Intel's first Xe gaming GPU is shipping to developers

mongeese

TS Maniac
Staff member

Intel is keeping its cards close to its chest, so unless you’re a serious developer, you probably won’t hear about specs or performance from official sources for a while. But who needs official sources?

A fortnight ago, serial leaker Komachi found the card referenced in the Eurasian Economic Commission database, where it’s listed as having 96 execution units. Each of Intel’s execution units contains eight cores, so the card most likely has 768 cores.

There’s a subtle hint in the fact that the DG1 doesn’t have a power connector, meaning it’s limited to the 75W connection motherboards provide through PCIe slots. It does have a fan, though, so assuming that’s not just for aesthetics, it can probably make use of the full 75W. It’s also likely to be built on 10nm or 10nm+.

While it’s not exactly the most powerful of GPUs, there’s room in the market for it. Intel’s live demos at CES have been… less than exemplary, but that’s probably due to the card’s pre-release status. Assuming the public release version can run at reasonable clock speeds on optimized software, it should perform like the GeForce GTX 1650.

However, if that’s not enough for you, there’s always the DG2. Intel accidentally confirmed three prototype models, with 1024, 2048 and 4096 cores, which should challenge Nvidia in the high-end. They’re probably further down the track, though. The DG1 and DG2 will both appear in laptops, too.

The DG1, on the other hand, seems pretty close to release. Last year, Intel executive Raja Koduri hinted that the first Xe products could start to arrive in June 2020. This little peek into the development process Intel has given us only reinforces the likelihood of that schedule.

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Irata

TS Maniac
One thing is I do like its clean look.

And yes, there is definitely a market if the price, power consumption and features (besides fps, I.e. video de/encode...) are right.

And even if the XE cards are not a success in the market, at the least their development will have helped improve Intel's iGPU.
 
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Dimitrios

TS Guru
What's crazy is that INTEL hired a handful of AMD workers to try and build a GPU card and I'm eager to see what the results are on this card.
 

Squid Surprise

TS Evangelist
I'd assume, since these are for laptops, that you won't be able to simply go and buy one of these... If Intel is smart, they'll restrict the first generation to OEMs so that they get guaranteed sales. If it performs better than integrated graphics (which is ALSO Intel most of the time!), then they have a winner.

I wouldn't be shocked if the desktop variety also gets sold to OEMs - lots of companies want to keep a healthy relationship with Intel (even if AMD is starting to beat them on the CPU side) and that will provide them with a healthy base to move forward from.
 

Vulcanproject

TS Evangelist
This is a tough market. Intel are best starting at a mainstream level and working from there. So much GPU performance relies on software engineering. Intel have stepped up their driver teams the past few years.

Power consumption will depend on the clocks Intel are aiming for. A part with mobile core clocks should only be 25-35 watts. If they have pushed the voltage and clocks up significantly as a desktop part then they can aim for that 75w envelope. That could be anywhere between a GTX1050 and 1650 in performance.

A competitive product at 75 watts would be a good place to begin, especially if they can get OEMs on board. What would be a big shock is if they could ship any of the higher end boards to consumers before the end of 2020. I'm game, this could be a really big year for the PC gaming industry.
 

QuantumPhysics

TS Evangelist
Intel could be seriously competitive considering most computers sold don't have GPU cards, and instead rely on embedded Intel graphics.

If I were intel, I'd focus on attacking low-end computers so I could squeeze AMD and Nvidia out.
 

Irata

TS Maniac
Does anyone know how large the GPU market for laptops (excluding iGPU) is and which categories sell best (I.e. low end / mid range / high end) ?

My guess would be that the largest part is low(er) end GPU (I.e. not Geforce 2060 class), so attacking there and replacing nVidia GPU with their own would be a good start for Intel.

Note: They do not necessarily need to earn much money (if at all) as long as it helps deprive a competitor of income.
 
Probably just more vaporware, but core counts and clock speeds aren't anywhere near the whole story. Intel's GPUs will probably be low-end garbage and they're so far behind the curve already, I don't see Nvidia and AMD sitting around sweating over this.
 

Squid Surprise

TS Evangelist
Created by engineers who were fired from AMD and Nvidia. As far as graphics cards go, Intel is about to become the new bottom feeder.
Many were actually hired away from them - not fired... and while it's obviously too early to tell, I wouldn't be shocked to see Intel as a major player in the discrete GPU business by the end of the decade.
 
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Irata

TS Maniac
Probably just more vaporware, but core counts and clock speeds aren't anywhere near the whole story. Intel's GPUs will probably be low-end garbage and they're so far behind the curve already, I don't see Nvidia and AMD sitting around sweating over this.
Depends - even if the only manage to replace all low / mid end dGPU in OEM machines equipped with Intel CPU, this would cost nVidia and (to a lesser degree) AMD quite some revenue.

At the moment, Intel CPU + nVidia dGPU is a very common notebook config and I have not doubt that Intel can make OEM an attractive bundling offer to go Intel + Intel.
 
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Dimitrios

TS Guru
I'd assume, since these are for laptops, that you won't be able to simply go and buy one of these... If Intel is smart, they'll restrict the first generation to OEMs so that they get guaranteed sales. If it performs better than integrated graphics (which is ALSO Intel most of the time!), then they have a winner.

I wouldn't be shocked if the desktop variety also gets sold to OEMs - lots of companies want to keep a healthy relationship with Intel (even if AMD is starting to beat them on the CPU side) and that will provide them with a healthy base to move forward from.
That ain't good. INTEL might pull that shady tactic and use their OEM GPU's vs AMD's OEM for leverage instead of rebates aka bribery.

Basically INTEL may say choose our OEM cards over AMD and we will give you a "rebate" or you have to pair our CPU's with our GPU's or no deal.
 
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Dosahka

TS Addict
Depends - even if the only manage to replace all low / mid end dGPU in OEM machines equipped with Intel CPU, this would cost nVidia and (to a lesser degree) AMD quite some revenue.

At the moment, Intel CPU + nVidia dGPU is a very common notebook config and I have not doubt that Intel can make OEM an attractive bundling offer to go Intel + Intel.
Only "kind of issue" I can see is to optimise games/softwares for Intel dGPU, it will be kinda easy as most of them supporting the built-in crap.
I'd like to see a 3rd GPU brand just to shake up the current AMD low/mid - Nividia mid/high. Even if it becomes a bottom feeder, I can see easily to become a major player in next 5-10 years, but only if they not screwing it up...which they did with the past CPU lines with the ++++++++++++++++++14nm.
 

Vrmithrax

TechSpot Paladin
Does anyone know how large the GPU market for laptops (excluding iGPU) is and which categories sell best (I.e. low end / mid range / high end) ?

My guess would be that the largest part is low(er) end GPU (I.e. not Geforce 2060 class), so attacking there and replacing nVidia GPU with their own would be a good start for Intel.

Note: They do not necessarily need to earn much money (if at all) as long as it helps deprive a competitor of income.
I would agree, in laptops Intel going after the "i5 + MX130" type of mobile pairings would make the most sense for this new GPU, since it's definitely not a graphics powerhouse by any means. Their challenge will be how aggressively AMD is coming at the mobile market right now with the new Ryzen APUs. Pretty sure a new gen Ryzen APU is still going to beat an Intel CPU+GPU combination, and be in a smaller and more energy efficient package.

However, I think an interesting target area for this new GPU would be the low end office desktop environment. The basic systems that don't need the horsepower of a dedicated GPU, but could always potentially use just a little more graphics punch than the standard iGPU provides. It's a market that Intel already dominates, and they could keep an edge by being able to provide some extra performance without a lot of extra cost, and try to keep AMD's APU systems from eroding their market share in that arena.
 

Irata

TS Maniac
However, I think an interesting target area for this new GPU would be the low end office desktop environment. The basic systems that don't need the horsepower of a dedicated GPU, but could always potentially use just a little more graphics punch than the standard iGPU provides. It's a market that Intel already dominates, and they could keep an edge by being able to provide some extra performance without a lot of extra cost, and try to keep AMD's APU systems from eroding their market share in that arena.
Just checked out some OEM desktops. Many still come with really low end cards like a GTX 1030 / 1050 and similar.

I don't really think AMD is the main target here - it's not like OEM are tripping over themselves trying to build good AMD based machines. They have a few of them but that probably won't change.

I really think Intel's aim here is to get competitors' products out of "their" machines as those still represent the largest part of the systems sold.

Also, for this XE in no way needs to be technically better than competing solutions, just "good enough" from a technical perspective and commercially better.
 
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Many were actually hired away from them - not fired... and while it's obviously too early to tell, I wouldn't be shocked to see Intel as a major player in the discrete GPU business by the end of the decade.
No, that's not how the tech industry works at all. Never heard of industrial espionage, I guess? Everyone at that level is working under an NDA of some sort or other, and you can't just leave one major, massive corporation and go work for another on a whim. AMD and Nvidia would sue the ever-living heck out of the person AND Intel. We've already seen many cases like that in the past, so in this situation Vitaly is totally on point.
 

Gahl1k

TS Enthusiast
*First dGPU in 20 years*
Most comments on the Internet:
- Oh, look at that baby taking his first step!
- He can't even walk, who doesn't know how to walk!?
- Yeah, what a loser...
 

Vrmithrax

TechSpot Paladin
Just checked out some OEM desktops. Many still come with really low end cards like a GTX 1030 / 1050 and similar.

I don't really think AMD is the main target here - it's not like OEM are tripping over themselves trying to build good AMD based machines. They have a few of them but that probably won't change.

I really think Intel's aim here is to get competitors' products out of "their" machines as those still represent the largest part of the systems sold.

Also, for this XE in no way needs to be technically better than competing solutions, just "good enough" from a technical perspective and commercially better.
That's pretty much what I was saying... The low end OEM desktops typically don't need graphics punch, so it would behoove Intel to be able to make it an "Intel only" solution with both their CPU and GPU, and it would be more than adequate for most users. Having a little more punch with their GPU (double the graphics performance of iGPU alone) would also eliminate many OEMs needing to put those low end cards in - as long as the Intel GPU is priced competitively.

That gives them a leg up and a head start on the off chance that AMD decides to set their sights on the low end desktop market too. AMD is getting aggressive with OEM support and pushing hard on the mobile sector (100 new laptops with the new Ryzen APU apparently coming this year?) so they could easily do the same in the generic OEM desktop market and start nibbling away at Intel's dominance there. Intel having a decent answer to the "our graphics are better for less money" argument from AMD would serve to help keep them on top in that niche.
 

neeyik

TS Evangelist
Staff member
It's worth noting that devices released to developers, in this way, aren't focused on performance - it will just contain the full feature set and capabilities of the products targeted for final launch, so that devs can start to get used to working with them. Later models released to devs will be performance scaled, I.e. more cores, higher clock rates, etc.
 

Squid Surprise

TS Evangelist
No, that's not how the tech industry works at all. Never heard of industrial espionage, I guess? Everyone at that level is working under an NDA of some sort or other, and you can't just leave one major, massive corporation and go work for another on a whim. AMD and Nvidia would sue the ever-living heck out of the person AND Intel. We've already seen many cases like that in the past, so in this situation Vitaly is totally on point.

Guess that was all lies then?

 
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