Intel's Meteor Lake iGPU is set to shake up the entry level GPU market

Intel has had a tough year to date. Poor financial results and a new round of layoffs grab the headlines, but hopefully there's some good news around the corner. Though we've still got a long time to go, rumors are indicating that Intel's Meteor Lake and future generation CPUs are looking quite mighty. The integrated GPU of Meteor Lake mobile processors in particular is shaping up to have Nvidia and AMD looking over their shoulders, not to mention Apple. 

The leak comes from Moore's Law is Dead. According to the video above, the high end Meteor Lake Xe GPU with 128 Execution Units should beat out the mobile GTX 1650 and possibly even the mobile RTX 3050. If that's the case, Intel is set to take big chunks out of Nvidia's entry level GPU market share.

Even just matching the GTX 1650 or RTX 3050 would be a win for Intel. The reason being? Battery life. Discrete GPUs are the enemy of battery life, so if Intel is able to deliver an integrated GPU that can deliver passable 1080p gaming along with a full day of battery life, it will surely attract many design wins. If the driver is up to par, I'd definitely be interested in upgrading from my aging 8th Gen Dell.

There are a couple of important things to note though. Nvidia isn't standing still and it has launched its RTX 4050 laptop GPU, which is faster again. Later on there will be RDNA 3 based Radeon 7000M GPUs to contend with as well.

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Discrete GPUs aren't the only competition for Meteor Lake. AMD's Zen 4 and RDNA 3 equipped Phoenix APUs are looking strong too, particularly the Ryzen 7 7840U with its 8C/16T and 12CU Radeon 780M graphics. However, as seen in the video above, an even faster 16CU APU codenamed Strix Point could also face trouble from the high end Meteor Lake iGPU. Ain't competition great!?

Intel's recent graphics adventures haven't set the world on fire, particularly its long delayed (though finally competitive) Arc desktop range. But this time, it may have a secret weapon: Level 4 cache. As integrated graphics requires access to system memory, the amount of memory bandwidth matters. An integrated L4 cache would surely deliver a healthy boost to integrated graphics performance.

Take all of this with some skepticism though. Meteor Lake is still many months away from launch and anything we're seeing on the internet at this time should be taken with a healthy pinch of your favorite brand of salt.

Whatever happens, the laptop market is set for a shakeup towards the back end of 2023. AMD, Intel and for different reasons, Nvidia and Apple are all going head to head with models offering combinations of high performance, long battery life and gaming prowess means mobile users have a lot to look forward to.

Chris Szewczyk
Hardware Writer

Chris' gaming experiences go back to the mid-nineties when he conned his parents into buying an 'educational PC' that was conveniently overpowered to play Doom and Tie Fighter. He developed a love of extreme overclocking that destroyed his savings despite the cheaper hardware on offer via his job at a PC store. To afford more LN2 he began moonlighting as a reviewer for VR-Zone before jumping the fence to work for MSI Australia. Since then, he's gone back to journalism, enthusiastically reviewing the latest and greatest components for PC & Tech Authority, PC Powerplay and currently Australian Personal Computer magazine and PC Gamer. Chris still puts far too many hours into Borderlands 3, always striving to become a more efficient killer.