Leak hints at how Intel Xe graphics cards might compare to rivals

(Image credit: Intel)

Intel has accidentally leaked some codenames and details of its incoming discrete graphics cards, and also some Rocket Lake CPUs.

This comes from a graphics driver spilled unintentionally by Intel, picked up on by an eagle-eyed Anandtech forum member.

The leak comprised of the following model names (and some clues therein) for Intel’s Xe 10nm graphics cards which are expected to come out in 2020:

  • iDG1LPDEV = "Intel(R) UHD Graphics, Gen12 LP DG1" "gfx-driver-ci-master-2624"
  • iDG2HP512 = "Intel(R) UHD Graphics, Gen12 HP DG2" "gfx-driver-ci-master-2624" 
  • iDG2HP256 = "Intel(R) UHD Graphics, Gen12 HP DG2" "gfx-driver-ci-master-2624" 
  • iDG2HP128 = "Intel(R) UHD Graphics, Gen12 HP DG2" "gfx-driver-ci-master-2624"

The ‘DG’ in the codename is likely to stand for ‘discrete graphics’ (meaning a standalone GPU on a board, as opposed to an integrated graphics solution in a processor), and the ‘LP’ and ‘HP’ designations seemingly refer to low-power or high-power (and therefore more powerful) parts.

But the really interesting bit is looking at the beefier high-power trio of GPUs, the number at the end of the codename could reportedly indicate the number of execution units (EUs) carried by the graphics card.

That’s certainly our (and everyone else’s) best guess, and it would mean that these three graphics cards would utilize 128, 256 and 512 EUs respectively.

Mid-range – or more?

So, bear in mind that this is all speculation, but it seems that Intel’s initial Xe offerings target mid-range GPU territory, although we must also remember that we only have very small (potentially errant) pieces of information here in those numbers.

Even if this guesswork is on the money, a lot will depend on the clock speed Intel is aiming for with these products. There’s chatter about higher clock speeds being targeted, such as base clocks of around 1800MHz or 1900MHz, and that could make Intel’s Xe competitive with Nvidia’s higher-end GeForce RTX cards.

But we best not start drawing too much in the way of conclusions here, because this is all very sketchy. It’s nevertheless interesting to get a potential hint at how powerful these Xe GPUs might be, and given that they are due next year, it probably won’t be too long before we witness some benchmark leaks spilling out to give us a real indication of performance.

Another exciting element pertaining to Xe graphics cards is Intel’s recent revelation that hardware ray tracing will be supported, in data center GPUs anyway – and hopefully by extension, consumer products (which would again rival Nvidia’s RTX offerings).

As mentioned at the outset, this driver leak also revealed a few nuggets of info about the integrated graphics of incoming Rocket Lake processors.

Rocket Lake is Intel’s follow-up to Comet Lake, the latter being the chip giant’s next mainstream 10th-gen processors which we should also see next year, or perhaps even sooner, built on a revised 14nm+++ node, and coming with a potential Ryzen 9 3900X beater (which could really turn things around for Intel).

At any rate, Rocket Lake is expected in 2020, and its Gen11 integrated graphics will arrive in GT0, GT0.5 and GT1 variants, with the latter two running with 16 and 32 EUs respectively. There will also be a GT1 Pro spin, too.

Via Tom’s Hardware