Graphics Kaby Lake generation “nine and a half”

Embedded graphics processors of the generation of “optimization”, although it was not a single radical change, and for independent tenth generation it wasn’t even Intel called advanced. And as it turns out, is well deserved. Embedded graphics from Intel is the most widespread. Especially on laptops. According to estimates, it can be detected in 2/3, and then 3/4 of portable computers in the world. Not everywhere it is used, especially it is often ignored in desktop computers, but what AMD and NVIDIA do not even dream, for Intel – a fait accompli. iGPU everywhere. To a greater extent than i-devices one well known us company.

To the technical level of the embedded GPU (iGPU, as they are sometimes called) came to more or less acceptable level, Intel has taken more than 20 years. That only happened during this time! Was and super-duper mega-projects, and the time when this direction was not neglected, and stellar watch, when they began to turn.

And in 2016, when it became clear that Cannon Lake (or Cannonlake, in one word – as Intel at one time was called the project), the company asked the developers to create iGPU “candy”, such that it felt normal users, but without a long and risky fundamental change.

If you look at the prevailing media, we read: “the progress of the graphics subsystem in Kaby Lake in the first place, visible to regular users”. Well done, I hope they read this and they do not fall under probably the most massive layoff in Intel.

This is a continuation of the micro-series about Intel Kaby Lake, start here.

Media unit

It is no secret that the vast majority of modern PC users use these complex devices solely to meet a simple and plain requirements: communications (mail, messenger), games (the most simple and undemanding to graphics subsystem) and watching the videos.

To the last of these needs iGPU had the most direct relation. The games are also, but all who are seriously sick with this incurable disease known that “gaming is a discrete GPU”.

Personal computers have successfully played the role of a home theater system for decades. For example, I very long never watch TV and never go to movies – MacBook Pro and iPad mini 2 have become my Windows to the world.

But as it turned out, this area had a place to grow and develop.

Slide presentation Kaby Lake:

The green rectangle highlights the radically changed blocks of the graphics subsystem.

To say that the GPU was not involved in the video store Kaby Lake it would be an exaggeration, but a significant part of the load fell on the CPU. It worked, but CPU crucial task which even in its most multi-core designs were ineffective. GPU, if this was done they would spend on this is significantly less energy. In the case of laptops, this is not an idle question, only interested in “green”.

Changes in media unit iGPU generation 9 1/2 has eliminated almost all of these problems, significantly reducing power consumption when viewing high-quality video. And when watching videos from the Internet in Chrome.

A typical representative of Intel Kaby Lake, in context and with annotations:

About Safari or about Explorer was someone to take care of, but also Chrome fans was a lot. Educated decision. Improve, like, touched and watching videos from other browsers.

Improvements in the media block, slide presentations Kaby Lake:

Saving energy was visible to the naked eye. Especially for the design of video on a 4K screen (or several). Changes were ambitious but does not cover all possible cases. Of course, the media found a reason to criticize the developers iGPU and Intel executives – but we won’t quibble. Unit embedded graphics did not disappoint, the applause in the Studio.

Something else

The 14nm process+ was not an “attempt to give trouble for virtue,” as is written about him in the media. Thanks to him, actually managed to increase the clock frequency has already been tested and debugged chips, with the same number of operations per Megahertz could not lead to noticeable increases in productivity.

Built-in Kaby Lake graphics was noticeably faster. The design and implementation of almost all elements of the performance was almost exactly the same as in Skylake. Except that fixed a number of bugs and flaws – optimization.

Faster and more reliable. What else need to the consumer?

Generation of 9.5, a brief and superficial sketch

At Kaby Lake was built in processors at three levels: GT1, GT2 and GT3e. Their IDs different from the IDs of the graphics processors in Skylake primary figure. The same in fact the variations were easily recognized.

Intel HD Graphics 510 to Kaby Lake was 610 Intel HD Graphics, Intel Iris Graphics 540 called Intel Iris Graphics Plus 640 – in the new line were all the same modifications as before, in order to understand what is Intel HD Graphics 630 was not necessary in the directory.

So that is what meant the rulers of Intel under the restoring order and eliminating chaos in this notation.

To the level of GT1 treated the only modification iGPU, Intel HD Graphics 610. Early GPUs of this class, irrespective of their generation and characteristics, called “just Intel HD Graphics”.

Base frequency – 300-350 MHz, in a mode “Boost” 900-1100 MHz. Performance, depending on frequency, from up to 172,8 211,2 GFOLPS. These GPUs were used in an office PC, built into the i3-7101.

Level GT2 (basically, for “wafer-thin” laptops like the MacBook), were presented three GPU, exactly as in Skylake:

— 615 Intel HD Graphics, base frequency is 300 MHz, the maximum from 900 to 1050 MHz with a maximum frequency performance from 345,6 403,2 to GFOLPS. Built into m3-7Y30, m3-7Y32, i5-7Y54, i5-and i7 7Y57-7Y75;
— Intel HD Graphics 620, the base frequency of 300 MHz, the maximum from 1000 to 1050 MHz with a maximum frequency performance from 384,0 403,2 to GFOLPS. Built into the i3-7100U, i5-7200U, i5-7300U, i7-7500U and i7-7600U;
— 630 Intel HD Graphics, base frequency 350 MHz, maximum from 1000 to 1150 MHz with a maximum frequency performance from 384,0 to 441,6 GFOLPS. Built into the i3-i5-i7 for desktops and for laptops.

At the GPU level GT3e in Kaby Lake has changed not only the indexes but also the title, they now called Intel Iris Graphics and Intel Iris Graphics Plus. Among other things, the level of GPU GT3e is different from the use of eDRAM, its own cache, the specs of the computers it was called the cache of the fourth level, or L4. At Kaby Lake, all GT3e GPU, the size of this cache is 64 Megabytes.

The presence of the L4 cache does not affect appetite GPU, which as before was a bit off generously for their needs half to two Gigabytes of total memory. Options GT3e in Kaby Lake, there were two:

— Plus Intel Iris Graphics 640, with base frequency 300 MHz Boost frequencies in 950-1050 MHz, with a performance on Boost-frequencies from 729,6 to 806,4 GFLOPS been embedded in i5-7260U, i5-7360U, i7-7560U and i7-7660U;
— Intel Iris Graphics Plus 650, base frequency 350 MHz Boost frequencies in 1050-1150 MHz, with a performance on Boost-frequencies from 806,4 to 883,2 GFLOPS been embedded in i3-7167U, i5-7267U, i5-and i7 7287U-7567U.

To be continued

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