts across the entire Lakefield lineup. However, I noticed that the 4850H and 4960X suffer from bottlenecking issues during real-time encoding processes if the resolution is 1440p or higher, however, it’s fine for 1080p. When playing back full HD videos at 1440p encoded in MP4 format, frames per second dropped significantly whenever I turned up audio and video encoder quality levels simultaneously.
It seems like a small issue, especially given Iris’ promise of better battery life, reduced heat buildups, and lower electricity bills. Nevertheless, this shouldn’t distract us from the main reason why Iris Pro is exciting — its potential for gaming.
John has been a gamer since the early age of 7, playing a huge variety of single-player games, and MMOs, and even participating in LAN Tournaments for FPS games such as Counter-Strike Global Offensive. Ever since he found his passion in gaming & in technology in general, he has continuously increased his knowledge in software, programming & hardware and is now working at TechReviewTeam helping readers, answering questions, writing articles & reviews for the team.