Intel is promising better gaming performance with a new integrated graphics architecture dubbed Iris. The GPU will debut as part of Intel's fourth-generation CPU architecture Haswell, which is currently being teased for a June 3 release in both laptop and desktop versions.
On the desktop, Iris will come in two configurations, the Iris 5200 and the Iris 5200 Pro (denoted with an R suffix). Intel's own 3DMark11 tests show over two-times the performance of the HD 4000 with the 5200 and over three-times the performance with the Iris 5200 Pro. This places the GPUs in the same performance range as current midrange dedicated GPUs, and AMD's APU chips.
Intel has not yet provided any real-world benchmarks for games.
For high-end laptops, Iris takes the form of Iris Graphics 5100. Intel promises the 5100 will have over two-times the performance of the HD 4000, but it comes with a much higher 28W thermal design power (TDP) than the 17W TDP used by both Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge CPUs, currently limiting its use to larger laptops.
Smaller Ultrabooks will use the Intel HD Graphics 5000 GPU. Intel's benchmarks show a 1.5 times performance increase on the HD 4000 part, while also fitting the chips within a 15W TDP envelope for devices that are power-constrained.
Almost all the Iris-based GPUs will support Direct3D 11.1, OpenGL 4.1, and OpenCL 1.2, a faster version of Intel's QuickSync video encoding engine, DisplayPort 1.2, improved support for 2K and 4K resolutions, and the ability to stretch one "logical" monitor across up to three physical monitors.
The Iris 5200 Pro also makes use of a small amount of ultra-fast integrated eDRAM, providing a much higher memory bandwidth than system RAM for increased graphics performance.
A similar technique is used in the Xbox 360, which contains 10MB of eDRAM, while current rumours point to the next-generation Xbox using 32MB of eDRAM.'