One of the common complaints against Intel every time they launch a new generation of CPUs is the amount of die space used for the iGPU. Since Sandy Bridge, Intel has significantly improved their iGPU while CPU performance hasn’t moved much. This has all been worth it though as Intel is claiming once again that casual and even mainstream gamers don’t need a discrete graphics card anymore. In fact, according to Intel, iGPUs are now faster than 80% of discrete cards.
Of course, Intel is only claiming those numbers since the new Skylake Iris Pro HD 580 is a massive 50% leap up in performance over past iGPUs, placing it near the likes of the GTX 750 and R 250X. While these cards may be capable of 1080p at medium settings, any CPU with the 580 is likely outside a casual or mainstream gamer’s budget. The more tame HD 530 that most users have is unlikely to be useful for anything higher than 720p low/medium in any mainstream games. That makes it safe to say that the 750 and 250X are probably faster than 100% of iGPUs.
Nevertheless, iGPUs have become much more relevant than in the past. AMD has their own line of APUs and both firms undoubtedly want users to choose them not just based on CPU performance but for the iGPU as well. Even with all the talk, the move to 4K and VR and ever more demanding games at 1080p will likely move gaming out of reach for iGPUs once again.