Intel Xe GPU: Leaks suggest Intel’s graphics cards will rival AMD and Nvidia on all fronts

Intel has been teasing its Xe graphics cards for a long time now, most recently showing off the DG1-SDV desktop GPU during CES 2020. 

The Intel Xe GPU range represents the company’s first foray into discrete graphics cards using its 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 though, reporting that at least three graphics cards are in production, with the a TDP range from 75 watts to a whopping 500. A supposedly leaked presentation slide also shows that Intel plans to compete in the graphics market on all fronts, ranging from integrated graphics for laptops all the way up to supercomputers.

If true, this means Intel will look to compete seriously with the likes of AMD and Nvidia, making the graphics market even more highly contested. Read below for all the rumours we’ve seen regarding Intel’s Xe graphics.

Related: Best Graphics Cards 2020

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.

Putting two and two together, this could potentially mean Intel will release more information on the Xe graphics card during Computex 2020 which will take 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. 

Related: Nvidia Ampere

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.

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