Intel’s Meteor Lake Arc iGPU Has Quality Gaming Chops And Here’s Proof

intel meteor lake render
You might have heard that Intel's Core Ultra CPUs (codenamed Meteor Lake) are actually out and available now. That's true; you can order a laptop with one right now, if you'd like. There are some reviews out around the web, but obviously we recommend waiting for our own coverage before you make any purchasing decisions. One thing we can tell you already, though: Meteor Lake's integrated graphics are a huge step forward for Intel, and a real challenge to AMD.

You can check our coverage from Thursday if you're interested, or hit our full deep dive if you really want the nitty-gritty. If you're just slightly curious, we'll explain it in short: Meteor Lake includes a powerful Arc Alchemist-derived GPU as its own tile on the CPU package. It sports 128 Xe cores, giving it fully 1024 shaders, and on the Core Ultra 7 165H that we have, it clocks up to 2.3 GHz.

msi prestige 16

That there is our MSI Prestige 16 AI Evo, a 16" laptop sporting the aforementioned Core Ultra 7 CPU. The specific system that we have is a pre-production engineering sample and it does have its rough edges, including a keyboard that gets up to 130°F while gaming. We don't have any complaints about the performance of the Meteor Lake processor itself, though.

collected gaming

Our full review will have to wait until we've collected more data on the machine, particularly in terms of AI performance. Still, we wanted to share this brief gaming performance comparison against the AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme. The Ryzen Z1 Extreme is blessed with AMD's most powerful integrated graphics to date, and it forms the heart of the ASUS ROG Ally and Lenovo Legion Go handheld game systems.

It's a real beastie, and yet Intel's new chip is more or less able to match it blow-for-blow. Most of the variation here is likely down to the difference in memory clock; where our MSI Prestige laptop is running 128-bit LPDDR5 at 5600 MT/s, the Ryzen Z1 Extreme gets LPDDR5X at 6400 MT/s. Also, while this isn't reflected in the chart, Intel brings home higher minimum framerates in Warframe and Gears Tactics.


Yes, indeed; Intel's work on its graphics drivers has yielded immense benefits as the Arc Graphics built into the Core Ultra 7 165H is nearly twice as fast as the Iris Xe graphics built into the company's previous-generation CPUs. Matching or barely edging out AMD's "Phoenix" may not be the explicit win that Intel hoped for, but considering how long Team Blue has lagged behind Team Red in integrated graphics performance, it's a real W for the Arc Graphics boys.

Recognized leaker, enthusiast, and hardware reviewer 金猪升级包 (which Google translates as "Golden Pig Upgrade Pack") apparently got his hands on a couple of Core Ultra machines and just posted up his review of the CPUs. It includes a fair few benchmarks including the 1080p gaming tests above; we're actually seeing better results than he has there, no doubt due to our slightly faster Core Ultra 7 165H CPU. In any case, you can see that the new chips demolish Intel's last-generation processors, and skip out ahead of AMD's Ryzen 7 7840HS, too.

Armored Core 6 plays great on the Core Ultra 7 165H's integrated Arc GPU.

We'll see if that ends up being the case in our testing; we're comparing the Core Ultra 7 165H against a whole range of laptops in a bevy of benchmarks, and we'll have the usual summary and conclusions for you. We're also going the extra mile to take a look at the AI performance of the system and the new Meteor Lake integrated Neural Processing Unit, or NPU.

Above, you can check out our exclusive pre-launch meeting with Intel, where we got to check out Meteor Lake and see some direct performance comparisons against AMD's hardware as well as Intel's last-generation equipment. We had some bitrate issues at times due to the mediocre hotel Wi-Fi we were using, but there's still plenty to take in from the stream, so check it out if you haven't already.

Keep an eye out for our full Core Ultra review sooner than later.