Gabe Newell, the big cheese at Valve, says the on-chip graphics processing in the next generation of Intel's Core i7 CPU will provide a more "console-like experience" on the PC.
The next generation of Intel's Core i7 CPUs featuring the Sandy Bridge architecture will include an on-chip graphics processor capable of operating at speeds of up to 1.35 ghz. Intel claims the new hardware will outperform 40 to 50 percent of the standalone graphics cards currently on the market but even more interesting were comments from Newell at CES, who called the chip "a real game-changer for us."
Newell said the upcoming Portal 2 had been created with the new Core i7 chip in mind and that the potential elimination of discrete graphics cards as a core component of gaming-capable PCs will "allow for a console-like experience on the PC."
What he actually meant by "console-like experience" is a little unclear, although my guess is that it all tracks back to simplicity; in theory, PC buyers who want to do a little gaming won't have to take a crash-course in GPUs to make it happen. But as Anandtech noted in its Sandy Bridge preview, the new tech is a big step beyond current integrated graphics hardware at the relatively low resolution of 1024x768 but still falls short of even basic discrete cards. It looks impressive at this point, but whether or not it actually becomes a legitimate "game-changer" is still very much up in the air.