Intel’s 6th-generation Core processors are 14nm chips that don’t offer much better CPU performance than the 5th-gen “Broadwell” processors they replace. But Intel is promising up to 50 percent better graphics performance.

The new “Skylake” chips feature Intel Gen9 integrated graphics which not only offer more graphics compute performance, but consume less power while doing it. Skylake chips also support a number of new APIs and a few other new tricks.

intel gen9_01

Skylake chips add support for DirectX 12, OpenCL 2.0, and OpenGL 4.4 and include native support for decoding and encoding HEVC, VP8, and MJPEG videos. There’s also a new QuickSync video mode that supports real-time, low-power video encoding.

Intel has added new RAW image processing support, enabling support for shooting RAW video at 4K resolutions at up to 60 frames per second.

Of course, not all Skylake chips are created equal. The mobile portion of the Skylake family ranges from 7 watt chips for tablets to 47 watt processors for high-performance graphics.

But even the low-power Skylake Y-Series chips will be able to power devices with 3840 x 2160 pixel, 60 Hz displays, while notebooks and convertibles with 15 watt or 28 watt Skylake U-series processors will be able to support 4096 x 2304 pixel resolutions.

Want a more technical look at Intel Gen9 graphics? Check out Intel’s whitepaper or HotHardware’s summary.

via @chippy


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10 replies on “What to expect from Intel Skylake graphics”

  1. Isn’t it strange that Intel only claims “up to 50% better graphics performance” ?

    IMHO it’s the minimum as the best skylake iGPU features 50% more EUs than the best broadwell one (72 vs 48)

  2. Isn’t it strange that Intel only claims “up to 50% better graphics performance” ?

    IMHO it’s the minimum as the best skylake iGPU features 50% more EUs than the best broadwell one (72 vs 48)…

    What (where ?) is the improvement we can expect from the new Gen9 architecture ?

    1. Having 50% more EU’s does NOT equate to having 50% graphics performance.

      Graphics performance is also highly dependent on memory bandwidth and skylake only makes modest improvements in memory bandwidth compared to the previous generations.

      You’re also not comparing like-for-like. Very few skylake chips will have 72 EU’s. For the moment the only models that are available have just 24 EUs (like the i7-6700K), which is only a 20% improvement on the models that they replace (i7-4790K).

      As for any improvements in the Gen9 architecture, it depends, if you look at:

      You can see that some games are 30% better which is more than you would expect from the 20% increase in number of EUs. But depending on the game and the resolution you run it , you might only get a 5% improvement.

  3. I always find it kinda surprising how prevalent Intel integrated is despite them usually doing something odd. Case in point with a HD4000 the HDMI maximum clock rate is 225MHz. That’s below the minimum clock rate required for HDMI 1.3 support, yet that GPU is advertised as HDMI 1.4 compatible. This recently bit me in the rear when I realised I couldn’t drive a 2560×1440 display at 60Hz off HDMI with that GPU when if you trust the headline figures it should work.

  4. MJPEG? What, that codec from last decade?? It needs hardware support? *Confused* Where’s Skylake’s GIF animation support??

    1. M-JPEG is still used by video-capture devices such as digital cameras, IP cameras, and webcams; and by non-linear video editing systems and is still considered to have its place among other competing codecs…

      1. But has codec performance been a problem until now? Why add it to hardware with Skylake?

        Ok, I guess the answer is for embedded low-power CPUs…

        1. Hardware acceleration is also part of improved power efficiency, for example… along with simply removing things that would otherwise bog down the CPU performance unnecessarily, especially when you’d rather use that for something else like multitasking or non-linear video editing…

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