Intel is planning on going big in the graphics market this year, with plans to launch its Xe GPU for desktop PCs, laptops and supercomputers.
This will mark the company’s first foray into discrete graphics cards. Intel revealed a closer of the GPU during CES, giving it title: DG1-SDV. This graphics card will reportedly use a new 7nm architecture, although not a lot of information has been confirmed beyond that.
An apparent leak from Digital Trends has possibly unveiled more information, reporting that at least three graphics cards are in production, with the a TDP range from 75 watts to a whopping 500.
A report from PCGamesN suggests we’ll see Intel Xe graphics integrated into Intel’s upcoming 11th Generation (Tiger Lake) mobile processors. And with laptops housing these new Tiger Lake processors expected to arrive as early as Summer 2020, it looks like we’ll be able to get our first proper look of Intel Xe graphics earlier than expected.
Read below for all the rumours we’ve seen regarding Intel’s Xe graphics.
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Intel Xe GPU release date – When will Intel’s first dedicated GPU launch?
Intel is yet to announce a definitive release date for the Xe-based GPUs. However, a combination of the company’s marketing drive behind the DG1 card and a tweet last October by Intel exec Raj Koduri point towards a June 2020 release window.
The first iteration of Intel Xe is unlikely to be a dedicated graphics card though, with it becoming increasingly more likely we’ll first see it take the form of integrated graphics in Intel’s upcoming Tiger Lake mobile processors.
Tiger Lake chips are expected to start rolling out with various laptops from Summer 2020, which matches up with all the speculation. We’ll likely hear more during Computex 2020, which takes place on 2nd June this year.
Intel Xe GPU price – How much will Intel’s first dedicated GPU cost?
Intel’s Xe GPU price is completely up in the air – especially considering the lineup will likely extend beyond just the recently revealed DG1 dedicated graphics card.
Reports suggest Intel’s Xe GPU will scale from integrated graphics in a laptop up to graphics cards built specifically for supercomputers. In terms of the consider desktop graphics cards, it’s impossible to predict what price point Intel will aim for, but expect the cost to be competitive with AMD and Nvidia.
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Intel Xe GPU specs
We don’t yet know specific specs for Intel’s upcoming Xe GPUs. We do at least know the lineup will be divided up into three separate microarchitectures – Xe-LP, Xe-HP and Xe-HPC.
The recently announced Intel DG1 card will feature the Xe-LP architecture. Xe-LP is the entry-level “Integrated” series which will be focused on 5W to 20W power consumption. While Xe-HP is expected to be the mid-ranger that could go toe-to-toe with the likes of Nvidia and AMD. Lastly, there’s the Xe-HPC microarchitecture that’ll be non-consumer and aimed at server work.
A leak from Digital Trends suggests one of the Intel Xe graphics cards will feature thermal design power of 500 watts, which higher than any other graphics card currently available. This will almost definitely be referring to a graphics card intended for data servers or workstations rather than consumer gaming desktops.
The leak also suggests Intel’s Xe GPUs will use ’tile’ modules, differing to how AMD and Nvidia design their own graphics cards. This would allow the Xe GPU architecture to be scalable in order to function for various markets and performance requirements.
Digital Trends also suggests Intel Xe will use high bandwidth memory (HBM) instead of GDDR6, and will offer PCI-e 4 compatibility.
Related: Ray tracing explained
Intel Xe GPU performance
With so little information on the new 7nm range, it’s hard to declare what to expect from performance.
The best and most recent indicators have come from what Intel has said about the DG1 dedicated graphics card.
During the reveal, Intel said the DG1 would have “powerful media and display engines” while also being “designed for power optimised platforms” and “content creation and gaming.”
But due to the supposed scalability of Intel Xe GPU, performance will range greatly from powering laptops to supercomputers.