It’s no secret that new MacBooks are coming at WWDC in June, but they’ll just be spec bumps, featuring a small ~8% performance boost thanks to Intel’s new Haswell processors, and a gain to battery efficiency. Nothing to get excited about, right?
Actually, no. Haswell’s hiding one super beefy update in its silicon: Iris, Intel’s super-charged integrated graphics that will boost Haswell’s polygon by 200% compared to the last generation… not to mention make the MacBook Air’s graphics beefy enough to support a Retina Display.
Intel is now boasting that the new Iris graphics will provide a two-fold improvement to 3D performance over Intel’s current integrated graphics solutions, like the HD 3000 and HD 4000. There’s also support for stuff like OpenCL, DX11.1, OpenGL4.1, three-screen collage display and 4K UltraHD display resolution, meaning ultrabooks will suddenly be capable of 3840 x 2160 resolutions.
Got that? Your next MacBook Air will have the graphics, if not the screen or battery tech, to support a MacBook Air with Retina Display. The pieces are starting to fall into place.
Intel’s Iris will come in two carieties. There will be Intel Iris Graphics 5100, which you’ll find on Intel 4th-Gen Core i7-4000U series CPUs (this is most likely the chip you’ll find in the next MacBook Air). Then there’s the Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200 which will be going into thicker laptops and all-in-ones.