Intel is taking its re-entry into the discrete graphics card market seriously.
Hot ᴏɴ tʜᴇ ʜᴇels ᴏꜰ Intel ᴀɴɴᴏuncɪɴg ɪᴛs Xe-HPG DG2 graphics ᴄᴀʀds ᴀʀᴇ 'ʀɪɢʜᴛ aʀᴏᴜɴᴅ tʜᴇ ᴄᴏʀɴer', tʜᴇre ɪs ɴᴏw rumᴏᴜʀ thᴀᴛ DG2 ᴡɪʟʟ ʙᴇ ʜᴇadɪɴg ᴛᴏ lapᴛᴏps. Iɢᴏr's Labs hᴀs ʙᴇen ᴛᴀʟᴋɪɴg ᴛᴏ lapᴛᴏp mᴀɴufᴀᴄᴛurers ᴀɴd ʙᴇʟɪᴇves ᴡᴇ'll ʙᴇ sᴇᴇɪɴg mobile versiᴏɴs ᴏꜰ DG2 sʜɪᴘpɪɴg wɪᴛh tʜᴇ mobile spɪɴs ᴏꜰ Alder Lake, Intel's ɴᴇxᴛ-generᴀᴛiᴏɴ hybrid chips tʜɪs autumn.
Lower powered SKUs of the GPUs with 4GB of RAM and 196 and 128 graphics execution units (EUs) are expected in late October, with more powerful variants bridging the Holiday 2021 period.
There are apparently five SKUs of DG2 in total, with the amount of EUs being the main differentiator along with the clock speeds and the amount of GDDR6 RAM attached to them. Having a full line-up of options is a good call here, as laptop manufacturers like to be able to hit a number of price points in their portfolios.
The biggest version of DG2 is expected to have 512 EUs, with 16GB of GDDR6 to call its own, although we probably won't see this until the start of 2022. That chip also appears to have a thermal design power (TDP) of 100W. That's a lot for the chip on its own and doesn't include the memory, so this isn't going to be a GPU you're going to be able to squeeze into an ultra-thin and light.
It's still fairly early days for DG2, but it feels like there's a lot riding on Intel getting its GPUs right this time. Its predecessor, the unsurprisingly titled DG1, appeared to go out to select developers, but it didn't advance much beyond that.
Whether DG1 simply lacked the raw power to have an impact in the market, or there were other problems, we'll probably never know, but Intel needs to get a lot right this time around. And a graphics card is much more than just the hardware.
One potential issue with this move is many end-users associate Intel with the not-really capable integrated graphics that are squeezed in alongside its CPUs. It's going to take some serious re-education to get the idea across that DG2 is different, assuming it can actually bring serious framerates to our games.
It looks like buying the best gaming laptop is about to get a lot more interesting,