Another snippet of information from Intel today relates to the company’s future mobile platform CPU. We know it’s called Ice Lake-U, that it is built on Intel’s 10nm process, that it has Sunny Cove cores, and has beefy Gen11 integrated graphics. We’re still waiting on finer details about where it’s going to be headed, but today Intel is unloading some of its integrated graphics performance data for Ice Lake-U.

It should be noted that this data is performed by Intel, and we have had no ability to verify it in any way. Intel shared this information with a number of press in order to set a level of expectations. We’ve been told that this is Intel’s first 1 TeraFLOP graphics implementation, and it performs as such. The presentation was given by Ryan Shrout, ex owner and editor-in-chief of PC Perspective, and data was performed by his team inside Intel.

Ryan first showed us a direct comparison between the Gen9 graphics found in Intel’s latest and best Whiskey Lake platform at 15W up against a 15W Ice Lake-U product. The results make for pleasant reading. In the game demo scenes that Intel showed us, we saw upwards of a 40% gain in performance in average frame rates. Percentile numbers were not shown.

When comparing to an equivalent AMD product, Intel stated that it was almost impossible to find one of AMD’s latest 15W APUs actually running at 15W in a device – they stated that every device they could find was actually running one of AMD’s higher performance modes. To make the test fair, Intel pushed one of its Ice Lake-U processors to the equivalent of a 25W TDP and did a direct comparison. This is essentially AMD’s Vega 10 vs Intel’s Gen 11.

For all the games in Intel’s test methodology, they scored anywhere from a 6% loss to a 16% gain, with the average somewhere around a 4-5% gain. The goal here is to show that Intel can focus on graphics and gaming performance in ultra-light designs, with the aim to provide a smooth 1080p experience with popular eSports titles.

Update: As our readers were quick to pick up on from Intel's full press release, Intel is using faster LPDDR4X on their Ice Lake-U system. This is something that was not disclosed directly by Intel during their pre-Computex presentation.

Intel Test Systems Spec Comparison
  Ice Lake-U Core i7-8565U
Ryzen 7 3700U
CPU Cores 4 4 4
GPU Gen 11
(<=64 EUs?)
UHD Graphics 620
(24 EUs)
Vega 10
(10 CUs)
Memory 8GB
Storage Intel SSD 760P
Intel SSD 760P
SK Hynix BC501

For some background context, LPDDR4X support is new to Ice Lake-U, and long overdue from Intel as a consequence of Intel's 10nm & Cannon Lake woes. It offers significant density and even greater bandwidth improvements over LPDDR3. Most 7/8/9th Gen Core U systems implemented LPDDR3 for power reasons, and OEMs have been chomping at the bit for LPDDR4(X) so that they don't have to trade off between capacity and power consumption.

That Intel used LPDDR4X in Ice Lake-U versus DDR4 in the AMD system means that Intel had a significant memory bandwidth and latency advantage – around 56%, on paper at least. This sort of differential matters most in integrated graphics performance, suggesting that this is one angle that Intel will readily leverage when it comes to comparisons between the two products.

Moving on, the last set of data comes from Intel’s implementation of Variable Rate Shading (VRS), which was recently introduced in DirectX 12. VRS is a technique that allows the game developer to change the shading resolution of an area on the screen on the fly, allowing a developer to reduce the amount of pixel shading used in order to boost performance, and ideally doing this with little-to-no impact in image quality. It is a new supported feature on Gen11, but it does require the game to support the feature as well. The feature is game specific, and the settings are tuned by the game, not the driver or GPU.

Intel showed that in an ideal synthetic test, they scored a 40% uplift with VRS enabled, and in the synthetic test comparing VRS on and off, that extra performance put it above an equivalent AMD Ryzen system. AMD’s GPU does not support this feature at this time.

Intel is also keen to promote Ice Lake as an AI CPU, due to its AVX512 implementation, and any software than can take advantage of AI can be equipped with accelerated algorithms to speed it up.

We expect to hear more about Ice Lake this week at Computex, given Intel’s keynote on Tuesday, but we also expect to see some vendors showing off their Ice Lake-U designs.

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View All Comments

  • maroon1 - Sunday, May 26, 2019 - link

    So ?! What is your point ?!

    It is not intel fault that AMD did not update their memory controller and use LPDDR4X. Laptop with Ice lake will use LPDDDR4X while AMD laptop will use DDR4. That what will be available to consumers,
  • Alistair - Sunday, May 26, 2019 - link

    We are interested in a cpu comparison, not a memory comparison that Intel is providing here. Ryzen can run with faster memory also. Reply
  • maroon1 - Sunday, May 26, 2019 - link

    I have not seen any Ryzen-U laptop that use more than DDR4 2400

    Even most of expensive high-end laptop use something like DDR4 2666Mhz
  • danielfranklin - Sunday, May 26, 2019 - link

    If thats what they are shipping with, thats what you compare it against.
    If Intel ship their Ice Lake with LPDDR4X then good on them!
  • Santoval - Sunday, May 26, 2019 - link

    On top of that Intel used a single channel Ryzen APU machine, handicapping the AMD system even more. Let me make an uneducated guess about your reply.. : "They did so because dual channel ones are hard to find". Reply
  • Brunnis - Monday, May 27, 2019 - link

    No, it was run in dual channel, as expected. It's confirmed here:
  • Siats - Sunday, May 26, 2019 - link

    LPDDR4x-3733 actually has a bandwidth of 29.9GB/s, bus width is 32bits in LPDDR4 and its variants. The AMD chip is the one with the bandwidth advantage. Reply
  • skavi - Sunday, May 26, 2019 - link

    I love how everyone immediately attacked without knowing this. Reply
  • npz - Sunday, May 26, 2019 - link

    No. LPDDR4x-3733 bandwidth of 29.9GB/s x dual channel, so it's double.
    The AMD is firstly DDR4-2400 which is still lower at 19.2GB/s and secondly is *single channel* (a 8GB dimm)
  • Siats - Sunday, May 26, 2019 - link

    (3733MT/s x 2 lines per clock x 32 bits per line x 2 (channels) /8 = 29,864 bytes/s = 29.9GB/s

    That's already at dual channel, bus width is greatly important, still, you are ultimately correct, reading Wikichip, Ice Lake differs from most mobile chips in having quad channel memory support for LPDDR4, bringing an effective bus width of 128bits, so it is indeed almost 60GB/s max.

    We do not know for sure if its in quad channel though, likewise we do not know if the AMD chip is using single channel, though I understand why would you think that's the case.

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