Intel’s First Discrete GPU Appears to Slip Behind NVIDIA’s GeForce MX350

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Image: Intel

During last week’s earnings webcast, Intel CEO Bob Swan confirmed that his company’s first discrete GPU, the Iris Xe Max, had begun shipping. Unfortunately, early benchmarks spotted by TUM_APISAK suggest that it’s nothing to get too hyped about, even for those of you who have been following “DG1” and are fully aware of the fact that it’s essentially a repackaged iGPU designed for notebooks.

The Iris Xe Max managed to achieve OpenCL scores of 11,885 and 11,857 on two separate Geekbench runs. The scores suggest that the GPU could perform substantially worse than NVIDIA’s GeForce MX350 and AMD’s Radeon RX 550X options, which feature average OpenCL scores of 13,839 and 12,598, respectively. It does appear to outperform NVIDIA’s GeForce MX330 (11,164), however.

This seems disappointing even for a low-range part, but some readers have pointed out that its TDP could be a saving grace. While Intel’s marketing materials are vague, most Iris Xe Max GPUs are expected to hover around 12 watts – a welcome decrease from the GeForce MX300 and GeForce MX 350’s 25 watts.

“CPUs are foundational to our business, but we are also adding a range of other processing engines, or XPUs, to our portfolio,” Swan wrote in regard to Intel’s new discrete GPUs. “We’ve made great strides in graphics and are now scaling our graphics architecture from integrated to discrete levels of performance.”

“Our first discrete GPU, ‘DG1,’ is shipping now and will be in systems from multiple OEMs later in Q4,” he confirmed. “We also powered-on our next-generation GPU for Client, ‘DG2.’ Based on our Xe high-performance gaming architecture, this product will take our discrete graphics capability up the stack into the enthusiast segment.”

That bit about DG2 being an Xe HPG product is particularly interesting. While Iris Xe Max is merely an appetizer, DG2 should be the main meal that reveals whether Intel can produce a GPU that can compete with GeForce and Radeon cards.

Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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