Despite the global chip shortage currently bottlenecking hardware supply and subsequently raising the prices of graphics cards again, one of the most exciting upcoming launches is Intel’s very own DG2 graphics card. We’ve heard very little about it so far, but a new leak suggests the top-end model performs between the RTX 3070 and RTX 3080, and that Intel is working on their own alternative to Nvidia’s DLSS.
Intel DG2 graphics card specs
Let’s start off with the big one: Intel is planning to announce and release their DG2 desktop graphics card based on the Xe-HPG architecture by the end of the year. It will come in 3 different SKUs: the one with 512 EUs (Execution Units) will be the top-end model, followed by 2 more SKUs with 384 EUs, and 128 EUs.
The leak comes from an engineering sample that features 1 of 3 different cooler designs currently being evaluated, but it does give us some information regarding the specs.
According to the new leak, the 512 EU card could feature boost clocks up to 2.2GHz, which is in the range of AMD’s RX 6000 series and slightly higher than Nvidia’s RTX 30 series. The model in this leak has 16GB of GDDR6 memory across a 256-bit memory bus, which was already (accidentally) confirmed by Intel just over a week ago.
However, it looks like the TDP has changed from the previously revealed specs, with the 512 EU model featuring a TDP range of 225W-275W as the 8 + 6 pin power connector has a maximum wattage of 300W and usually denotes a GPU within that power range. It was supposedly initially planned at 225W-250W but Intel has “since pushed it harder”.
The leak provides some very interesting details regarding the DG2 graphics card and its top-end model’s performance, revealing that the 512 EU model “generally performs between the RTX 3070 and RTX 3080.” More specifically, the 512 EU model will be “treated like an RTX 3070 Ti” in terms of performance. However, Intel does not expect the final product to match the RTX 3080’s exact performance.
XeSS: Intel’s DLSS alternative
According to the leak, Intel is working on “some very impressive software for Xe HPG” which apparently includes something called “XeSS”, an internal name for Intel’s very own DLSS alternative. That means Intel’s first enthusiast graphics card for the market will include support for ray tracing as well as image upscaling techniques.
There’s no mention if it will launch at the same time as the DG2 GPU though. AMD is still working on their own FidelityFX Super Resolution which has taken them a while but is still expected to launch later this year on PC. So it is possible Intel’s own version will be available at launch, but there’s no guarantee.
Additionally, it is noted that “the encoding and prosumer capabilities of Xe HPG are universally stated to be incredibly impressive.”
In terms of availability it is said that the 512EU card is “highly unlikely” to release before Q4 2021 as AIBs confirmed they still know very little about the cards and it seems they are still receiving tweaks to their design. Wider availability won’t be ready until 2022, with the 128 EU model following shortly after. A 256 EU version has been mentioned but no indication of a release window just yet.
Interestingly, the successor to the DG2 graphics card has already been referred to as “Elasti” and is expected top launch sometime in 2023.
Finally, for pricing, the DG2 cards haven’t been fully revealed yet, but $200-$300 has been suggested for the midrange GPUs, whilst there has been no mention of pricing for the top end models. Although previous leaks suggested the GPU matching the RTX 3070’s performance could be looking at the $400-$600 price range.
There is mention that Intel has very little reason to price their new graphics card competitively given the current state of the GPU market. However, the leak also suggests that Intel is aware that they will be perceived as an unreliable entrant into the market given this will be their first major desktop GPU, and so they do not want to overprice their cards at first.
Additionally though, we are so far away from the planned launch that pricing could change depending on if the component shortages ease up and how that will affect general availability and pricing of the market.
That’s it for the leak so far, take it all with a grain of salt but the leaker has been known to distribute reliable information in the past regarding Intel’s products. Either way, it is certainly exciting to think what Intel could deliver with their very own graphics cards. And as we’ve already said a million times before, more competition in the market is only a good thing for consumers.
What do you think? How do you feel about the leaked specs and performance for the DG2? Do you think Intel will manage to come up with a decent competitor to DLSS? And what kind of pricing range do you think the top end model will be priced at? Let us know your thoughts!