A Wild Intel Ice Lake CPU Appears

Image: Intel

Intel would love just about anything to take the heat away from all that speculative execution stuff. I'm not sure if leaked specs for "Ice Lake", its next line of processors, is the sort of news it was looking for, but it'll do... for a few days, at least.

When it comes to graphics performance, Intel has always lagged behind the likes of NVIDIA and AMD. Which makes sense — powering the 3D visuals of the latest games isn't a big priority for the chip maker. That said, if Intel's engineers can boost their integrated GPUs without compromising elsewhere, it would make sense to take those gains.

A couple of days ago, a listing on SiSoftware's ranking site popped up with the ID of "Intel(R) UHD Graphics, Gen11 LP ci-main-68861 (384SP 48C 600MHz, 768kB L2, 6GB) (OpenCL)".

Image: Supplied

The specifications suggest that, from a purely hardware standpoint, Ice Lake will be twice as powerful as its Kaby Lake / Coffee Lake predecessors, sporting 48 execution units (EU) compared to 24. As TechPowerUp's btarunr explains, the EU count for Ice Lake works out to be 384 unified shader units, if you want to size it up against discrete GPUs.

On top of this, Ice Lake will be clocked at 600MHz - again twice as fast as the previous generation hardware.

How has Intel managed the massive boost? TechPowerUp puts it down to the smaller manufacturing process: 10nm, 4nm smaller than Kaby Lake.

Sure, Intel won't be eclipsing your GeForce or RADEON card anytime soon, but the company's iGPUs are slowly becoming... OK-ish... if you just want to play the odd undemanding game.

[SiSoftware, via TechPowerUp]


    I don't know exactly how these integrated GPUs factor into the overall cost and performance of CPUs, but it's kind of frustrating to think that I'm paying for an integrated CPU that I simply don't need whenever I build a desktop. It makes a lot of sense for laptops, mobile devices in general and low-end/non-gaming desktops, and I'm grateful that they exist in that context, but it kinda sucks that they're a fixture in all of the CPUs that are decent for gaming/high-end desktops.

      It was good around Sandy bridge time where there was a good mix of CPU with or without onboard GPU.

      Lower tier Xeon processors tend to be pretty close to Core i7s, just without the IGP. Could be a viable choice whenever you build your next box.

    My current laptop's Intel GPU says it has a maximum clock rate of 1150 MHz, with a base of 300 MHz. So presumably the 600 MHz figure is also a base clock rate.

    If it is just the base clock rate that has improved and not the maximum rate, then it might not have as big an effect as you might first think.

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