Ice Lake-U Gen11 Performance Data Shows Intel Leaving AMD's Integrated Vega Graphics Behind

Intel Gen11 GPU
We've all been waiting a long time for 10nm Ice Lake processors to arrive, and Intel is finally ready to deliver after sticking with the 14nm process node (albeit with refinements along the way) for four years. Everyone of course is eager to hear about the performance of the first Ice Lake processors (which will initially be available with up to four cores) and what kind of gains they will bring with respect to power efficiency, but what's equally exciting is the integrated graphics.

Intel labels Ice Lake's graphics subsystem as Gen11, and it is far more advanced and powerful than anything that the company has ever previously put forward. We're looking at 64 execution units with a maximum core clock of 1.1GHz (25W SKUs). That translates into 1.13 TFLOP of FP32 compute performance and 2.25 TFLOPS FP16. That's about as much power as you'll find in the original Xbox One.

intel ice lake u gen11 vs gen9
(Click to Enlarge)

Even when looking at 15W Ice Lake SKUs, Intel is showing -- compared to Gen9 graphics -- that Ice Lake-U Gen11 graphics are providing anywhere from a 1.4x to over a 2x uplift in performance in popular games like Fortnite, Overwatch and Rocket League compared to a Core i7-8565U (Whiskey Lake-U).

Stepping up to the 25W Ice Lake-U SKUs, Intel is apparently ready to put the smackdown on AMD. AMD has long held a considerable edge in integrated graphics performance, thanks to the Radeon Vega GPU cores incorporated into Ryzen APUs. That advantage will disappear thanks to the arrival of Ice Lake-U.

intel ice lake u gen11 vs vega10
(Click to Enlarge)

Although it's not as resounding a victory as Gen11 versus Gen9, Intel is presenting a performance advantage of 1.03x in Fortnite to 1.16x in Overwatch compared to the Vega 10 found in the Ryzen 7 3700U. Granted, the Gen11 does fall behind in Dirt Rally 2.0 and 3DMark Night Raid, but it's nonetheless a strong initial showing for Intel.

Intel's Gen11 graphics also support Variable Rate Shading (VRS) which has been shown to provide 1.3x and 1.2x performance uplifts in Unreal Engine POC and Civ6 respectively. With VRS enabled on Ice Lake-U (15W), Intel is showing a 40 percent improvement in performance (versus it being disabled) in the 3DMark VRS Feature Test.

intel ice lake u 3dmark vrs
(Click to Enlarge)

Stepping up to the 25W Ice Lake-U processors, with VRS enabled, Gen11 graphics holds a 32 percent performance advantage over the Vega 10 in the Ryzen 7 3700U.

Intel still has plenty of time to work on graphics drivers, so we may see these number improve even further in the coming months. With that said, Intel says that the first systems powered by Ice Lake-U and Gen11 graphics will ship during the summer.