Intel’s Meteor Lake processors, Intel’s next-generation processors due out in 2023, are expected to feature support for ray tracing on the tiled GPU architecture, marking a major step forward for the technology.
Ray tracing is a rendering process that illuminates a rendered scene, mimicking how we see light. It sounds almost silly (don’t we see all light?), but making an artificial scene look natural requires calculating the complex physics involved in the behavior of light, and it’s really computationally demanding.
As it stands, ray tracing technology is currently only viable in gaming PCs with the best video cards or best gaming laptops with discrete GPUs, making it a revolutionary technology that remains locked to more “elite” applications on high-end hardware.
However, Intel’s introduction of the technology into its Intel Xe “integrated” graphics platform is an important advance in technology that could make it much more affordable. We take here the integrated in quotation marks, since – as Wccftech (opens in a new tab) highlights are not exactly the same as the current generation integrated graphics; it’s actually a tile architecture that’s more like a system-on-a-chip than traditional integration into a single processor die.
What’s important, though, is that this is the chip that will be included in standard notebooks such as ultrabooks or even the best Chromebooks which have stronger characteristics like ours HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook Review.
Intel is already working on its own technology for upscaling graphics, combined with a slightly more complex one Intel Arc desktop graphics cards, and this technology can easily make its way into Intel’s 14th generation processors. If so, it can do some of the best cheap laptops very capable 1080p gaming machines.
Can Intel Meteor Lake bring next-gen graphics to everyday users?
While we haven’t even gotten our hands on Intel’s Raptor Lake chips yet – they’re expected to launch this October – the first Intel Meteor Lake chips could arrive in late 2023. If so, you could play something like Cyberpunk 2077 on modest settings and some ray tracing on a base spec Dell XPS 13 with a playable frame rate.
This does not mean that one processor will convert even the best ultrabooks into real gaming laptops. But with advances in GPU technology that comes with something like ray tracing, it will have additional benefits for overall performance and – with the right settings (and upscaling technology) – you won’t be limited to playing light or casual games like Civilization VI on a basic laptop.
For desktop computers, this will be less of an advance, as most desktop computers have a free PCIe slot that can be inserted into one of the best cheap graphics cards around, capable of ray tracing, and they will run around the embedded graphics even better processors in the 14th generation Intel lineup.
So this is mostly a problem for laptops, which are the fastest growing segment of the computer market. Traditional laptops have tended to be quite poor in gaming performance as this dramatically improves energy efficiency (eg battery life) and lowers costs.
By integrating a ray-traced GPU into the standard CPU package for these laptops, we’ll see significantly higher performance across a range of graphics-intensive applications from video streaming to gaming at a much more affordable price point.
We have already had a taste of such a performance, and it is truly impressive
We have already seen something similar in our country Asus ZenBook S 13 OLED reviewwhich is one of the first laptops with an AMD processor with integrated RDNA 2 graphics.
While gaming performance wasn’t mind-blowing in absolute terms, the fact that you can even run Port Royal on an ultrabook is a major improvement. Unfortunately, finding a ZenBook S 13 OLED is a difficult task, which would not be the case with a laptop running Intel Meteor Lake.
While it will be a while before we see these laptops, it’s nice to know they’re coming, and they can offer consumers much more performance without having to make the complete sacrifices in affordability that they have to do now. This can only be good for casual consumers, whether you are a serious gamer or not.