Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) are circuits used with CPUs to render graphics to the monitor of a computer. Without GPUs, monitors would be useless. In fact, GPUs play such an essential role in computer display that many CPUs come with an integrated graphics processor.
Intel calls its integrated GPUs Intel Processor Graphics. According to the company, the "Intel Processor Graphics provide the graphics, compute, media, and display capabilities" for many of its processors. Though Intel has an extensive collection of graphics processors, Intel's newest models include the UHD and Iris Xe GPUs.
The Intel Iris Xe is one of the company's top graphics processors at the moment. According to Intel's tagline, the Iris Xe "makes screen time a whole new experience." This is primarily due to its Xe architecture, which is Intel's answer to their customers' demand for greater speed and performance.
The Xe architecture provides higher frequency, a greater number of execution units, and more memory bandwidth than the Intel predecessors.
Intel's 11th-gen processor family introduced the first set of Iris Xe Graphics in Q3 2020. Fast forward to 2022, and Intel's 12th-gen Alder Lake mobile chips are now using a more advanced version of the Iris Xe Graphics with improvements such as increased speed and more execution units.MAKEUSEOF VIDEO OF THE DAY
The Iris Xe Graphics has 80 or 96 execution units (depending on the CPU variant) and is only available with mobile chips. Intel packs the Iris Xe GPU in 28 of its processors, which all belong to the 11th and 12th-gen families.
The maximum frequency of the Iris Xe Graphics also varies depending on the processor spec. Its slowest maximum frequency is 950MHz, while its fastest is 1.45GHz, with a broad range of variations between these two points.
The Iris Xe Graphics supports a maximum resolution of 4096 x 2304 at 60Hz over HDMI and up to 7680 x 4320 at 60Hz over DisplayPort, meaning you can hook it up to a compatible 4K or 8K display.
The Intel UHD Graphics is a family of integrated GPUs that have been around for a few years now. The latest variant in the lineup is the Intel UHD Graphics 770, which is available with Intel's 12th Gen Processors. The Intel UHD Graphics 770 has 32 execution units and is only available with desktop and embedded processors.
The Intel UHD Graphics 770 comes with seventeen processors, all belonging to the 12th-gen Alder Lake family. It has a base clock frequency of 300MHz, but its maximum frequency varies slightly depending on the CPU model you get. The UHD 770's fastest maximum clock frequency is 1.55GHz, and its slowest is 1.45GHz, which still puts it ahead of its predecessors.
The Intel UHD Graphics 770 has a maximum resolution of 4096 x 2160 at 60Hz over HDMI, but if you use the DisplayPort, you can go all the way up to 7680 x 4320 at 60Hz.
Although the clear winner here is the Intel Iris Xe Graphics offering more than twice the performance of the UHD Graphics 770, it's only part of the story. That's because it boils down to which type of computer you're looking to buy at the end of the day.
For instance, if you want a desktop with one of Intel's latest 12th-gen processors, you have no choice but to settle for the inferior Intel UHD Graphics 770. Unfortunately, Intel reserves the more powerful Iris Xe GPUs for its mobile chips, which makes total sense since a lot of notebooks ship without a discrete GPU.
However, most desktop CPU buyers are bound to purchase a discrete GPU from NVIDIA or AMD anyway for enhanced gaming performance. Therefore, the capabilities of Intel's integrated graphics processer just don't matter in the end.
So, your choice is pretty simple here—if you're buying a laptop, the Iris Xe Graphics is a no-brainer, but if you're building a desktop PC, the Intel UHD Graphics 770 is your only option.
It is great to know which graphics processor best suits your needs, but an integrated GPU only represents a fraction of what a CPU can do. Always remember that a processor's core count and clock speed are two of the most important things that impact your overall computing performance.
Luckily, Intel has so many options that span across multiple price points. So, whether you're on a budget or you want to go all out, Intel has something out there for you. All you need to do is make an informed decision.The Best Intel Processors, Ranked Read NextShareTweetShareEmail Related TopicsAbout The AuthorKadeisha Kean(49 Articles Published)
Kadeisha Kean is a Full-Stack Software Developer and Technical/Technology Writer. She has the distinct ability to simplify some of the most complex technological concepts; producing material that can be easily understood by any technology novice. She is passionate about writing, developing interesting software, and traveling the world (through documentaries).MoreFrom Kadeisha Kean
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