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Intel Tiger Lake CPUs will bring serious gaming to ultrathin laptops — Here is proof

Intel Tiger Lake
(Image credit: Intel)

Integrated graphics don't have a great reputation, but that could soon change thanks to Intel's upcoming Tiger Lake chips using the new Xe graphics.

Our first look at the new graphics comes courtesy of Ryan Shrout, chief performance strategist at Intel and apparently a fan of first-person shooters. Shrout posted on Twitter a brief clip of him using a prototype laptop with Tiger Lake chips to play Battlefield V at 1080p resolution with the graphics set to high. The game played at a steady 30 frames per second and even reached 32 fps at times.

Tiger Lake's drivers and software aren't yet finished, but if this level of performance holds, it would mark a significant improvement from the Iris Plus graphics found in Ice Lake CPUs. We haven't benchmarked Battlefield V on our systems yet but a visit to Notebookcheck shows that current integrated graphics run Battlefield V on high at only 18 fps (when paired with a Core i7 CPU). 

Before getting some BFV rounds in, Shrout had posted a side angle of a mysterious laptop running on a Tiger Lake CPU. It's possible this was an Intel system built for testing, although the notebook's drop hinge is found on many Asus laptops and its shape reminds me of an Acer Swift.  

Whichever system it is, it's not the sort of laptop we expect to see running a new AAA game at 30fps on high settings. Thin notebooks like this one don't have the cooling capability or space to accommodate a discrete GPU. As such, they rely on integrated chips, which, to this point, have only been capable of playing less-demanding games at lower settings. 

The Iris Plus graphics in 10th Gen Ice Lake chips were a step in the right direction for Intel. But it looks like the real push will arrive sometime this summer when the chipmaker releases Tiger lake, its second bite at the 10nm apple. We will, of course, thoroughly test multiple systems running on Tiger Lake CPUs once they arrive in our labs, and it looks like we'll need to play some demanding games to see how Intel Xe keeps up. I'm not complaining.