Intel rumored to launch its first discrete gaming GPU at CES 2022

The launch of Intel’s first discrete gaming graphics card, the Xe-HPG DG2, has been expected for some time. The latest rumors suggest that Intel’s entrance to the gaming GPU sector is going to happen in 2022 during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) event this coming January.

Speculations about the launch date of Intel Xe-HPG DG2 surfaced thanks to a hardware account on Weibo, a Chinese social media platform. The news was then shared internationally by @9550pro on Twitter. The rumor mill is always buzzing with information about upcoming AMD and Nvidia releases, but Intel’s Xe-HPG DG2 has been kept relatively under wraps. Piecing various leaks together reveals more information about this lineup of graphics cards.

Intel graphics card over a white and blue background.

Much like AMD and Nvidia GPUs, Xe-HPG DG2 will also come in several configurations that will vary by specifications and design. We can expect to see models including the full chip and alternate versions with cut-down designs. All of the cards are likely to feature hardware-accelerated ray-tracing.

The top Xe-HPG DG2 variant we’ve seen so far is one that comes with 512 execution units (EUs). This chip makes use of the full die and comes with 4,096 cores, a 256-bit bus interface, and up to 16GB GDDR6 memory. A listing was also found for the same DG2 512 EU card with 8GB GDDR6 memory. The chip is likely to feature a clock of up to 2.2GHz, although it’s not certain whether that is the boosted maximum or the base clock of the card.

As far as power requirements go, Intel has had to up its initial predictions for the card. The Xe-HPG DG2 512 used to have a TDP of 225-250W, but that number went up to 275W and may still increase, especially if Intel decides to improve the clock speed. The 512 EU version of this GPU is said to measure around 396mm2, although that might change by the time of the release date. As of now, the card is going to be larger than both Nvidia’s Ampere GA104 and AMD’s Navi 22.

Another variant of the card we already know something about is the Intel Xe-HPG DG2 384 GPU SKU, and that splits into at least three different configurations. The full chip comes with 3,072 cores, a 192-bit bus interface, and up to 12GB of GDDR6 memory. The other two options include a 256 EU card and a 192 EU card with 2048 and 1536 cores respectively. Both of these GPUs will have a 128-bit bus interface. There is a difference in the size of VRAM, with the 256 EU card offering up to 8GB of GDDR6 memory, while the 192 EU GPU will cap out at just 4GB.

Concept art of an Intel DG2 graphics card.

Videocardz provided yet another interesting leak — the die configuration of the DG2 384 GPU. The leak suggests that this model should measure 190mm2. According to PCB blueprints, DG2 384 will feature 6 memory module locations, implying a 192-bit bus interface and 6 or 12GB of memory. We can also expect to see a 16MB smart cache in the 384 and 8MB in the 256. As for clock speeds, the 384 EU variant is said to feature a 600MHz base clock that can be boosted up to 1,800MHz. The 256 delivers slightly more modest numbers with a 450MHz base and 1400MHz turbo.

The low-end of the GPU lineup is the Intel Xe-HPG DG2 128 EU, and that one too features more than one configuration. We have the top config with 1024 cores, 4GB of GDDR6 memory, and a 64-bit bus interface. That variant is followed by one with 96 EUS, 768 cores, and the same bus interface and VRAM. This GPU is likely aimed at the budget desktop market and resembles Intel’s first attempt at a discrete GPU, the DG1.

While nothing is yet confirmed, the information does seem very plausible — Intel has already stated that prototypes of the card are being sampled now. In addition to that, we’ve already seen benchmarks of the card surfacing online in the last few months. Benchmarks of the Intel Xe-HPG DG2 gaming graphics card have been less than impressive, comparing one of the cards to Nvidia’s dated GTX 1050. This does not necessarily reflect on the future performance of this lineup of GPUs and we are likely to see better, more accurate tests leak before the launch date. One such leak has already emerged, suggesting that the card will become a major competitor for Nvidia’s RTX 3080.

Considering that the release of these cards may be imminent, all we need is an official confirmation from Intel. We are likely to find out more during the Intel Innovation Event at the end of October.

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