Intel officially launched its Meteor Lake CPUs for laptops, introducing Arc-branded GPUs on the top H-series parts. The release included in-house benchmarks for both the CPU and GPU, indicating a significant advancement in Intel-integrated graphics. While awaiting independent laptop reviews, the provided benchmarks offer insights into the performance of the new chips.
In September, Intel detailed the Meteor Lake graphics tile architecture, hinting at a potential “double” performance increase in integrated graphics. The launch now provides concrete examples, particularly through benchmarks conducted at 1080p and medium settings across a suite of 16 games. However, it seems that the claimed doubling of performance might be an “at most” figure, and actual performance improvements vary across games.
The benchmark suite includes a mix of demanding and lighter games, such as Apex Legends, GTAV, DOTA2, Team Fortress 2, League of Legends, Counter-Strike 2, Borderlands 3, Resident Evil Village, Far Cry 6, PUBG, and World of Warcraft. The benchmarks show an average improvement of 39% across the 15 tested games at 1080p, with varying percentage improvements for individual games.
Intel also highlighted its XeSS upscaling algorithm, which runs in DP4a mode on integrated Arc GPUs. The performance improvements range from 11% to an outlier of 129%, with an average improvement of 39% across all tested games.
Meteor Lake CPUs come in two variants: a “large” chip for the H-series and a “small” chip for the U-series. The differences lie in the Compute Tile and GPU Tile, with the former using Intel’s Intel 4 process node and the latter using TSMC’s N5 process node. The H-series features up to six P-cores and eight E-cores, while the U-series has two P-cores and eight E-cores. The GPU Tile has two variants, with up to eight Xe-cores on the larger H-series chips and up to four Xe-cores on the smaller U-series parts.
Notably, only Meteor Lake chips with the larger GPU Tile will carry the Arc name, while others will use Intel Graphics branding. The GPU Tile focuses primarily on GPU computing, with most other graphics-related functions located on separate tiles.
Intel compared its Core Ultra 7 165H’s graphics performance with AMD’s Ryzen 7 7840U, despite the H-series and U-series categorization. The provided data suggests up to 5% higher performance than AMD’s Radeon 780M in 16-inch laptops, with the 14-inch Intel laptop matching the performance of the 16-inch AMD laptop. Thermal and power restrictions in the compact form factor of the 14-inch AMD laptop led to an 11% performance drop.
Laptop vendors already offer Meteor Lake-based models for order, with more models and brands expected in the coming months. The performance of these mobile-focused chips can vary based on design specifics, and CES in January is likely to showcase numerous laptops using both AMD and Intel processors. Independent testing will be crucial in determining how Intel’s integrated Arc GPU competes with the competition.