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Intel: Tiger Lake Making Laptop Integrated Graphics Gaming a Reality?

Intel: Tiger Lake Making Laptop Integrated Graphics Gaming a Reality?

With the launch of their 11th-gen Tiger Lake range of CPUs, Intel takes another step forward in making gaming on laptop integrated graphics a reality. Not to imply that these processors could ever run the most recent games at high settings, they can’t. But in select situations, they could still play an important part. For low-power requirement laptop gaming setups, Tiger Lake has reached a height that laptops have been trying to achieve for decades.


Gameplay Possibilities

As advertised on Intel’s official site, Tiger Lake’s new Iris X integrated graphics are aiming at the 1080p 60fps bar. A modest goal for serious gaming machines. This nonetheless represents a significant step-up in integrated potential.

With the systems yet to be seen in the wild, we’ve so far only Intel’s tests to rely on. While we expect some degree of accuracy for the sake of legally honest advertising, we’d be hesitant to take these number as gospel. As it stands, stated framerates in GRID and CS: GO have seen performance increases by 1.82x and 1.48x respectively, at medium settings.



The most impressive of the stated leaps in performance comes from Intel’s direct comparisons of its new Iris X to its last-gen Iris Plus. By this measure, some of the performance gains operate at upwards of 40% in titles like Fortnite, Apex Legends, and Gears 5.


Competitive Gaming

As any PC gamer will tell you, being able to at least compete with others online means being able to hit a consistent 60fps target. Iris X and Tiger Lake are the first set of CPU and integrated graphics to reliably hit this benchmark. Popular eSports games Overwatch, Rocket League, Dota 2, and League of Legends are now all able to achieve this goal, a worldwide first.

Otherwise, competitive gaming on these chips is largely going to be a losing bet. Apex Legends, for example, will only reach into the high 30’s at best. The only major exclusion to this are games which don’t rely on twitch reflexes. Casino games like slots at Leovegas with titles such as Desert Shark and Solar Queen are prime illustrations of this. Though it should be noted, these also run perfectly fine on older machines and mobiles, making the advantages of Tiger Lake unnecessary.

A Realistic Gaming Use-Case?

Ultimately, this depends on the games you want to play and your concerns for power draw. Adding an extra graphics card can drive up power consumption by more than 75W. This might be a deal-breaker if you use your laptop for travel and regularly run it through a power-converter, for example.

If you intend to try out the most recent games, again this can be a non-starter (though eSports titles can be a major exception). Even some demanding older games aren’t realistically playable at high-FPS on one of these systems. That said, if you’re a traditionally console-centric player who doesn’t mind playing titles as 30FPS, then the Tiger Lake and Iris X combination could be a perfect fit.

As gaming programming legend John Carmack explained in this PCGamer article, integrated graphics are consistently seeing surprising levels of performance and potential. The Tiger Lake CPU is simply the latest example of this. It might not set the world on fire, but Iris X could be a viable option to a great many gamers, while also setting an important precedent of what could be yet to come.



About Author

Kevin Pocock

Kevin is a tech-lover with over a decade's experience testing, reviewing and writing about all kinds of kit.

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