Intel Gaming XE GPU leak hints at possible RTX 3080 killer

Weeks after Intel’s new CEO Pat Gelsinger’s revealed the company’s “IDM 2.0 game plan,” a new leak has given further insight into the company’s plans to reenter the discrete gaming GPU market. An Intel Gaming XE GPU leak hints at a card that may easily rival Nvidia’s hard-to-find RTX 3080.

A video posted by Moore’s Law is Dead shows images of an engineering sample of the Intel Gaming 512EU XE DG2 GPU, revealing more information about it. The GPU is said to be based on the Gen 12 XE Architecture used in Intel’s Tiger Lake CPUs with a 2.2Ghz clock speed, 16 gigabytes of GDDR6 and a 275 watt expected power draw.

According to the channel’s source, performance is to be “expected” to be at a performance target the likes of Nvidia’s RTX 3070 and RTX 3080, and should exceed the RTX 3060. In terms of software, Intel is said to be working on software and drivers that have “impressive prosumer capabilities.”

Apart from this, the leak also suggests that Intel is also building its own technology, internally codenamed XeSS, to compete with Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS).

DLSS is one of Nvidia’s main selling points for its Ampere-powered RTX 30 series. This allows its GPUs to offer higher frame rates and better resolution but while requiring less GPU resources by use of an AI algorithm that is “trained” to sample in-game graphics and be upscale them to a much higher resolution. Intel’s XeSS aims to adapt to the said technology and create something better.

AMD, on the other hand, also has a similar technology in the works called FidelityFX Super Resolution which forgoes the need of machine learning but still offers similar capabilities to Nvidia’s DLSS.

Previous rumours and leaks have stated that the technology would come with AMD’s Radeon RX 6800 and Radeon RX 6800T which were supposed to launch last March 31. But Scottt Herkelman, VP for Graphics at AMD stated in an interview with PCWorld that “much work” still needs to be done and that the cards, and Fidelity FX Super Resolution, might see a late 2021 release. This could provide an opportunity for Intel if they’re able to launch their own GPU with XeSS enabled.

But Intel may not be able to capitalize on AMD’s delay as the Intel Gaming XE GPU leak hints that the card won’t see the light of day until Q4 2021 with prosumer and professional following in 2022. That said Intel has yet to make any official announcement regarding the release of the GPU.

While the delayed release may be unfortunate, that Intel is working on a high-end gaming GPU—especially after the spectacular failure of Larabee in the late 2000s—shows that the company is serious about regaining the market share it lost. Alongside the recently announced Intel Foundry Service a reality, as well as initial rumors of a Lunar Lake 14th generation CPUs, Intel under Pat Helsinger may very well be able to claw its way back to the position of leadership it once held.

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