Integrated (integrated) graphics in Intel processors

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August 9, 2016
6 minutes

By Jonny Gamer

Intel processors, just like competitors, have integrated (on-board) graphics. It allows you to refuse to buy an expensive video card if there is no need for it. Also, the graphics built into the processor are useful in laptops, as it saves battery power by using this graphics only in powerful applications. All the rest of the time, the graphics core of the processor is blown out.


The choice of integrated graphics is given special attention in 2 cases:

  • you are not going to buy a separate adapter as you do not need high performance for your desktop
  • you choose a graphics card for your laptop

Basically, it is these two situations that make people pay special attention to integrated graphics.

Here, as in the rest of our articles, chips until 2010 will not be considered. So we will only touch on Intel HD Graphics, Iris Graphics and Iris Pro Graphics

The question of installing integrated graphics in powerful game processors remains unclear, because they are used only in tandem with a powerful video card, which even the most powerful integrated graphics are not suitable for. Most likely this is due to the high cost of rebuilding the assembly line of processors, because the cores of many chips are identical and they are assembled almost the same, and no one is going to change the assembly for a couple of models. But in this case, we would get better performance due to the fact that more transistors will work for the processor, but the price will also rise in this case.

Everyone knows that AMD’s integrated graphics are more powerful than Intel’s. Most likely this is due to the fact that they previously thought about creating hybrid “stones (with a video core). If you want to know about the markings and lines of all AMD graphics (including integrated ones), then go here, and a similar article about NVIDIA video cards is also available here.

Fun fact: PS4 has graphics integrated into the processor, not a separate graphics chip.


The mistake many people make is that integrated graphics are not necessarily the graphics core built into the processor. Integrated graphics are graphics that are built into the motherboard or processor.

Thus, embedded graphics are divided into:

  • Shared Memory Graphics These graphics are built into the processor and use RAM instead of separate video memory. These chips are distinguished by low power consumption, heat dissipation and cost, but the performance in 3D cannot be compared with other solutions.
  • Discrete graphics hardware is a separate chip on the motherboard. Has separate memory and is generally faster than the previous type.
  • Hybrid graphics are a combination of the two previous types.

Now it is clear that Intel chips use graphics with shared memory.


For the first time, Intel HD Graphics appeared in Westmere processors (but before that there was integrated graphics).

To determine the performance of a video processor, each generation must be considered separately. The best way to determine performance is to view the number of execution units and their frequency.

This is the case with graphics generations:

Built-in Graphics Generations by Number # Microarchitecture Common Models Powerful Models

fiveWestmereHD * 
6Sandy bridgeHD * / 2000/3000 
7Ivy bridgeHD * / 2500/4000 
7Haswell / Bay TrailHD * / 4200-5000Iris * 5100 / Iris Pro * 5200
8Broadwell / Braswell / Cherry TrailHD * / 5300-6000Iris * 6100 / Iris Pro * 6200
nineSkylake / Braswell / Cherry TrailHD * 510-530 / 40xIris * 540/50 / Iris Pro * 580

WhereGraphics is replaced with *.

If you become interested in learning about the microarchitectures themselves, then you can take a look at this article.

The letter P indicates the Xeon processor (server chips).

There is an HD Graphics model in every generation before Skylake, but these models are different from each other. After Westmere, HD Graphics is simply installed only in Pentium and Celeron. And it is worth distinguishing separately HD Graphics in mobile processors Atom, Celeron, Pentium, which are built on a mobile microarchitecture.

Until recently, mobile architectures have adopted only the same HD Graphics models, corresponding to different microarchitectures. Graphics of different generations differ in performance, and this very generation is usually indicated in parentheses, for example, IntelHD Graphics (Bay Trail). Now, when the new 8th generation of the integrated graphics is released, they will also differ. This is how HDGraphics 400 and 405 differ in performance.

Within one generation, productivity increases with an increase in the number, which is logical.

With the Haswell generation, a slightly different marking of chips began to operate.

New marking with Haswell

First digit:

  • 4 Haswell
  • 5 Broadwell

But there are exceptions to this rule, and we’ll explain everything in a few lines below.

The rest of the numbers have the following meaning:

Distribution by 3-digit number Numbers Marking Additional marking

there is none of themHD GraphicsGT1
200-1000 *HD Graphics xxxxGT2 (from 1000 GT3)
1100 *Iris GraphicsGT3
1200 *Iris Pro Graphics 6200GT3e

* – means that the thousand place is increased by one

The GT3e features an optional eDRAM cache that increases memory speed.

But since the Skylake generation, the classification has changed again. The distribution of models by performance can be seen in one of the previous tables.

The relationship between processor marking and embedded graphics

Processors with integrated graphics features are marked with these letters:

  • P stands for disabled video core
  • C enhanced integrated graphics for LGA
  • R enhanced integrated graphics for BGA (nettops)
  • H enhanced integrated graphics in mobile processors (Iris Pro)

How to compare video chips

Comparing them by eye is rather difficult, so we recommend that you take a look at this page, where you can see information about all integrated Intel solutions, and this page, where you can see the performance rating of video adapters and their benchmark results. To find out which graphics are worth the processor you need, go to Intel’s website, filter your processor, and then look under the “Integrated graphics in processor.


We hope this material has helped you understand integrated graphics, especially from Intel, and will also help you in choosing a processor for your computer. If you have any questions, please see the instructions in the Introduction section first, and if you still have questions, then you are welcome in the comments!


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