Intel Xe graphics benchmarks leak — and Apple Silicon could be in trouble

Intel chip
(Image credit: Intel)

Intel won’t take Apple's move to make its own chips lying down, as the chipmaker’s next-generation of laptop processors are set to get a serious graphics boost to compete with Apple Silicon

The Tiger Lake Core chips Intel is expected to have ready around October time will sport its new Gen12 Xe graphics, which according to a benchmark leak will offer a new integrated GPU that will run up to 1.3GHz. This means it’ll deliver a big performance bump over the current-generation Ice Lake chips and their Iris Plus GPUs. 

The benchmark leak comes courtesy of regular chip leaker APISAK on Twitter who posted a listing from the SiSoftware site that revealed the specs of the new Xe graphics. The GPU is set to have 768 cores, 96 execution units and, as mentioned, run at 1.3GHz.  

Comparatively, the current top GPU from the Gen11 Iris Plus range sports 512 GPU cores and 64 execution units, and runs at 1.1GHz. So the new Xe graphics accelerators will have a proper uptick in specifications over their predecessors. Intel has previously told us that the Xe GPUs will offer double the performance of the Iris Plus graphics. 

Previous benchmark leaks for the 11th Gen Tiger Lake Intel Core i7-1185G7 have shown how it can beat the AMD Ryzen 4800U, which is a chip that’s been delivering some impressive laptop performance. So we’re expecting the Tiger Lake chips to not only deliver a solid boost in processor power for laptops, but also yield impressive graphical performance from an integrated GPU.  

That’s not to say that the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4, which is likely to use Tiger Lake chips, will suddenly be able to compete with the best gaming laptops. But it does mean that it could have the power to trounce the current MacBook Air

Furthermore, the potential performance of the Tiger Lake chips could serve as a warning that Apple will need to ensure its in-house designed chips come with some proper CPU and GPU performance to not get beaten by Intel’s upcoming chips. Apple effectively plans to ditch Intel chips with its Apple Silicon initiative, which will see it use its own silicon slices based on ARM architecture for its future 2020 and 2021 MacBooks and iMacs. 

Intel’s new Tiger Lake chips are expected to pop up in a whole range of new and refresh ultraportable laptops come October time. And if they do yield impressive performance without requiring laptop makers to increase the size of their notebooks, then there could be a whale range of  Windows 10 laptops that could leave the likes of the 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air in their dust. 

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.