Intel’s Xe gaming GPU testing is well underway, suggesting a 2021 release

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Intel’s Xe HPG, or high-performance gaming graphics card, has again been teased online, with testing apparently well underway with the GPU.

Raja Koduri, chief architect and head of the graphics division at Intel, tweeted about the HPG card being in action with 3DMark’s incoming Mesh Shader Feature test (as spotted by VideoCardz).

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What exactly is being tested here isn’t as exciting as the simple news that the Xe HPG is being fully put through its paces now, suggesting that development might be proceeding on track.

You may recall that we’re hopeful for a 2021 launch for this new graphics card, although chatter from the GPU grapevine has suggested that perhaps early 2022 could be more realistic. With testing now seemingly advancing nicely, perhaps the former potential launch timeframe looks a bit more likely. Fingers crossed.

Mesh pit

As for mesh shading, if that sounds familiar, then it’s probably because you recall Nvidia introducing this for its Turing graphics cards (RTX 2000 models) back at the close of 2018. Essentially, it’s a performance boosting technique to help with faster frame-rates without noticeable detriment to image quality (we explain more here, and Nvidia shares a neat demo too).

Intel doesn’t intend to make this heavyweight gaming GPU – which could rival Nvidia’s RTX 3070 – itself, with production set to be outsourced to a third-party fab. If the rumor mill is right, it’ll be TSMC’s enhanced 7nm process which will be used for the card.

Speculation also points to the use of GDDR6 video memory, and of course we already know that the GPU will support ray tracing, which is obviously a requirement in terms of standing a chance against Nvidia and AMD.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).