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Is Intel Iris XE graphics good for gaming?

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  • 5 min read

Intel Iris XE graphics is an integrated graphics solution that comes with the 11th generation Intel Core processors. It promises faster and smoother gaming performance than the previous generation Intel UHD graphics, without the need for a dedicated graphics card.

But how good is it really for gaming? And can it compete with the discrete graphics card from Nvidia and AMD? In this article, we will answer these questions and more, based on the latest benchmarks and reviews.


What is Intel Iris XE graphics?

Launched in 2021, Intel Iris XE graphics are built-in solutions into the 11th generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors. These processors are also known as Tiger Lake and these processors are specifically designed for laptops that are thin and light.

It packs more features than its predecessor, the Intel UHD graphics with more operating frequency, execution units, and memory bandwidth.

Moreover, the newer generation of Intel XE graphics supports additional features such as 8K video, Dolby Vision HDR, and AI acceleration.

Also read: 13th gen Intel i5 vs 12th gen i7: Which is better for gaming and editing?


How does Intel Iris XE graphics perform in gaming?

As per Intel, “gamers can play fast and hard with the new Intel XE graphics featuring up to 1080p 60FPS for more detailed, immersive gaming.”

Furthermore, Intel also provides Day Zero drivers for new game releases ensuring that the players can get a seamless experience and optimised performance. The graphics card also supports Adaptive Sync, a technology that eliminates screen tearing in games and further refining the experience.

This means that you can run titles like Borderlands 3, Far Cry New Dawn, Hitman 2, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider at 1080p.

Source: Intel

According to Intel’s own testing, many AAA titles didn’t cross the 60 FPS mark. Games like Doom Eternal, Borderlands 3, Battlefield 5, For Honor, PUBG, and Metro Exodus were in the 30 to 40 FPS range.

Titles like The Division 2, Battlefield 1, Fortnite, Witcher 3, Gears Tactics, Defender Awakened, and Rainbow Six Seige are in the 40-60 FPS range.

While Overwatch, GRID 2019, and GTA V are near the 60 FPS range. Other names like Rocket League, Dota 2, CS:GO, Valorant and League of Legends crossed 100 FPS comfortably.

This comparison puts the Intel Iris XE in the same range as some of the dedicated graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD. As systems with a dedicated graphics card are expensive, you can go for integrated graphics like Intel Iris XE and can run the games on medium to low settings.

That being said, more demanding games such as Red Dead Redemption 2 still pose a challenge for the graphics card. To counter it, you can lower the resolution and graphics settings but it can disrupt the gaming experience significantly.

But how does Intel Iris XE stack against a dedicated graphics card? Intel has provided an answer to his question.

Source: Intel

As we can see from the comparison above, the Intel Iris XE outperforms the Nvidia Mx350 in several AAA titles including Gears 5, Doom Eternal, Battlefield 5, Apex Legends, Metro Exodus, Battlefield 1, Witcher 3, and CS:GO. This is quite impressive for an integrated graphics card.

Again, we must reiterate, that the above comparison is based on the test by Intel. In real life, things may change. However, the numbers shouldn’t go too high or low and the general statistics is likely to remain the same.

Also read: Intel i7 vs AMD Ryzen 7: Which flagship takes the cake?


Pros and cons of Intel Iris XE graphics card

Based on the reviews, here are the pros and cons of Intel Iris XE graphics:

Pros

  • Intel Iris XE offers significant improvements over the previous generation Intel UHD graphics.
  • As it is an integrated graphics card, it is cheaper, consumes less power, and can easily fit in a light and thin laptop.
  • Moreover, it supports features such as 8K video playback, AI acceleration, Dolby Atmos 3D and Dolby Vision HDR.

Cons

  • With all its features, Intel Iris XE still lags behind the dedicated graphics cards offered by Nvidia and AMD.
  • It has limited gaming memory as it shares system memory with the processor.

In conclusion, the Intel Iris XE is an integrated graphics card offering an awesome gaming performance at medium to low graphics settings. However, it is not good enough for professional or high-level gaming. You should go for the Intel Iris XE only when you want to play games every now and then. On the other hand, if you are a professional gamer, you should go for dedicated graphics card for a seamless performance at high settings.

Also read: Is Intel i5 good for gaming?

Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: kumarhemant@pm.me

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