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Chipzilla's Lunar Lake shows built-in graphics getting better

by on09 May 2024

Discrete graphics might become even more discrete

New leaks into the graphics power of Chipzilla’s Xe2 Battlemage architecture on Lunar Lake indicate that onboard GPUs are about to get a whole lot beefier, ready to smash out some serious frame rates.

A Lunar Lake (Intel Core Ultra 200V) chip inside was spotted @miktdt on X being put through its paces on a SiSoftware benchmark, and the Intel Arc integrated graphics are showing off a bit.

The GPU has 56 EUs (Execution Units) ticking over at 1.75GHz, guzzling 17W of power. It scored 2,108Mpix/s, which makes Intel's brag that Lunar Lake's graphics will be double as nippy as Meteor Lake look pretty spot on.

The dark satanic rumour mill suggests that the top-of-the-range Lunar Lake mobile CPU will have four performance cores and four efficiency cores to play with.

The GPU's not even in its final form – it's got 56 EUs, which means it's running 7 Xe Cores instead of the full monty of 8 Xe Cores that the top-tier Xe2-LPG (low-power mobile) Battlemage graphics are supposed to have.

So, when Lunar Lake's all done and dusted, it's probably going to be even more of a belter, especially if they crank up the clock speeds.

While benchmarks can be a spin, or even faked, and SiSoftware isn't exactly the go-to for graphics testing, it does seem to show that integrated graphics are becoming a thing with chipmakers.

AMD's Strix Point is shaping up to be a bit of a dark horse in the laptop CPU race, set to drop later this year, around the same time as Lunar Lake. (Strix Point Halo is going to be even more of a powerhouse, coming next year.)

Then Qualcomm's Snapdragon X Elite (plus the Plus versions) is sneaking into the ring before these next-gen contenders. It's a whole different beast, being an ARM-based CPU and all, but thanks to some smart emulation, it's getting pretty nifty at running the usual x86 software (that's the stuff made for AMD or Intel chips). We even took the Snapdragon X Elite for a spin, and it handled Baldur’s Gate 3 like a champ, clocking 30 fps on a super-slim reference laptop.

That's no small feat, and with this ARM CPU hitting the shelves in June, followed by AMD Strix Point and Intel Lunar Lake later in the year, 2024 might be the year we see some seriously slick thin-and-light laptops that can take on PC games without breaking a sweat, all thanks to the leaps and bounds being made with integrated GPUs.

While this does not mean that dedicated graphics cards for laptops are going the way of soundcards, it does mean that laptops are going to get much better for gamers.


Last modified on 10 May 2024
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