Intel HD and Iris Graphics and Media Encoding
Iris brings new features including integrated on-package eDRAM memory for the GT3e graphics core, DX11.1, OpenGL 4.0, and OpenCL 1.2 support, double the bandwidth with DisplayPort 1.2, support for a 3-screen collage display, faster Intel Quick Sync Video performance and fast JPEG decode and MPEG encode. Of note is the GT3e's eDRAM (embedded DRAM) cache complement that dramatically increases bandwidth and lowers latency with much faster access for the graphics and CPU cores. Again, this is a feature for mobile Iris Graphics variants only, however.
Intel is claiming overall performance improvements of up to 2X for Iris Graphics, over previous 3rd Gen Ivy Bridge integrated graphics. The company also boasts that Iris will bring triple the 3D performance for desktop R-series chips. The R-series chips are the BGA-only (non-socketable) variants -- conventional desktop parts will be confined to GT2-class graphics.
Source: Intel - Iris Graphics Desktop Performance
Source: Intel - Iris Graphics Ultrabook Performance
Intel will also offer Iris switchable, hybrid graphics implementations with NVIDIA and AMD GPUs, in systems with a discrete graphics card. Iris will also supports 4k UltraHD display output.
We'll be stepping through benchmark numbers of the desktop Intel HD 4600 series devices in the pages ahead but you'll have to wait for our Haswell mobile coverage to get a glimpse of Iris graphics in action, along with our direct confirmation of Intel's performance claims you see above. In the meantime, in case you missed it, you can feast your eyes our quick side-by-side demo of Haswell GT3 Iris graphics in action versus NVIDIA discrete graphics, that we shot earlier this year at CES 2013.
Side-by-side Haswell graphics vs. NVIDIA demo
So, as you can see, Haswell definitely has the chops to at least hang with discrete graphics in Dirt 3 but we'll have more detailed numbers for you in the days ahead as we get Iris Graphics-powered machines in house for testing.