The first discrete Intel Xe DG1 GPUs are also delivered to systems available before the end of the year.
For the first time, Intel has released the first dedicated gaming GPU, the Intel Xe DG2. That may sound like it's just flipped a switch on a test rig, and the thing has exploded into life with little fanfare. Still, it is a lot more important than that. Although less exciting than having a working GPU that can match anything like the forthcoming Nvidia RTX 3070.
Since it's rumored to be where Intel's Xe DG2 graphics card is set to be aimed, this means that whether it's attached to a beefy Tiger Lake-H gaming laptop or plugged into a fully-fledged desktop PC.
In its latest Q3 results, Bob 'El Cisne' Swan has been trying to talk up a rough quarter for the significant chip-making machine. And with rivals expected to launch the latest AMD Ryzen 5000 series of CPUs and their own next-generation Radeon RX 6000 graphics card enthusiasts, he was also keen to note that it's not just about Intel processors either. It has graphics cards.
"Our first discrete GPU DG1 is shipping now and will be in systems for multiple OEMs later in Q4," says Bob (via Seeking Alpha). "We also powered on our next-generation GPU for client DG2. Based on our Xe high-performance gaming architecture, this product will take our discrete graphics capability up the stack into the enthusiast segment."
So this is a massive step in the life cycle of Intel's first-ever enthusiast graphics card, and thus a pretty big deal. However, it doesn't mean that we will see something specific out of business in terms of the actual product until next year.
We've heard reports, posted on Moore's Law is Dead (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUC6iMDlfMY&feature=youtu.be), that the Xe DG2 chips will be built on the 6 nm process that Intel has been outsourcing and will deliver up to 16 GB GDDR6—the same as the upcoming AMD RX 6000-series GPUs. It is assumed that Intel itself is aiming for something along the lines of Nvidia RTX 3070-level gaming results, although some reports say that it may be a little premature.
But first of all, we're going to get Intel's Xe DG1 discreet GPU. This is the same critical graphics silicon that is being baked on top Tiger Lake laptops — with 96 execution units — except separately from the Processor. You know, discreet.
We don't think that will be manifested as any desktop graphics card, but it's more likely that OEM laptops will be launched around the end of the year. Why is there a need for both the Tiger Lake chips with the Iris Xe GPU within them, as well as a discreet version? I'm not sure that manufacturers can combine cheaper Tiger Lake processors with top-of-the-range Iris Xe silicon.
That would make much sense, considering that Intel has previously kept its top integrated graphics cores for its processor stack's absolute top end. If OEMs can still combine the GPU with the Core i3 Tiger Lake, that will always make it an affordable, thin-and-light computer with a little gaming cred.