COMPARATIVE: Intel Iris Xe G7 GPU VS Intel HD Graphics, AMD Vega and NVidia MX


Today we present you our benchmark comparison of the new Intel Iris Xe LP Gen 12 GPU against the rest of integrated GPUs on the market today, a GPU that we will soon see in many mini PCs with the Intel Gen11 CPUs.

The new GPU Xe LP (low power integrated) is the Gen12 of these graphic solutions and finally they give a very important jump in performance in the graphic section for Intel Core i5 and i7 processors of 11th generation. Intel Core i3, Celeron and Pentium processors are excluded from these GPUs for now, a real pity. With these new GPUs we will finally be able to have light gaming on 11Gen Intel processors and we will also have substantial improvements in video reproduction. Let’s see how this new GPU works and how it defends itself against the competition.

SPECIFICATIONS

General specifications

These integrated Intel Xe LP Gen12 graphics are found in the new Intel Tiger Lake Gen11 processors for laptops and low-power devices such as mini PCs. These processors are made in 10nm SupeFin process, have USB 4, Thunderbolt 4 and PCI Express 4.0 connectivity that allows us to also connect any last generation GPU, a remarkable jump in performance compared to the 14nm of previous generations.

In this range of processors some integrates the new Intel Iris Xe G7 GPUs with two configurations, one with 96 execution units (EU) in the Core-i7 and another with 80 EU in the Core i5 processors, on the other hand the Core i3 processors only integrate the old Intel HD Graphics with 48 EU. There is also an Intel Iris Xe G7 MAX variant with a higher clock speed, going from 1.3 GHz in the base models to 1.6 GHz, so we are not going to have a radical improvement.

In this range of processors we have two families divided by consumption, on the one hand the high TPD UP3 which are between 12 and 28W TPD and in the low TPD UP4 range we have the processors with consumption between 7 and 15W TPD. Something that will also mark the gross performance of the processor.

Cores/ThreadsBaseTurboTPDGraphicsEU
Intel Core i7-1185G74/83.0 GHz4.3 GHz12/28WIris Xe G796
Intel Core i7-1165G74/82.8 GHz4.1 GHz12/28WIris Xe G796
Intel Core i5-1135G74/82.4 GHz3.8 GHz12/28WIris Xe G780
Intel Core i3-1125G44/82.0 GHz3.3 GHz12/28WUHD Graphics48
Intel Core i3-1115G42/43.0 GHz4.1 GHz12/28WUHD Graphics48
Intel Core i7-1160G74/81.2 GHz3.6 GHz7/15WIris Xe G796
Intel Core i5-1130G74/81.1 GHz3.4 GHz7/15WIris Xe G780
Intel Core i3-1120G44/81.1 GHz3.0 GHz7/15WUHD Graphics48
Intel Core i3-1110G42/41.8 GHz3.9 GHz7/15WUHD Graphics48

GPU

The design of the new Intel Iris Xe G7 LP represents a radical change from the old Intel HD Graphics that are very outdated technologically. The new GPUs have a much simpler and functional modular design that we will see evolve in future versions. The performance is directly improved almost to the double when jumping to the 10nm SuperFin but also by the improvement in the support of instructions and flow management.

VPU

In the video reproduction section these new GPUs also update their processing engine, the new Media Engine offers double the encoding / decoding performance, we have AV1 decoding support, higher H.265 acceleration, video playback up to 8K@60fps, HDR 10 and Dolby Vision (single layer) support and 12bit color support.

As for video outputs we support four screens at once, can be distributed among eDP, DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0 outputs natively with 12bit color support BT2020 and supports video output up to 360Hz Adaptive Sync. As we see it does not have HDMI 2.1 support and all the special features that this connection provides.

PERFORMANCE TEST

Testing Hardware

To make direct tests on these new Intel Iris Xe G7 GPUs we have used an Acer Aspire 5 A515-5, a well-balanced computer that has the Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor, with 8 GB of RAM and 512 GB NVMe SSD. A system that comes with Windows 10 64bit installed by default and that moves perfectly to play quite demanding titles as we will see in the tests, office automation, desktop applications and 4K multimedia playback.

  • Acer Aspire 5 A515-5 is available at Amazon for a price of approximately $699 (€635)

Benchmarks

We performed several performance tests on the Intel Iris Xe G7 GPU and measured it against the most widespread GPUs of the moment such as the old Intel HD Graphics, the powerful AMD Vega of the Ryzen processors and the GPUs with dedicated GDDR memory of the NVIDIA GeForce MX family.

3DMark

The quintessential graphics performance test with a fairly solid continuity of results helps us compare GPU performance historically. As we see the performance figures in these synthetic tests are quite promising and we can see how they equal or exceed the AMD Vega of the Ryzen 4000. Interestingly, in these tests also exceeds the NVIDIA GeForce MX, but as we will see is only in the tests, in real games where it requires much more performance of the dedicated memory GeForce greatly improve results.

Games

We conducted our tests in games using the Intel Iris Xe G7 GPU that as we see gives us a pretty good performance when compared to its direct competition AMD Vega GPU, a really positive jump from the outdated Intel HD Graphics. As we have commented the real performance in games if it is below the NVIDIA GeForce MX, here is very noticeable the extra performance given by the dedicated GDRR memory that these integrated GPUs install.

  • Setting: High quality / 1080p resolution / No VSync.
  • On models with integrated Intel HD GPUs in low and 720p resolution.

During our game sessions in Fortnite and CS:GO the system is smooth, we only need to adjust the quality settings of some sections to play comfortably at 1080p with frame rates well above 30fps. It should be noted that these tests are conducted on processors limited energy to increase battery life in laptops, in the mini PCs surely have higher performance. No doubt a positive step by Intel in the right direction and that brings us good news for the next mini PCs with Core i5 and i7 Tiger Lake processors.

VPU and Sound

We passed a series of performance tests in terms of video playback on the Intel Iris Xe G7 GPU to check the formats supported by the integrated VPU. As we can see the results are very good both in h.265 HDR and in VP9 4K, also as we have checked this new VPU has hardware AV1 decoding support. This codec is still in the process of implementation and has some problems with KODI 19, but they will be solved when this version evolves, in YouTube we can play without problems the videos encoded with this format.

  • Image quality: Correct colors and good processing.
  • HDR support: Dolby Vision (single layer), HDR10 and support for REC709/BT2020 profiles.
  • Sound: Depends on the manufacturer’s configuration, but can reach Dolby Atmos and DTS:X

FormatsResult
h.264 / 1080i / 8bitCorrect
h.264 / 1080p / 4K / 8bitCorrect
h.264 / 1080p / 10bit (anime)Correct (SW)
h.265 / 1080p / 8bitCorrect
h.265 / 1080p / 10bit (anime)Correct
h.265 / 4K@24fps / 8bitCorrect
h.265 / 4K@24/60fps / 10bit HDRCorrect
VP9 P1 / 4K@24fps / 8bitCorrect
VP9 P2 / 4K@24/60fps / 10bit HDRCorrect
VP9 P2 / 8K@60fps / 10bit HDRCorrect
AV1 / 4K@24fps / 10bitCorrect
Netflix 4K HDRCorrect
Max. Bitrate100 Mbps = 12,5 MB/s
  • SW = does not have hardware acceleration and may have some pointing jumps in very large files.

CONCLUSIONS

Opinion

As we can see in our comparison the new Intel Iris Xe G7 GPU we are facing a very positive evolution in terms of performance of Intel’s integrated graphics solutions, we finally have a real competition against AMD Vega GPUs in this sector. In the real results playing demanding titles the Intel Iris Xe G7 GPUs leave far behind the old Intel HD Graphics, with this power if we can play adjusting graphics quality to most titles.

The new Intel Iris Xe G7 GPU also offers good video playback quality, native HDMI 2.0 compatibility and decoding support for the modern AV1 codec that will be extended in the coming years in streaming services such as Netflix. Unfortunately it seems that the support for HDMI 2.1 connectivity has been left in the dark, which we will possibly see in future evolutions, for now we will have to settle for 8K@60fps maximum resolution.

In short, the new Intel Iris Xe G7 GPUs finally offer us good performance, now have a chance to fight the competition in the sector of integrated GPUs such as the AMD Vega. We are looking forward to extend and see soon mini PCs with this graphics solution with a higher power consumption limit than in notebooks.

Evaluation

PROSCONS
  • Good 3D performance
  • Compatible with AV1 and 8K@60fps
  • HDMI 2.0 native support
  • HDR support
  • Stable drivers
  • No support for HDMI 2.1
  • Only for Core i5 y Core i7 cPUs

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