Nvidia and AMD have been dominating the graphics card market for years now, but Intel is coming after these two and others after two decades of remaining silent. Intel’s first-ever discrete graphics card, the Intel DG1, quashes rumours that Intel would never again revisit the graphics card segment after shutting down their Larrabee project 10 years ago. The only problem? The DG1 isn’t a card that you’ll be able to buy. Rather, it’s a next-generation integrated GPU that has set apart its CPU into its own discrete part.
What Intel is doing is setting up a single architecture that they are calling “Xe” which will scale across graphic needs, helping everything from laptops to custom, high-performance computers perform better. Intel is offering three different microarchitectures, one for low performance, a second for medium performance, and a third for high performance. Each has its intended market, from entry-level to enthusiast to datacenter GPUs. They also have different numbers of “execution units,” with the high power model sporting 128 EUs, and the other two increasing from there to 256 and 512.
There hasn’t been much said about price, but in an interview with Russian YouTube channel Pro Hi-Tech, Raja Koduri, Intel’s chief architect and graphics head, revealed that the unite is targeting mainstream consumers with an initial $200 price point. “Our strategy revolves around price, not performance,” said Koduri. “First are GPUs for everyone at $200 price, then the same architecture but with the higher amount of HBM memory for data centres…. Our strategy in two to three years is to release the whole family of GPUs from integrated graphics and popular discrete graphics to data centres GPUs.” Sounds like a good strategy, and we won’t have to wait long to see if it pays off as the DG1 is slated for release in mid to late 2020.