Intel Claims Its Integrated Graphics Negate Need For 80 Percent of Discrete NVIDIA, AMD GPUs

Well here's some fantastic news, many of you reading this need not bother with paying a premium for discrete graphics in your next build!  Do you believe it? That's the exaggerated takeaway from Intel's claim that its integrated Iris and Iris Pro graphics can hang with and overpower 80 percent of the graphics chips on the market.

"We have improved graphics 30 times what they were five years ago," Gregory Bryant, Vice President and General Manager of Intel's Desktop Clients Platform, said during a speech at a J.P. Morgan forum at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Intel Core i7-6700K

As far as Bryant is concerned, it's not a matter of performance that's holding integrated graphics back, but an issue of communicating to the public just how capable they've become and what can be done with them. As power users, we have a tendency to associate graphics with gaming, but it's also worth noting that Intel's latest integrated GPUs can do things like decode video and run three 4K resolution monitors at the same time.

Even if narrowing our focus to gaming, however, Intel is making strides. Granted, you're not going to run a triple-A title with all the eye candy cranked up using anything but a discrete graphics card, but for the casual and even mainstream card, it's no longer a pipe dream to play games without one. That's really the point Bryant is getting at, however excitable (and maybe overstated) the delivery might be.

We don't want to overstate things ourselves when it comes to game play because as we've seen first hand, concessions have to be made whether it's playing an older title, reducing the resolution, dialing back the settings, or a combination of all three. But at the same time, integrated graphics are no longer the laughable afterthought they once were.