Is Intel Iris Xe: Good for Gaming?
Join H.J. host of The Level Infinite Show as he breaks down whether or not Intel Iris Xe is good for us as gamers!
Many of us are familiar with dedicated GPUs, including the Nvidia and AMD discrete GPUs with dedicated video memory. Until recently, integrated graphics have struggled against dedicated GPUs when it comes to running the latest gaming titles, but in the latter half of 2020, we got a big announcement. 11th Gen i5 and i7 processors were getting a big upgrade with their GPU counterparts. Introducing the Intel Iris Xe integrated GPU and the Intel Iris Xe Max dedicated GPU, and that’s when things began to change, but is it really that good? Read on to find out more about this popular GPU for thin-and-light laptops and whether you should use it or not.
11th Gen with a major upgrade - Is it that good?
With the release of the 11th gen Core i5 and i7 model processors, we got a new GPU called Intel Iris Xe or Iris Xe Graphics. The performance was okay for some games, but when new games dropped and hardware became a challenge, Intel had to and still has to continuously release GPU drivers for all Iris Xe chipsets to boost performance. But the problem with the 11th gen core i5 and i7 models that the 12th gen and 13th gen processors don’t have, is that the 11th gen is the entry level into Iris Xe Graphics the performance is capped at a certain point. Even the i7 core model with 96 execution units still struggles in some ways because the hardware CPU and GPU working together has its limits. Right now I can play Grand Theft Auto V and Forza Horizon 4 and or 5 on low to medium settings and average between 30-40 FPS (which is playable), but when I want to play Cyberpunk 2077 or more demanding titles like Destiny 2, it stutters so bad and I can barely get playable frame rates. Below is a chart outlining 11th gen core i7 model's performance as compared to other GPUs (according to Intel). The problem here is that Intel’s marketing was a little bit over-exaggerated in my opinion.
12th Gen and 13th Gen, better in (almost) every way?
With the release of 12th and 13th gen model processors, Intel Iris Xe got a major performance boost from 11th gen, and especially with the 13th generation processors we can now see that the frame rates for almost every single game (old and new) are at least playable. In some cases, it can get up to 40+ frames on low settings, which is astounding for integrated graphics. I think that perhaps with the release of Intel Arc dedicated GPUs, Intel probably got their mistakes mostly corrected.
What about Intel Iris Xe Max Graphics?
Intel, with the release of 11th gen core processors, also dropped Intel Iris Xe Max GPUs, however, the response was terrible and that’s probably what led to the release of Intel Arc. Even today, Max struggles against Intel Iris Xe and Intel Arc GPUs in some ways more than others. I hope that one day Intel can fix this as it would be a huge leap forward.
So if you’re into gaming, and want to game on a thin and light laptop the Intel Iris Xe may be the GPU for you.
About the author:
H.J. is the host of The Level Infinite show. He started his show at the age of 18 in January 2021 and has experience in podcasting as a hobby. He also enjoys playing games as a hobby and is a student at Pitt Community College studying for his degree in Information Technology. Now at the age of 20, he aims to improve the world through his podcast and insight into the topics that matter most.
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