Intel’s ambitious Meteor Lake iGPU

Intel and AMD both tried to ship iGPUs fast enough to compete with low end discrete cards over the past 10 years with mixed results. Recently though, powerful iGPUs have been thrown back into the spotlight. Handhelds like Valve’s Steam Deck and ASUS’s ROG Ally demonstrated that consumers are willing to accept compromises to play games on the go. AMD has dominated that market so far. Valve’s Steam Deck uses AMD’s Van Gogh APU, and the ROG Ally uses the newer Phoenix APU. Unlike Van Gogh, Phoenix is a general purpose mobile chip with both a powerful CPU and GPU. Phoenix doesn’t stop at targeting the handheld segment, and threatens Intel’s laptop market share too.

In response, Meteor Lake brings a powerful iGPU to the party. It has the equivalent of 128 EUs and clocks up to 2.25 GHz, making it modestly wider and much faster than Raptor Lake’s 96 EU, 1.5 GHz iGPU. Raptor Lake’s Xe-LP graphics architecture gets replaced by Xe-LPG, a close relative of the Xe-HPG architecture used in Intel’s A770 discrete GPU. At the system level, Meteor Lake moves to a GPU integration scheme that better suits a chiplet configuration where the iGPU gets significant transistor and area budget.

I’ll be testing Meteor Lake’s iGPU with the Core Ultra 7 155H, as implemented in the ASUS Zenbook 14. I purchased the device myself in late February.

↫ Chips and Cheese

I’m absolutely here for the resurgence in capable integrated GPUs, both for PC gaming on the go and for better graphics performance even in thinner, smaller laptops. I would love to have just a bit more graphics power on my thin and small laptop so I can do some basic gaming with it.


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