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Intel’s Broadwell processors to receive a graphics core upgrade

Although it has long been expected that the code-named Broadwell family of microprocessors from Intel Corp. would feature an improved graphics processing unit, it looks like the upgrade may be more significant than previously thought. Apparently, the new graphics and multimedia engine would not only feature higher performance, but also improved functionality.

All graphics cores integrated into advanced versions of Intel chips based on the Broadwell micro-architecture will receive 20 per cent boost in the number of execution units (stream processors), reports CPU World web-site. As a result, central processing units with GT2 graphics will have 24 execution units, whereas chips with GT3 graphics will get 48 execution units. The increase of the number of stream processors will give a noticeable boost to CPUs’ performance in gaming applications.

In addition, the Broadwell’s graphics architecture will be refined with increased size of various GPU caches, better hierarchical-Z and tessellation performance, increased pixel fill rate and so on.

To make the Broadwell even more competitive for modern workloads, its multimedia engines will be enhanced with a new video decoder/encoder hardware that will support VP8 codec, implement support for arbitrary video resolution and cropping as well as will probably further improve quality of video playback.


In order to support new-generation displays as well as televisions, the new graphics cores in all Intel Core-series “Broadwell” processors will support at least 3840*2160 resolution with 60Hz refresh rate. Select models will also support higher resolutions, e.g., 4096*2304 at 60Hz.

Just like Intel Core “Haswell” processors, the new chips will support DirectX 11.1 and OpenCL 1.2 application programming interfaces. High-end models with increased performance will also feature OpenCL 2.0 and OpenGL 4.2 support.

Intel did not comment on the news-story.

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KitGuru Says: With Broadwell Intel will continue to boost performance of its integrated graphics processing units step-by-step. 20 per cent generation-to-generation performance improvement from generation to generation is hardly a significant increase, but remember that by the end of 2015 the chip giant is projected to further increase performance of its GPUs inside the code-named Skylake processors. The only question is will Intel’s processors will ever be powerful enough to really render the latest video games with decent performance and quality like discrete graphics cards do?

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