Latest Intel Xe DG2 512 EU gaming GPU detailed spec leak suggests RTX 3070 Ti performance levels and ~$400 pricing by Q421
Intel has been planning a dramatic return to the discrete graphics market for a few years now, with Raja Koduri constantly teasing the upcoming DG2 Xe-HPG as a worthy competitor for Nvidia’s and AMD’s gaming GPUs. While increased competitiveness is always a good thing in any market, especially for end users, Intel’s track record as of late is leading many analysts to doubt its capacity to produce a true gaming GPU alternative to Ampere and Navi2. If you are still not convinced Intel can deliver on its promises, Tom from Moore’s Law Is Dead might change your mind with his latest Xe DG2 leaked specs and pics that come from trusted sources. Tom already presented some specs in the past months, but his sources are now able to confirm that Xe DG2 is indeed going to be a worthy competitor, even if Tom tries his best to play things down and not seem too hyped.
The new pics provided by Tom do not really reveal much as far as specs are concerned. The radiator does not look too thick so the cards might end up requiring just one slot, and the fan design is pretty standard, although Tom mentions that the high-end cards could get something more flashy. The only thing that really stands out in the pictures is the power delivery system that includes an 8-pin and a 6-pin connector. This detail supports the leaked TGP of up to 275 W, which is also corroborated with the higher core clocks of 2.2 GHz. The 512 EU model is supposed to get 16 GB of GDDR6 VRAM with a 256-bit bus, but Tom is still not sure what node Intel is employing. We already know these GPUs will be produced by TSMC, but Intel might employ the N6 node rather than the N7P one.
For performance targets, the previous goals of matching the RTX 3070 are now slightly raised to be somewhere between the RTX 3070 and the RTX 3080. Tom specifies that “top Xe should be treated like an RTX 3070 Ti.” Apparently, Intel’s internal testing using 3DMark’s Time Spy benchmark revealed results raging between an RTX 2080 and an RTX 3090, but, realistically, we should not expect the 512 EU model to compete with the RTX 3080.
Intel is working hard to provide stable implementations for ray tracing, super sampling (XeSS as an alternative to Nvidia’s DLSS) and hardware video encoding. Tom is clearly excited about the hardware video encoding features, saying that the Intel GPUs will deliver far better performance compared to Nvidia’s capabilities. Driver optimization is probably the only thing hindering the release of these cards right now. Intel wants everything to be as optimized as possible at launch and this plays right into the next point Tom is making… release window.
Unfortunately, the Intel Xe DG2 cards may only launch in Q4 2021. It looks like Intel does not even have a final design for AIB partners as of yet. There should be 128 EU and 256 EU versions, but it is unknown if these will launch together with the 512 EU model. Intel also plans to release professional and prosumer variants at some point in 2022, and the sources are already hearing details about a successor codenamed “Elasti” scheduled to release in 2023.
Pricing details are not yet clear. Sources are citing $200-300 MSRPs for the mid-range (256 EU) models, and Tom is suggesting that the 512 EU variant could end up costing ~$400. However, we live in a world heavily affected by chip shortages and it all comes down to initial supplies. From what we hear, the shortages may continue to affect the GPU market until 2022, and if Intel cannot provide generous launch stocks, it really does not matter if these cards are aggressively priced. Scalpers could pose a problem too, if the cards are indeed sought after, and there is always the possibility that Intel’s new GPUs could surprise with above average crypto mining efficiency.