New leak suggests Intel DG2 (Xe-HPG) GPUs would first launch on laptops in late 2021, desktop cards possibly releasing next year
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Intel has been hyping the launch of its DG2 (Xe-HPG) gaming GPUs for nearly a year now, and the latest performance leaks from a few months ago were positioning the high-end 512 EU model somewhere between an RTX 3070 and an RTX 3080 from Nvidia. Intel’s Raja Koduri also teased some board testing and even showed off the multi-chip design for the 512 EU model so it looked like we could really see Intel returning to the discrete GPU market with a vengeance later this year. However, a new leak coming from RedGamingTech now claims that DG2 might actually release first on laptops, with desktop-size dGPUs coming later in 2022.
It certainly makes sense if we think about how DG1 was first sneaked into laptop models as the Iris Xe MAX dGPU and then just recently launched as a desktop-size graphics card. If this is indeed the case for DG2 as well, then perhaps we might need to lower our performance expectations for the laptop models. According to RedGamingTech, we could be looking at maybe something as fast as an RTX 3060 Ti for the laptop-based DG2 high-end models, which is more in line with the RTX 3070 mobile performance. Judging by the number of memory modules acquired by Intel for the DG2 cards reported by RedGamingTech, we could be looking at 400-500 thousand GPUs prepared for the Q421 launch.
One of the reasons behind this change of focus from desktop to laptop dGPUs is the difficulty with finding AIB partners. Intel can much more easily offer an Intel CPU + Intel dGPU solution through its major laptop partners, to which it also provides considerable incentives. In this regard, we might see laptop OEMs cutting down on their AMD-based and Nvidia-based mobile offerings in favor of the new Intel DG2.
Another reason for the focus shift is related to the voltage and core clocks that cannot yet go as high as the AMD and Nvidia desktop counterparts. Intel still needs to tweak these aspects for the desktop cards, but the mobile versions seem to already offer decent performance metrics in line with what AMD and Nvidia are offering right now.
This rumor seems to be supported by the recent Geekbench leak showing a DG2 dGPU with 256 EUs coupled to a mobile Alder Lake CPU with 14 cores and 20 threads. The results are disappointingly low, as a 96 EU DG1 model can score noticeably higher, but we should keep in mind that these sort of leaks usually occur for engineering samples that are still being tuned.