Broadwell: graphics 8 generation

Mac and their users are met with integrated graphics from Intel in the epic era of “Great transition.” The idea impressed. But the realization was depressing. The letter “A” in the Intel GMA950 was glossed as the “accelerator” that otherwise than mockery you will not name. Personal computer, particularly portable, does not have to be a powerful gaming platform. Office or home computer, especially a cheap one, not designed for high graphic performance there are other computers. Expensive.

With daily routine computers with Intel GMA950 could handle. About that with them something not so ordinary users might not know. But for those who knew the “Integrated Graphics” in the specification, a computing device sounded like a death sentence. “F”, with “accelerator”? No, do not take.

Alas: to the discrete GPU from the leaders in the industry (NVIDIA and ATI which is now AMD) IG was not even as the moon. As a neighboring galaxy.

Prior to moving platform to the Intel problem this company with integrated graphics was a little worried users of Macs. Moreover, the “boosters” with whom they met was in the third generation, and more or less coped with the tasks assigned to them. In ancient times, when PowerPC G3 politely roasted Pentium’y, it was worse. On firm “troechku” Intel GMA950 confidently pulled.

The continuation of a series about Intel Broadwell, the previous parts are here:

The first part of 2014: Intel Broadwell is coming out.

Acceleration accelerators

Intel was bothering her the gap in the field of graphics. It is damaging to her reputation, and for the leader in microelectronics is unpleasant. Dizziness Core architecture gave rise to overconfidence and a dangerous illusion. And super-duper-mega-projects. Such undertaking sometimes (very rarely) lead to success.

In the history of some companies that would happen, even repeatedly, for example, the same Apple. And in the second half of zero Intel and Apple were tied tender friendship. And the prices at which Apple bought from her newest Intel CPU, was almost below cost.

Intel executives, came under the influence of Steve jobs, has initiated dozens of crazy projects, one third of which had to do with the chart. One of them was widely publicised about the other is almost unknown. They had invested huge sums, they had hundreds (if not thousands) of engineers – but nothing happened.

Industry leaders, who had to bury these projects suffered almost no damage. NVIDIA received a license to develop chipsets with new Intel processors that caused the company, though a significant but reparable damage.

On the background of the project serpoukhov Intel HD Graphics went and looked corny. Implementation was also at the level of “somehow”. But he, for all his faults and shortcomings, has finally brought real results.

NVIDIA refused to license it because of HD Graphics. Because of what Apple preferred in some models of older processors with decent graphics chipsets with Intel HD Graphics.

Outside Intel, it was obvious this was another failure, but the incident had made the right conclusions, found the right people and in the next, in the sixth generation of Intel embedded graphics ovsky, it’s gone.

On competition with NVIDIA or AMD, even at the lower end GPU, until it was only about the superiority of the current IG over a period of discrete processors from leaders, but even that was a serious and important breakthrough.

This is the background.

Generation 7.5

Integrated graphics in Haswell – Intel HD and Intel Iris Graphics the seventh generation, not just forced Intel to blush, but some of these processors on an equal footing to compete with discrete processors from NVIDIA and AMD lower segment.

The most of them received the unofficial title of “Generation 7.5” (Gen7.5). Apple they are actively used, even in elite models – iMac (21.5-inch) and MacBook Pro (nearly all 13-inch and some 15 inch).

Level GPU from Intel is denoted by the abbreviation “GT” (Graphics Tier) with a number from 1 to 3, and in special cases, to them is added the letter “e”. Low level GT1 to GT3. The letter “e” indicates the presence of GPUs own cache (eDRAM).

Generation 7.5 – GPU is the level of GT3 and GT3e. Apple used solely for that IG “generation”. Perhaps this is a reason to be proud of “fruit” company:

— HD Graphics 5000, GT3, performance 640-704 GLOPS;
— Iris Graphics 5100, GT3, performance 704-768 GLOPS;
— Iris Pro Graphics 5200, GT3e, the performance of 832 GLOPS, a private cache (eDRAM) with a size of 128 Megabytes.

All three meet in the specs of the Macs 2014.

Broadwell and generation 8.0

Now Intel developing a GPU was the target of successful and confident in their abilities – one of the best in the industry. In Broadwell Intel HD and Intel Iris Graphics are even better.

At this time we will have to consider the GT2. There is a reason. Apple used this level in 2013, presenting a Broadwell Core M ultra-low cooling requirements (3.5 to 4.5 Watts – you can do without ventilation!), Intel dropped Apple challenge which cannot be left unanswered, and Apple… bought it. Divorced?

But about why Apple had to drop down to GT2 – a topic for another time. Very soon.

Part of the rankings, Intel HD and Intel Iris Graphics 8-th generation relevant to us:


— HD Graphics 5300, performance 345,6 GLOPS;
— HD Graphics 5500, performance 364,8 GLOPS;
— HD Graphics 5600, performance 403,2 GLOPS.

Modestly, but with taste. Just 5 years before, Steve jobs was proud to represent processor from NVIDIA, transforming the MacBook Pro into a monster on the part of the graphical power, with a capacity of 70 or 80 GLOPS.

In 2015, this was depressing enough. Apple A8X more!


— HD Graphics 6000, performance 768 GLOPS;
— Iris Graphics 6100, performance 844,8 GLOPS;
— Iris Pro Graphics 6200, the performance 883,2 GLOPS + private cache (eDRAM) with a size of 128 Megabytes.

Section about the GT3 is almost one-to-one repeats the same for the generation of 7.5 – indexes and the performance of others.

I did not provide data on Executive and Shader units, those to whom it is important and interesting to have this information without my help, and the rest of it, most likely, to anything.

To be continued

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