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New Intel Xe-HPG DG2 leak reveals just how fast the new GPU could be

A new leak from the not-so-reliable Geekbench revealed some key details about the upcoming Intel Xe-HPG DG2. The benchmark shows a card with 128 execution units (EUs) that can run at up to 2,200MHz — faster than most of the best graphics cards on the market. That speed didn’t translate into extra performance, however.

The card earned a score of 13,710 in Geekbench’s OpenCL test, which is about the same as the GTX 760 or a Radeon RX 550. That’s not the performance we were expecting, and it’s not the performance you should expect, either.

Intel GPU on a stand.

Before we read too far into it, though, it should be said that Geekbench isn’t the best tool for benchmarking graphics. You don’t need to look further than Intel’s own DG1 card, which earned a much higher score of 19,176 in the same test with fewer EUs, slower speeds, and less video memory.

The speed, though, is what stands out. 2,200MHz is more than likely a ballpark figure, so we recommend taking it with a grain of salt. It’s important to mention that the result lists the maximum frequency, too. However, it’s faster than what we previously thought was possible for this range and pushes past many other consumer cards. This model is rumored to be the second to last in the Intel Xe-HPG DG2 range, sporting 128 EUs for 1,024 cores, 4GB of GDDR6 memory on a 64-bit bus, and a board power of 35 watts.

Even if the Geekbench result is accurate, the DG2 wasn’t tested under ideal circumstances. The tester used an Intel Core i5-11400T and 16GB of memory, but the memory was oddly configured to run on a single channel. Previously, rumors suggested that the DG2 silicon would cap somewhere around 1,800MHz, but the benchmark suggests some models may go higher.

The Xe-HPG range builds on the graphics initiative that Intel set forth with the launch of Tiger Lake processors. The DG2 builds upon the DG1 that Intel unveiled at CES 2020, and although performance wasn’t impressive, Intel has committed to the graphics market. “Based on our Xe high-performance gaming architecture, [the DG2] will take our discrete graphics capability up the stack into the enthusiast segment,” former Intel CEO Bob Swan said.

Intel DG1 in someone's hand.

Although some leaks have suggested performance that sits around the budget options from Nvidia and AMD, others have suggested much higher performance. A leak from April said the flagship model with 512EUs matched the performance of Nvidia’s RTX 3080. That model is a significant step up from the one featured in the above Geekbench results, however, sporting 4,096 cores, a 256-bit bus, and 16GB of GDDR6 memory.

In addition to breaking into the enthusiast market, the DG2 range is rumored to support hardware-accelerated ray tracing and a supersampling feature in the vein of Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling technology. Originally, the card was rumored to launch sometime in 2021, but recent leaks suggest Intel has pushed the launch date back.

As of now, speculation has the launch date pegged some time around CES 2022, which takes place in January. Good or bad, we’re sure Intel’s entrance into desktop graphics will be interesting.

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