Image: ASUS

Intel announced its first Iris Xe discrete desktop graphics cards yesterday but revealed the unfortunate news that they would only be available as part of a pre-built system. Those of you who are considering getting one to pull apart in order to see what ASUS and Colorful’s DG1 variants can do on a test system may want to rethink that, as Intel has confirmed that the GPUs will only work with select combinations of Intel Core processors and motherboards. That’s because they require a special BIOS that supports Iris Xe.

“The Iris Xe discrete add-in card will be paired with 9th gen (Coffee Lake-S) and 10th gen (Comet Lake-S) Intel Core desktop processors and Intel(R) B460, H410, B365, and H310C chipset-based motherboards and sold as part of pre-built systems,” Intel said in a statement sent to Legit Reviews. “These motherboards require a special BIOS that supports Intel Iris Xe, so the cards won’t be compatible with other systems.”

What this means is that Intel’s first Iris Xe discrete desktop GPUs are relegated to the company’s lower-ended chipsets and can’t be paired with the more popular and premium Z490 platform. It also means that the GPUs have zero compatibility with any kind of AMD system, which some critics claim isn’t all that surprising.

“The new cards offer a compelling upgrade to existing options in the market segment,” Intel wrote in yesterday’s press release. “They feature three display outputs; hardware video decode and encode acceleration, including AV1 decode support; Adaptive Sync; Display HDR support and artificial intelligence capabilities thanks to DP4a deep-learning inference acceleration. The Iris Xe discrete graphics cards come with 80 execution units and 4 gigabytes of video memory.”

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14 Comments

  1. What’s an Intel? Isn’t that like from the 90’s or something?

    At least it’s a start, 10 years from now, at least 1080 ti performance with twice the thermals.

  2. FAIL.

    If it isn’t standards compliant and able to be mixed and matched with almost any hardware that comprises a computer, IMHO it doesn’t meet my definition of PC.

  3. [QUOTE=”Eduardo_Domingot, post: 28401, member: 246″]
    I have no idea what they are thinking with this…
    [/QUOTE]

    My best guess?

    They have very limited availability initially, and sales won’t justify the cost of testing on all platforms, like AMD and Nvidia do, so they limit it to a select few platforms initially to keep costs down, and launch in volume with the next gen when they might have better production volumes.

    It’s either that or they are going for some weird lock-in strategy that makes no sense.

  4. My guess is some backwards exclusivity agreement with the OEMs. Something like “OEMs guarantee to buy XXX number of units and include them only with specific mobo/CPU combos, but only if Intel agrees to exclusivity for these to the OEM”

  5. Any reason is just a complex excuse for incompetence.
    I was lead to believe Intel in coming!! Intel is coming!!!
    I do understand a weak card, small silicon, cheap memory, cheap card. Whats not acceptable is everything else, low availability, and now zero compatibility.

  6. This card is only for OEM builders. Don’t get out your pitchforks for this. The more powerful consumer cards are coming, including the HPG which is supposed to compete with NVIDIA’s top end cards.

  7. [QUOTE=”Armenius, post: 28542, member: 180″]
    This card is only for OEM builders. Don’t get out your pitchforks for this. The more powerful consumer cards are coming, including the HPG which is supposed to compete with NVIDIA’s top end cards.
    [/QUOTE]
    I guess what we are all thinking is … why do OEM builders even want this?

  8. [QUOTE=”Brian_B, post: 28548, member: 96″]
    I guess what we are all thinking is … why do OEM builders even want this?
    [/QUOTE]
    For business users with minimal 3d needs if any.

  9. [QUOTE=”Grimlakin, post: 28555, member: 215″]
    For business users with minimal 3d needs if any.
    [/QUOTE]
    And IGP isn’t good enough, but a low tier GPu is too good?

    that’s a very very small window

  10. [QUOTE=”Zarathustra, post: 28414, member: 203″]
    FAIL.

    If it isn’t standards compliant and able to be mixed and matched with almost any hardware that comprises a computer, IMHO it doesn’t meet my definition of PC.
    [/QUOTE]

    in that case there are no pc’s according to that definition.

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