Mainstream gamers no longer require discrete GPUs, says Intel

Intel iGPUs are all you need for maintstream gaming

We’re awfully fond of the idea of an ultra-compact, small-form-factor gaming PC, like Intel’s upcoming Skull Canyon NUC, for example.

There’s a surprising amount of performance to be had from such a small device, but we’d never go so far as to call it a device for mainstream gaming.

Well, according to the Vice President and General Manager for Intel’s desktop client’s platform, Gregory Bryant, integrated GPUs (iGPUs) are all mainstream gamers need these days, and only enthusiasts actually need discrete GPUs.

Perhaps Bryant means something else when he says “mainstream”? He doesn’t mean between 30 and 60fps at 1080p on medium to high settings, does he? Or perhaps that’s the domain of the enthusiast for Bryant?

In fact, claims Bryant, their top-end Iris and Iris Pro iGPUs, found in their latest chips, can outperform 80% of discrete GPUs.

Intel must mean 80% of all discrete GPUs… ever – we’re talking since the time of the Voodoo and Savage 3D cards.

Joking aside, low-end, entry level discrete GPUs produced by NVIDIA and AMD are definitely slower than Intel’s top-end solutions, but they’re not the best choice for gaming.

They’re not only in no way sufficient enough for an acceptable gaming experience at 1080p, or at least what a gamer worth their salt would call sufficient, but what Bryant also fails to mention is that the CPUs that use their top-end Iris and Iris Pro iGPUs are far from cheap.

It’s far more cost effective to purchase a more capable GPU and relegate the number crunching to a more affordable CPU. Trust us, games are far more GPU intensive and you’ll gain better frame rates as a result.

iGPUs have certainly come a long, long way, there’s no doubts about it. “We have improved graphics 30 times what they were five years ago,” Bryant said Bryant at a J.P. Morgan forum at last week’s CES. But games are also quite a bit more demanding than they were five years ago.

Their upcoming top-end iGPU, the Iris Pro 580, offers a lot of performance for an integrated solution, but it still only manages the sorts of numbers you’d get from a GeForce GTX 750, which struggles at settings most would call “mainstream”.

Chip Name GPU Core GFlops (GPU Only) GFlops (Whole Package)

*Table courtesy of WCCF Tech.

And consider this, the Iris Pro 580 is only going to be installed into high-end CPUs you absolutely don’t need for mainstream gaming.

Mainstream gaming is about a balance between your CPU and GPU performance. In what way is an enthusiast CPU and a “mainstream” GPU appropriate?

We love what Intel and AMD are doing with integrated solutions, but there are a good portion of the gaming market that are constantly sold the wrong hardware, and it stymies their experience at every turn.

Source(s): Fudzilla, PC World

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Mainstream gamers no longer require discrete GPUs, says Intel

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