Tomb Raider (2013)

The simply titled Tomb Raider is the latest entry in the Tomb Raider franchise, making a clean break from past titles in plot, gameplay, and technology. Tomb Raider games have traditionally been technical marvels and the 2013 iteration is no different. iGPUs aren’t going to have quite enough power to use its marquee feature – DirectCompute accelerated hair physics (TressFX) – however even without it the game still looks quite good at its lower settings, while providing a challenge for our iGPUs.

Tomb Raider (2013)

Once again, at 1366 x 768 the gap between 650M and Iris Pro 5200 is at its smallest. Here NVIDIA holds a 15% advantage over the 55W Iris Pro.

Tomb Raider (2013)

Increase the resolution and image quality and the gap widens considerably. Again the problem here appears to be AA impacting Iris Pro much more than the 650M.

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  • bill5 - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    Anand, would you say the lack of major performance improvement due to crystalwell bodes ill for Xbox one?

    The idea is ESRAM could make the 1.2 TF Xbox One GPU "punch above it's weight" with more efficiency due to the 32MB of low latency cache (ALU's will stall less waiting on data). However these results dont really show that for Haswell (the compute results that scale perfectly with ALU's for example).

    Here note I'm distinguishing between the cache as bandwidth saver, I think we can all agree it will serve that purpose- and as actual performance enhancer. I'm interested in the latter for Xbox One.
    Reply
  • Kevin G - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    A couple of quotes and comments from the article:

    "If Crystalwell demand is lower than expected, Intel still has a lot of quad-core GT3 Haswell die that it can sell and vice versa."

    Intel is handicapping demand for GT3e parts by not shipping them in socketed form. I'd love to upgrade my i7-2600k system to a 4770K+GT3e+TSX setup. Seriously Intel, ship that part and take my money.

    "The Crystalwell enabled graphics driver can choose to keep certain things out of the eDRAM. The frame buffer isn’t stored in eDRAM for example."

    WTF?!? The eDRAM would be the ideal place to store various frequently used buffers. Having 128 MB of memory leaves plenty of room for streaming in textures as need be. The only reason not to hold the full frame buffer is if Intel has an aggressive tile based rendering design and only a tile is stored there. I suspect that Intel's driver team will change this in the future.

    "An Ultrabook SKU with Crystalwell would make a ton of sense, but given where Ultrabooks are headed (price-wise) I’m not sure Intel could get any takers."

    I bet Apple would ship a GT3e based part in the MacBook Air form factor. They'd do something like lower the GPU clocks to prevent it from melting but they want it. It wouldn't surprise me if Apple managed to negotiate a custom part from Intel again.

    Ultimatley I'm pleased with GT3e. On the desktop I can see the GPU being used for OpenCL tasks like physics while my Radeon 7970 handles the rest of the graphics load. Or for anything else, I'd like GT3e for the massive L4 cache.
    Reply
  • tipoo - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    "Ultimatley I'm pleased with GT3e. On the desktop I can see the GPU being used for OpenCL tasks like physics while my Radeon 7970 handles the rest of the graphics load. Or for anything else, I'd like GT3e for the massive L4 cache."

    I'd love that to work, but what developer would include that functionality for that niche setup?
    Reply
  • Kevin G - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    OpenCL is supposed to be flexible enough that you can mix execution targets. This also includes the possibility of OpenCL drivers for CPU's in addition to those that use GPU's. At the very least, it'd be nice for a game or application to manually select the OpenCL target in some config file. Reply
  • Egg - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    I'm only a noob high school junior, but aren't frame buffers tossed after display? What would be the point of storing a frame buffer? You don't reuse the data in it at all. As far as I know, frame buffer != unpacked textures.
    Also, aren't most modern fully programmable GPUs not tile based at all?
    Also, wasn't it mentioned that K-series parts don't have TSX?
    Reply
  • Kevin G - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    The z-buffer in particular is written and often read. Deferred rendering also blends multiple buffers together and at 128 MB in size, a deferred render can keep several in that memory. AA algorithms also perform read/writes on the buffer. At some point, I do see Intel moving the various buffers into the 128 MB of eDRAM as drivers mature. In fairness, this change may not be universal to all games and dependent on things like resolution.

    Then again, it could be a true cache for the GPU. This would mean that the drivers do not explicitly store the frame buffers there but can could be stored there based upon prefetching of data. Intel's caching hierarchy is a bit weird as the CPU's L3 cache can also be used as a L4 cache for the GPU under HD2000/2500/3000/4000 parts. Presumably the eDRAM would be a L5 cache under the Sandy Bridge/Ivy Bridge schema. The eDRAM has been described as a victim cache though for GPU operations it would make sense to prefetch large amounts of data (textures, buffers). It'd be nice to get some clarification on this with Haswell.

    PowerVR is still tile based. Previous Intel integrated solutions were also tile base though they dropped that with the HD line (and I can't remember if the GMA line was tile based as well).

    And you are correct that the K series don't have TSX, hence why I'd like a 4770K with GT3e and TSX. Also I forgot to throw in VT-d since that too is arbitrarily disabled in the K series.
    Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Sunday, June 02, 2013 - link

    Kevin G: Intel dropped the Tile-based rendering in the GMA 3 series generation back in 2006. Although, their Tile rendering was different from PowerVR's. Reply
  • Egg - Sunday, June 02, 2013 - link

    Fair points - I was being a bit myopic and only thought about buffers persisting across frames, neglecting the fact that buffers often need to be reused within the process of rendering a single frame! Can you explain how the CPU's L3 cache is an L4 cache for the GPU? Does the GPU have its own L3 cache already?

    Also I don't know whether PowerVR's architecture is considered fully programmable yet. I know they have OpenCL capabilities, but reading http://www.anandtech.com/show/6112/qualcomms-quadc... I'm getting a vague feeling that it isn't as complete as GCN or Kepler, feature wise.
    Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Tuesday, June 04, 2013 - link

    Gen 7, the Ivy Bridge generation, has its own L3 cache. So you have the LLC(which is L3 for the CPU), and its own L3. Haswell is Gen 7.5. Reply
  • DanaGoyette - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    Any idea if this IGP supports 30-bit color and/or 120Hz displays?
    Currently, laptops like the HP EliteBook 8770w and Dell Precision M6700 haven't been able to use Optimus if you opt for such displays. It would be nice to see that question addressed...
    Reply

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