Until last week discrete graphics, high end parts you would use if gaming, CAD/CAM, AI development, metaverse creation, photo and film editing, architecture, animation or any Where else (like engineering) requires high-performance graphics, you have two choices: AMD leads in value and is more profitable, and Nvidia tends to lead in absolute performance.
While these two companies frequently trade with each other, the battleground is clearly defined between them, but both are underdeveloped in the laptop sector because of the laptop’s focus, at least for Until the pandemic, is performance and battery life.
Intel has dominated laptops, but not with discrete graphics. Therefore, it has much lower performance integrated graphics. You can get more expensive mobile workstations, gaming laptops with GPU options, or some business laptops with GPU upgrades, but many laptops use the Intel entry level.
As a result, Intel targeted laptops with the initial Arc offering because that path is much easier in a market the company already dominates, as opposed to competing with GPU cards in the desktop market. desktop computers – or even mobile workstations that require software certification – or gaming devices that require game companies to directly support hardware for higher performance.
Let’s talk about Intel Arc A-Series graphics, and then finish with my product of the week, HP’s 34-inch conference monitor.
The importance of discrete graphics
If you are a gamer or use your laptop to work on graphics or AI intensive projects, you are living on discrete graphics because the integrated graphics are not good enough. Usually, that pushes you into a much more expensive line of laptops, like centralized gaming consoles or rather expensive workstations.
Graphics are important to your work product, and if you’re into gaming, a GPU can improve your time on target, your ability to see stealthier players or NPCs, and potentially carry gives you a significant competitive advantage.
Recently, discrete graphics cards have started converting older games to high resolution, making them look more like current games and therefore more fun to play. They can upscale some video content in a similar way, expanding their interest in discrete GPUs.
The user usually has a choice. They can get this great performance on a desktop but not be too portable, or they can give it up to be portable and have long battery life. However, over time, both AMD and Nvidia have improved the performance of their GPUs.
However, with laptops, integrated graphics from Intel, due to both cost and battery life benefits, are often preferred. As a result, a lot of us have a desktop for gaming and a laptop to use when we need to work on the road.
This provides an interesting market entry point for Intel, which can leverage its integrated graphics and CPU dominance in laptops to gain GPU dominance on the same platform as Intel. Much larger space than desktop space.
Then, once it succeeds in laptops, Intel can use that advantage to go after the desktop GPU market owned by AMD and Nvidia if and this is now the case. Under certain conditions, it receives the necessary software certification and game developer support.
One of the big problems when entering the discrete graphics market is that you need software support from games and professional applications that use discrete GPUs. But usually, you won’t get that support until there’s a huge amount of significant hardware on the market; and you won’t reach the mass if users don’t see you have game developers and software support.
One caveat, though: if the developers believe you’ll hit critical mass, they’ll migrate soon. Intel, due to its mobile dominance, has a credible argument that reaching critical mass with mobile, not desktop, is a given and therefore will can spur some, if not all, of the major developers to its platform before its installed base has that critical mass.
This is by no means certain, but Intel claims to have significant support and it is the current drive to have a large footprint in the mobile market that has brought this unique opportunity.
What I’m looking for the most
Intel puts out a compelling message in terms of peer-to-peer performance, but what I’m waiting to see is whether it does a better job of upscaling than its new rivals, AMD and Nvidia. My current game of choice is a re-release of an older game I enjoyed almost two decades ago that really needs a graphical improvement. If Intel can, as they claim, upgrade that game, I’ll be sold.
Given Intel’s approach to paper-based sampling is a mashup of the best parts of AMD and Nvidia’s approaches, it will most likely be able to do better than what AMD and Nvidia are currently doing. in. The downside, of course, is that I rarely play games on my laptop, but I do play while traveling – which I’m starting to do again.
Fingers crossed, that the new Intel Arc mobile graphics knocked all mine out.
Following a market dominated by one or two major suppliers from behind is a daunting task. The best approach is to first get a leader in an area where those companies aren’t particularly strong and you can or can.
In Intel’s case, the front-runner will be the laptop that Intel still dominates, and that could position itself very well against traditional owners of the segment.
Be aware that there is always a risk with early release offerings, and while Intel’s experience in the PC segment and its relationship with Microsoft have been near-legendary, success is uncertain and will require a degree of high performance. Fortunately for Intel, it’s now led by Pat Gelsinger, one of the best and most focused executives I’ve ever met.
It will be an interesting year.
Conference screen HP E34m G4
A few weeks ago, HP sent me its new 24-inch conference monitor. It’s great, but after I saw HP’s 34-inch version, I was jealous of the size. So HP sent me the E34m G4 WQHD Curved USB-C Conference Monitor. I was much more impressed. It sells for $699 on HP’s website, and it’s a decent monitor for work and light gaming.
This is one of the Zoom-certified HP monitors, and it has both a pop-up webcam and speakers to make that work. I really don’t like having to wear a headset, and with this monitor you don’t need a camera or headset to do a video meeting.
The screen works fine with the games I play, but it’s not a gaming monitor. It is more focused on work and especially working remotely with Zoom certification. It is a beautiful product as you can see from the picture.
HP E34m G4 curved conference monitor | Credit: HP
It’s a USB-C monitor, which means if you use a wireless keyboard and mouse it will really reduce the amount of wires on or behind your desk (my desk is a cord nightmare now) . At 400 nits, it’s bright enough for everything but direct sunlight. Since you should keep the screen out of direct sunlight anyway, that shouldn’t be a problem.
The built-in camera supports Microsoft Hello, so you can simply step up and sign in to your PC with your face (which I have to admit I’m a bit engrossed) and while the speaker won’t fill room like a boom box, they were fine for people who had to wear headphones when we turned up the game volume.
Right now, 34 inches is the ideal size for most of us to work from home, it’s not too big for a typical office desk, but it’s large enough that three windows can be opened side-by-side. in full vertical size if you need it. it, or lots of smaller windows if you’re like me and want a large number of sessions open at once.
If you can afford it, this 34-inch monitor is a big upgrade over the 24-inch, and it’s my go-to for the week.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ECT News Network.