For years now, if you bought a MacBook or a low-priced Windows laptop, there would be a good chance that it would include an integrated-Intel-GPU.
From the times of an ‘Intel HD 4000’ GPU, to the ‘Intel Iris Pro’, they would impressively run games at a good frame-rate on medium settings. But now with features like ray-tracing and DLSS appearing on dedicated graphics cards to help make games shine even more, Intel have been trying to keep up with NVIDIA and AMD.
Which is why Intel recently announced their ‘Intel Xe’ GPU program; a dedicated product that would compete with certain GPU offerings from NVIDIA and AMD.
With that, here’s the details on what’s been announced so far, alongside its specs and potential release date.
Codenamed ‘Arctic Sound’, this is seemingly been in development by Intel for several years, wanting to be a part of the external-GPU club.
At their conference in August, they confirmed that the GPU would feature ray-tracing, GDDR6 video memory, PCI-Express 4.0 slot. Nothing else has been announced as yet.
At the Architecture Day, Intel also spoke of features related to the display and media part of the Xe. The possibilities for different GPU variants that can display 8K video or even ultra-wide is far-reaching, and it could make the Xe an affordable proposition to some. Especially if someone is building a PC for the first time, and they don’t want to buy a GPU for £500.
As this is still early days for the Xe, a price has not been announced. But in the language that Intel are pushing for this GPU, we would speculate that the external card could begin at £200 as an entry-level GPU.
By 2021, costs for certain features, such as gaming in 8K and at higher refresh-rates, will have reduced slightly, with other vendors pushing these features on new variants of their new GPU series. So it wouldn’t too unrealistic to have these features available at this price point in mid-2021.
With COVID-19 still requiring many companies to work from home, delays have been across many industries, so don’t expect this card to appear until at least June of next year.
Intel are currently gearing up to refresh some of their processors for the holidays to time with NVIDIA and AMD’s new GPU launches, so eyes will be on these for the time being.