Intel intros 9th-gen Core H mobile CPUs, Graphics Command Center
More power on the way for creatives and gamers.
Lori GruninSenior Editor / Advice
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
ExpertisePhotography, PCs and laptops, gaming and gaming accessories
flexed its graphics muscle at the Game Developers Conference, announcing the upcoming ninth-generation H-series
(sorry, no details). It also announced a beta of a new GPU control panel that will eventually replace the Intel HD Graphics Panel you may be familiar with if your computer uses the graphics processor integrated into the Intel CPU.
The new Intel Graphic Command Center (IGCC) is part of prepping the foundation for the company's Ice Lake processors, with a new generation of the integrated GPU (iGPU) expected later this year, as well as paving the way for Intel's discrete graphics debut in 2020.
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This is Intel utility's first facelift in five years, and adds one-click optimization for games, better explanations of what each setting does with visual previews and integrated control over driver updates so that you get the zero-day game-optimized drivers automatically.
It offers more granular control over all the color,
and contrast settings, letting you adjust the primaries where relevant. These are all controls that users of discrete graphics from
and AMD are used to, but which Intel never really had a reason to provide.
I tried it on a few systems and didn't see any real-time (or even delayed) affects on the previews, but it was an earlier version and it's possible the screens weren't good enough to reflect any subtle changes. But I was hoping for a big red "disable iGPU" button, anyway.
IGCC will work on systems with sixth-generation Core chips (Skylake) or newer, and the old control panel will remain for a while -- the IGCC will be available through the
Store until then (it's free). While Intel may eventually release versions for MacOS and Linux, for now it's
The company also teased the release of its ninth-generation H-series processors -- the performance-class mobile CPUs -- indicating that we should see them (presumably in products) before the end of June.
Intel's presentation included a photo of the Microsoft Surface Studio as an example of its target user for the ninth-gen mobile H-series processors (desktop all-in-ones use mobile parts as a way to keep heat at bay) and while it might have only been illustrative, we're hoping it means that the Studio will finally get the processor upgrade it deserves. When the newest model launched in the fall of 2018, its bump to only a quad-core seventh-gen i7 was disappointing. That's especially true in light of
recent iMac updates, which added a top-end option for a ninth-gen i9.
In this GDC space, a toilet plunger becomes your game controller