Delivering Top-Tier User Experiences with On-Chip Graphics

 

For a while now I’ve been talking about the benefits of cloud-based remote workstations: how they give tech professionals and content creators more access to key applications while facilitating secure collaboration with colleagues. For IT, these solutions provide centralized management, more provisioning control, and easier patching and updating of applications.

Ideal On-Chip Graphics Performance

This story got even better back in May when we launched the Intel® Xeon® processor E3-1500 v5 product family with hardware-enhanced integrated graphics capabilities optimized for visual workloads like remote application delivery. And now we have a third-party reviewer who has stepped up to affirm the value that we espouse for our solution. That was the case recently when Thomas Poppelgaard, a respected independent blogger and consultant, reported the results of his evaluation of the on-chip graphics performance of Intel processors in an HPE* Moonshot* system.

Poppelgaard tested the HPE* ProLiant* m710x server cartridge with Citrix* XenDesktop* 7.9 HDX 3D Pro and Windows* 10. The HPE m710x server was equipped with the Intel® Xeon® E3-1500 v5 processor family with Intel® Iris™ Pro P580 graphics. Poppelgaard tested several applications from Autodesk*, PTC*, Siemens* and Rhino3D*. Introduced in May 2016, this new Intel® Xeon® processor includes on-chip graphics that reduce solution complexity and cost by removing the need for a discrete graphics card—and integrated graphics has a lot to do with the great user experience that Thomas saw.

The goal was to show the user experience and how it compares to that of an NVIDIA GRID-based solution that is often used for GPU-enabled desktops and applications.[1] The tests were not a typical benchmark run. Rather, Poppelgaard was simply testing the user responsiveness of one HPE m710x connection versus one NVIDIA GRID K2 K260Q profile.

Among other key findings, Poppelgaard noted:

  • The HPE m710x works great and reduces the complexity of delivering remote applications. In addition, the system reduces costs while getting to bare-metal performance.
  • The user experience is excellent and application performance is fast. No graphics elements are lost. Graphics are smooth, responsive and acceptable.
  • The performance of the CAD applications in the test was equal when comparing Intel Iris Pro P580 graphics against NVIDIA GRID K2 K260Q graphics.
  • Elements such as loading large files, zoom-in, rotating, working in layers and rendering work great with the HPE m710x.
  • The new HPE m710x cartridge is ready for mainstream CAD requirements and vendors such as Siemens, PTC and Autodesk.

For the full details on the tests, which were sponsored by HPE, you can read the article on Poppelgaard’s website.

The Power of Integration

So how is it that the Intel on-chip graphics architecture can deliver a user experience that is as good as that of a discrete graphics card? A big reason is that with the Intel Xeon E3-1500 v5 processor, the GPU is fully integrated into the CPU, removing the need for PCIe data transfer between processing cores and GPU. That’s a key performance advantage that Poppelgaard highlighted.

As the integration of CPU and GPU capabilities suggests, the Intel Xeon E3-1500 v5 processor was built with visual cloud deployments in mind. The processor is specifically designed to integrate Intel Iris Pro P580 graphics to optimize performance for graphics-intensive workloads—while reducing total cost of ownership and system complexity.

Ultimately, as Poppelgaard notes, the combination of Intel Iris Pro graphics and Intel Xeon E3 processors enables a great end-user experience. These technologies help teams that rely on visual computing work faster and securely collaborate in real time without requiring expensive, dedicated systems with discrete graphics cards.

You can get this combination today in solutions from HPE, Citrix and VMware. And starting in early 2017, you can get hosted versions of our Intel Xeon processor + Intel Iris Pro graphics capabilities on demand through our partner PhoenixNAP via an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) model. For more details on the PhoenixNAP approach, see my September 2016 post.

And for details on the Intel technologies that enable a great remote graphics experience, visit the Intel Visual Cloud site.

 

[1] Configuration details: http://www.poppelgaard.com/hpe-m710x-citrix-next-generation-engineer-workstation

Disclaimer: Intel technologies’ features and benefits depend on system configuration and may require enabled hardware, software or service activation. Performance varies depending on system configuration. No computer system can be absolutely secure. Check with your system manufacturer or retailer or learn more at Intel.com

Software and workloads used in performance tests may have been optimized for performance only on Intel microprocessors. Performance tests, such as SYSmark and MobileMark, are measured using specific computer systems, components, software, operations and functions. Any change to any of those factors may cause the results to vary. You should consult other information and performance tests to assist you in fully evaluating your contemplated purchases, including the performance of that product when combined with other products.  For more complete information visit http://www.intel.com/performance.

Cost reduction scenarios described are intended as examples of how a given Intel- based product, in the specified circumstances and configurations, may affect future costs and provide cost savings. Circumstances will vary. Intel does not guarantee any costs or cost reduction. Results have been estimated or simulated using internal Intel analysis or architecture simulation or modeling, and provided to you for informational purposes. Any differences in your system hardware, software or configuration may affect your actual performance.

Intel, Intel Xeon, and Intel Iris Pro are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. *Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others. © Intel Corporation.