It will be very interesting to see how Haswell performs when it hits the market.
Intel would likely loose more working with AMD than it is worth. Intel seems to be very willing to have their GPUs publicly trashed at every opportunity. However I don't see die space as being an issue with an AMD GPU integrated on an Intel die, there is just an amazing amount of room on today's dies and most of that room already goes to the GPUs integrated on board.
The split between integrated and discrete will likely become far more interesting in 2013 and beyond. At some point things will flip and it will be more of a disadvantage to have a discrete GPU chip. That will likely happen with unified memory access and very high bandwidth to main memory. Heterogeneous computing is here to stay but won't really come into its own until more mature hardware is delivered. Once the GPU is an equal to the CPU, on the memory bus, I see a quick decline in discrete GPU support. As you note that will dry up funs to support discrete GPU development.
I share with you the reluctance to recommend intel only GPU solutions. Intels integrated solutions are no where near as good as AMDs and have significant issues that drivers can't correct. Speaking of drivers, Intel is a mixed bag here, some issues just hang around to long. By the way Intels OpenCL support isn't much better than its 3D support. In any event I'm really hoping that Intel can iron out the hardware glitches with Haswell and also squash the driver issues. If intel can deliver decent 3D and OpenCL support then the reservations about recommending them should melt away.
The problem today is that because of these issues Intel is a poor choice for Integrated GPU only machines. We can only hope that driver issues get corrected right now. Sadly this sucks due to the importance of GPUs in modern systems. These days GPU acceleration sneaks into every thing from web browsers to decompression utilities, as such lagging GPU support negatively impacts the user experience.
Originally Posted by hmm
Where do you get that idea? Has anyone suggested they have obtained that level of performance? It could also have certain requirements in terms of die space and design that would not work with intel, and of course those two companies have little experience working together. If you want optimal performance, you need some form of discrete graphics today. Integrated can actually be good enough for a number of things compared to where they were a few years ago. If discrete graphics die out, I suspect it will be due to insufficient volume to overcome fixed development costs. That is typically how these things go. NVidia was able to leverage out a lot of the graphics workstation vendors in the 1990s. They sold a limited number of units at tens of thousands of dollars each. NVidia used a rise in PC gaming to further desktop graphics research. Today that business model is becoming problematic. It may not be sustainable. I don't expect Haswell to even approach it outside of a limited number of synthetic tests. Intel's problems haven't just been one of raw hardware, but one of implementation. There are many use cases where the only thing that makes me occasionally hesitant to suggest them as good enough is the number of annoying gotchas. The HDMI issue comes to mind. In terms of performance, it's fine for a lot of things. It's not great for gaming, but real time 3d graphics really do push the hardware. They're one of the most demanding non-work related use cases.