Last year, Intel took the stage on its Architecture Day to announce the Gen 11 Integrated Graphics design based on the Sunny Cove architecture. They announced that they’d be bringing to the market iGPUs with more than 1 TFLOPs of compute power. To put that into perspective, a GTX 1050 Ti has 2.1 TFLOPs. Besides iGPUs, the company also revealed its plans to introduce ‘Xe’ branded discrete graphics cards lineup.
First of Sunny Cove Gen 11 Graphics – Intel Iris Plus 940
The first benchmarks of what is supposedly being called the Intel Iris Plus Graphics 940 iGPU have hit the internet and the results are surprising. A Reddit user by the name of dylan522p posted some benchmarks of the Gen 11 Iris Plus 940 iGPU comparing the performance with the existing 9/9.5 Gen Intel integrated graphics and also its AMD counterparts, the Radeon Vega 10 and Vega 11 iGPUs.
Comparing the alleged Iris Plus 940 chip to Intel’s current integrated solutions baked in with Coffee Lake and Whiskey Lake processors, we see a whopping ~76% gain in performance on average. In rare use cases, the difference even tops 130% which is tremendous, in my opinion. The Gen 11 iGPU doubles the performance of the existing chips at minimum.
Saying that the Iris Plus 940 crushes the Radeon Vega 10 would be an understatement. The Gen 11 Intel chip running alongside an unknown CPU from the future brings the Ryzen 7 2700U with Vega 10 Graphics to its knees, literally. Intel takes the lead with a massive 63% faster overall performance. Note that the chip tested here appears to be an early engineering sample, so its is safe to expect that performance of the actual product when it comes to market will be even better with mature driver software.
However, the Vega 11 graphics on the Ryzen 5 2400G processor do not give in to the new cool kid in town. It manages to stay ahead in most of the benchmark results. That is expected for the most part, the 2400G is a desktop CPU after all. The Intel Iris chip is supposed to be introduced to the next gen laptop CPUs and we are not sure if Intel will be adding the same to their desktop lineup or has something else in store for desktop users.
Intel has never tried to jump the performance metrics on iGPUs until now. The benchmark results, for now, look very promising. The greater challenge, perhaps, will be power efficiency. The new integrated chips will go into mainstream U-series laptop CPUs which run on a 15W TDP and power ultrabooks. Intel had all the resources for performance gains but efficiency and cooling was what made things difficult. Looks like Intel has found a way around.
According to reports, Gen 11 graphics will be unveiled with the next generation of laptop processors sometime in 2019. That being said, we’ll have to wait for official word from Intel to support the claims.