Intel’s Original DG1 Iris Xe MAX Discrete GPU Gets a Teardown

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Image: Intel

Igor Wallossek has gotten a hold of one of Intel’s DG1 test samples and shared a couple of photos that show what the graphics card looks like on the inside. Note that this isn’t one of Intel’s recently announced Iris Xe discrete desktop GPUs, but the original software development vehicle (SDV) that was designed to allow vendors to optimize for the Xe graphics architecture. It was initially shown off at CES 2020.

“[…] the original DG1 SDV from Intel is the full mobile version with 90 EU (Execution Units) and it also reports itself dutifully in each of the programs as Intel Iris Xe MAX,” Wallossek explained. “In the card tested here, the 96 EUs thus result in 768 FP32 ALUs (‘shaders’). That’s even a bit more than they’ve budgeted for the Iris Xe ‘trimmed’ to 80 EU (640 ALUs), which will be built by vendors like Asus.”

“A total of 8 GB LPDDR4 SDRAM with 2133 MHz are connected to the 128-bit memory interface and at least PCIe 4.0 is supported, even if it is only connected on 8 lanes. This also underlines once again the origin from the mobile sector. The OEM cards of the board partners will probably even have to make do with only 4 GB.”

Wallossek attempted to benchmark the card in AIDA64 and 3DMark but didn’t get far because many of its features were broken due to problematic drivers. Apparently, not even its DisplayPort and HDMI outputs worked. Wallossek estimates that the DG1 SDV is on par with the NVIDIA GT 1030.

Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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