Shoot out between Intel IGP and AMD ICP

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Shoot out between Intel IGP and AMD ICP

Postposted on Sat Jan 18, 2014 5:34 pm

Anybody waiting for for a comparison between the Intel Iris Pro (specifically the GB-BXi7-4770R), and AMD's latest and greatest: A8-7600 'Kaveri'?

Anybody care to make any predictions? If intel makes a respectful showing, could that put a bullet in AMD. However, Intel seems to be charging quite a premium.
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Re: Shoot out between Intel IGP and AMD ICP

Postposted on Sat Jan 18, 2014 5:44 pm

WhatMeWorry wrote:Anybody waiting for for a comparison between the Intel Iris Pro (specifically the GB-BXi7-4770R), and AMD's latest and greatest: A8-7600 'Kaveri'?

Anybody care to make any predictions? If intel makes a respectful showing, could that put a bullet in AMD. However, Intel seems to be charging quite a premium.

A8-7600 isn't the latest and greatest. A10-7850K is.

There is a difference, but the price gap is likely significant, especially given the dedicated GPU RAM on Iris Pro. And Kaveri does better at higher resolutions/quality levels.

(Also click to the minimum FPS on Bioshock. Seeing Iris Pro drop to the bottom of the pack makes me giggle.)

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7677/amd- ... 0-7850k/12
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Re: Shoot out between Intel IGP and AMD ICP

Postposted on Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:05 pm

I'll wait for TR's results until I make a final judgment but Anand's review of the A10-7850K included some (incomplete) benchmarking vs. the 4770R. Incidentally, the 4770R has a higher-end Iris Pro IGP, but the highest-end graphics parts seem to be in the mobile-oriented I7 4750HQ and 4950HQ parts. The 4770R is more a desktop all-in-one component that has higher CPU clocks but only has 1/2 the eDRAM cache of the mobile parts. Since Apple received most (but not all) of the 4750HQ and 4950HQ parts the Macs are the most widely distributed


Anyway, using Anand's review as a guide, it looks like the 4770R is competive with the A10-7850K, which is the highest-end Kaveri. There are certainly cases where AMD's IGP pulls ahead, but not by incredible margins that mean the difference between an unplayable game and a perfect experience. I attribute a bunch of that to drivers especially since AMD works closely with game developers and Kaveri is using the same GPU architecture that game developers have been using since 2011.. it's a mature architecture and AMD works very closely with game developers in a way that Intel doesn't yet match. However, the 4770R also beats Kaveri in several of those benchmarks and the energy footprint of the 4770R is substantially smaller than the full-bore A10-7850K. The Haswell GT3+ IGP with that eDRAM is potent and frankly is the first "real" GPU that Intel has made where it doesn't feel like it was designed for basic use in an Ultrabook and then just hung around to be used on a desktop.

What we really are seeing is this clash of philosophies:
1. AMD: We have given up on CPU performance beyond just (barely) good enuff, where good enuff is somewhat behind last-year's i3 level dual-core Haswell parts (but with unfortunately high power draw). There's a trick though: We bought ATI and GCN is a strong graphics architecture and it's relatively cheap for us to lay out a bunch of GCN processor arrays on silicon where CPUs wouldn't work as well. To make up for the deficiencies we'll come up with as many ways to convince developers that the GPU should be used for as much as possible (HSA, hUMA, etc. etc. etc.). This has two effects: 1. In the right benchmarks it makes people look away from the CPU. 2. If done properly it locks software developers into our hardware platform exclusively and we want lockin.

Oh and we'll sell everything "cheap" although at $190 the A10-7580K is now unfortunately competing against other AMD products that can clobber it at CPU and the IGP still isn't a substitute for even an HD-7750.

2. Intel: We don't have a particularly amazing history in the graphics industry but we do have manufacturing power and, given enough time, we have the ability to eventually develop strong graphics in-house since we have the money and the patience to do it, but it's not an overnight fix. Since our background is compute, the execution units in our graphics hardware are probably not as good at doing graphics as AMD's are, but we do have a very very long history in number crunching so they should be (pound for pound) pretty strong at basic compute operations. Since we are really targeting mobile where power draw is king*, the sheer quantity of transistors that we throw at graphics is nowhere near as much as AMD. We try to make up for some of that deficiency by tying the IGP to the CPU cores with a shared L3 cache that makes data transfer very efficient (AMD's HSA seeks to overcome this advantage).

This is all part of a rather gradual process for unifying CPU and GPU from the CPU side (instead of AMD's GPU side). The real results will be seen in Skylake, but the GT3+ parts in Haswell are an interesting preview of where Intel is going. The good news for Intel is that you don't have to make the same sacrifices that AMD requires: You don't have to go around pretending that the CPU doesn't matter anymore when it clearly does. Instead, you still have a strong CPU core (that will get stronger with new versions of AVX in Skylake) but the IGP becomes much more flexible and powerful to expand beyond just what the CPU can do.

* The Iris Pro parts, while still capable of mobile use in full-sized notebooks, are really designed for much greater power envelopes than the Ultrabooks where the rest of Intel's IGPs are targeted.

The biggest drawback for Intel is that their parts are still more expensive not just because of Intel wanting a nice markup, but because things like eDRAM are harder to do and drive up production costs. Additionally, the market for IGPs still isn't huge since hardcore gamers will use discrete GPUs (even ones that are only ~$100) and due to simple physics those discrete GPUs will beat the IGP no matter who makes it.

That's my take. I'm moderately interested in Mantle although as a Linux user... where there is zero Mantle support... I'm not all that enthused and frankly I don't care if AMD flat-out doubles the performance of BF4, I don't trust undocumented APIs where AMD's employees rewrote a game to "prove" Mantle is great. We'll really see if Mantle is useful in 2 or 3 years.
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Re: Shoot out between Intel IGP and AMD ICP

Postposted on Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:07 pm

Savyg wrote:
WhatMeWorry wrote:Anybody waiting for for a comparison between the Intel Iris Pro (specifically the GB-BXi7-4770R), and AMD's latest and greatest: A8-7600 'Kaveri'?

Anybody care to make any predictions? If intel makes a respectful showing, could that put a bullet in AMD. However, Intel seems to be charging quite a premium.

A8-7600 isn't the latest and greatest. A10-7850K is.

There is a difference, but the price gap is likely significant, especially given the dedicated GPU RAM on Iris Pro. And Kaveri does better at higher resolutions/quality levels.

(Also click to the minimum FPS on Bioshock. Seeing Iris Pro drop to the bottom of the pack makes me giggle.)

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7677/amd- ... 0-7850k/12


At high resolutions I saw a statistical noise match between two IGPs that couldn't play the game effectively and even a 50% improvement due to a "miraculous" Mantle overhaul would leave Kaveri with unplayable framerates. In at least one of those benchmarks you'll note that Iris Pro had higher minimum framerates than Kaveri at the highest resolution even though Kaveri had the higher average framerate (by like.. 1 frame per second).
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Re: Shoot out between Intel IGP and AMD ICP

Postposted on Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:27 pm

The true test will be comparing BF4 Mantle on the 7850K vs Iris Pro using Dx11

Also games like Thief might get a boost from using HW audio.

All this is around the corner. Something also possible is that the GF 28nm process improve. AMD was targeting about 1GHZ of the GPU (now at 700mhz something)
If this is resolved, you can expect Kaveri to gain maybe over 20%. Add Mantle and True Audio and the Gap will be wide.

The part also got a $180 MSRP... Is there any iris pro under $390 ?
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Re: Shoot out between Intel IGP and AMD ICP

Postposted on Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:30 pm

chuckula wrote:That's my take. I'm moderately interested in Mantle although as a Linux user... where there is zero Mantle support... I'm not all that enthused and frankly I don't care if AMD flat-out doubles the performance of BF4, I don't trust undocumented APIs where AMD's employees rewrote a game to "prove" Mantle is great. We'll really see if Mantle is useful in 2 or 3 years.

As a Linux user you should be extremely interested in Mantle/TrueAudio, since it'll take a considerable advantage out of MSes hands.

Yeah, it'll probably take a bit to show up there, but it's potentially huge for alternative OSes IMO.

Also considering upcoming Frostbite 3 games (15 of them as stated by EA,) the Oxide engine, Star Citizen and Thief are already confirmed before anything has even been released for it? AMD does not have that kind of resources to throw around.
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Re: Shoot out between Intel IGP and AMD ICP

Postposted on Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:40 pm

chuckula wrote:At high resolutions I saw a statistical noise match between two IGPs that couldn't play the game effectively and even a 50% improvement due to a "miraculous" Mantle overhaul would leave Kaveri with unplayable framerates. In at least one of those benchmarks you'll note that Iris Pro had higher minimum framerates than Kaveri at the highest resolution even though Kaveri had the higher average framerate (by like.. 1 frame per second).

I'm not buying it to game with the IGP, personally. I think that'd be silly on either chip except for casual folks, who'd be fine with either.

I'm buying it for Mantle to use both the A10-7850K IGP and a R9 280X, which IMO is where Kaveri and up are going to be major players. I don't know yet if the BF4 Mantle port will be ready for that or not since there were some things left unsaid in the presentations available, but the capability (async queueing for different GPUs) was definitely mentioned many times.
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Re: Shoot out between Intel IGP and AMD ICP

Postposted on Sat Jan 18, 2014 7:33 pm

Savyg wrote:
chuckula wrote:As a Linux user you should be extremely interested in Mantle/TrueAudio, since it'll take a considerable advantage out of MSes hands.


It doesn't really take anything out of MS's hands unless and until it is adopted widely on mulitple platforms. Linux already has OpenGL, and TrueAudio is going to be a niche use-case even on Windows. It's true that Mantle is outside of Microsoft's direct control, which is good, but if it only actually works on Windows then it's not going to hurt Microsoft all that much either.

When I can see strong driver support from Catalyst and (even better) open source drivers for Mantle under Linux, I'll be the first one to get excited. However, given AMD's track record with Linux drivers, the burden of proof is on them to prove that they can do it and prove that they can get software developers to use Mantle in a cross-platform manner.

If AMD is serious about it, then the easiest and smartest route they could take would be to bang on Valve's door and make the strongest case possible that Mantle should be a premier API with top-notch support on SteamOS (and by extension to the rest of Linux). I'd love to see that happen, but it can't just be something that I want to happen, it has to be something that actually happens.
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Re: Shoot out between Intel IGP and AMD ICP

Postposted on Sat Jan 18, 2014 7:36 pm

At this point, one could say nothing about Mantle or TrueAudio has happened.

I have no doubt whatsoever both APIs will make it to Linux and SteamOS (and Mac.)

But yeah, I've heard their Linux drivers aren't so hot so I get your point.
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Re: Shoot out between Intel IGP and AMD ICP

Postposted on Sat Jan 18, 2014 7:38 pm

chuckula wrote:TrueAudio is going to be a niche use-case even on Windows.

This I do disagree with though. TrueAudio will be a lot of places through third party audio libraries such as FMod. Many devs won't even have to support it directly...it'll just happen by proxy.

And since it bypasses the Windows audio stack (and outputs to any audio device available,) there's every reason to believe it will also be multiplatform.
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Re: Shoot out between Intel IGP and AMD ICP

Postposted on Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:12 pm

(I'm sick of talkin about this crap hee. Want benches and stuff!)
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Re: Shoot out between Intel IGP and AMD ICP

Postposted on Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:36 pm

For a start, you can't get Iris Pro on the desktop, it's only available in BGA package i7's and i5's costing upwards of $100 more than the regular chips in socket 1150 form factor.

In terms of mobile Iris Pro, the cheapest model that comes with it is the i7 4750HQ, which, for the CPU alone, costs more than some complete Kaveri laptops.

For the money spent on an i7 4750HQ, you would be better for gaming to get an Optimus laptop with a regular processor and something like a GTX760M which is about 3-4x the power of a Iris pro and also consumes zero watts when not gaming. It would probably be cheaper too, since you could drop the relatively low-clockpseed i7 quad down to a faster-clocked i5 or i3 dual and reap the savings without affecting most games.
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Re: Shoot out between Intel IGP and AMD ICP

Postposted on Sun Jan 19, 2014 12:16 am

My money's on Kaveri, this is AMD's home turf and Intel has a long history of not following through on its graphics promises.

Intel made a very strange choice to put this only in its high-end lineup. Seems like the better synergy would have been an i3, since anyone who cares enough to get an i7 isn't going to cheap out on graphics.
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Re: Shoot out between Intel IGP and AMD ICP

Postposted on Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:59 pm

Well hopefully Gigabyte makes a Kaveri Brix Pro and then there can be a head to head Iris Pro shootout :lol:
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