More than two decades have passed since Intel released the Intel740. That was the last dedicated graphic from a company that tried again to make moves in this direction with Larrabee and his Xeon Phi . None of those products or technologies came to anything.
Today Intel reappears in the world of dedicated graphics cards, and it does so with its Intel Iris Xe MAX , a first approach to this segment that for now is restricted to the field of laptops and that nevertheless is an interesting step when it comes to compete on desktops with AMD and Nvidia.
A dedicated laptop oriented graphics
Intel’s solution is a more powerful edition than the Intel Xe architecture integrated graphics chips we’ve seen in some notebooks in recent weeks.
These chips will feature up to 96 execution units running at frequencies up to 1.65 GHz (versus 1.35 GHz for embedded chips), will support Variable Rate Shading, and will also take advantage of the new PCIe 4.0 interface that Intel is already pushing in its latest processors. The graphics will feature 4GB of LPDDR4x graphics memory with bandwidths of up to 68GB / s.
In addition to the graphical improvements, Deep Link technology is integrated , which according to Intel helps content creators to take advantage of the processing in the field of artificial intelligence to apply it to their work. Applications like Handbrake or Adobe Lightroom will, for example, be able to take advantage of this advantage.
The firm also highlights that with Iris Xe MAX graphics it is possible to multiply the performance in that content creation in which AI algorithms can help – Intel will offer an API for this.
The new Intel Iris Xe MAX graphics will also perform promisingly in games based on internal testing. When comparing with the Nvidia Geforce MX350 dedicated graphics, we find slightly better performances . The first computers with these dedicated graphics will be the Acer Swift 3x , the Asus VivoBook Flip TP470 and the Dell Inspiron 7000 2 in 1.
In addition, Intel is sure that in the first half of 2021 they will have the first dedicated Xe-LP graphics for entry-level equipment (“value desktops”), something that will probably be quite far from what AMD has just presented with its Radeon RX 6000 or NVIDIA with their RTX 3000 . A server GPU based on that Xe-LP variant will begin shipping this year, while the Xe-HP and Xe-HPG versions will appear in 2021 .