Intel Xe-HPG DG2 Discrete Gaming Board PCB shown in leaked image
It’s no secret that the true Intel desktop performance graphics card is on the way, affectionately known as the DG2. Thanks to a leak earlier this month, we know that Xe HPG (Xe High Performance Gaming) will apparently be available in five distinct flavors, with between 128 and 512 threads. We also looked at the assumed PCB layout for at least one DG2 SKU. Now, however, it looks like we have a first look at the actual PCBs based on Intel’s big GPU.
Thanks to Law is Dead by YouTuber Moore, we get a (heavily watermarked) photo of the PCB with some noticeable spec changes. Let’s go to those first. Apparently now the 512 EU version of DG2 will grow over 2.2 GHz which is over 20% faster than previously reported. The target wattage for desktop versions is said to be less than 235 watts, which is comparable to NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 3070. This seems to match the supposed performance, which falls somewhere between the 3070 and the larger GeForce RTX 3080.
Intel DG2 PCB rumored (Credit: Moore’s Law is Dead on YouTube) – click for a larger version
When superimposed on the diagram previously released by Igor’s Lab, the ball grid array (BGA) of the pictured graphics card appears to line up quite well with the supposedly top-of-the-line 512 EU version. However, the way the cooler appears to be mounted in the photo conflicts with where the GDDR6 VRAM would be, so maybe we should take that with a grain of salt. Intel’s Pete Brubaker says the final version of the card is “right around the corner” so we’ll see how that goes.
Beyond the simple graphics grunt, Intel is apparently confident in the other features of its DG2. The YouTuber cites its leaked source as saying that Intel is “confident that they will crush” competing video encoders on other discrete graphics cards. Intel’s QuickSync was one of the first technologies to offload video encoding from the processor to dedicated hardware, and every consumer graphics card in recent years has the same capacity. Ray-tracing support is of course on the table, and Intel apparently believes it has a competitive solution, but expects NVIDIA’s second-gen RTX hardware to retain an advantage. Apparently, Team Blue also has an alternative DLSS technology in the works, a necessity to limit the impact on ray traced graphics rendering performance. AMD’s DLSS competitor is still in development and Big Navi GPUs could benefit as well.
Hopes are pretty high in the PC enthusiast community, given all the shortages of NVIDIA and AMD graphics cards. NVIDIA has tried to tackle its supply issues with newer low hash rate (LHR) models, but it remains to be seen if that will give available cards a boost and bring them closer to retail prices. If Intel’s new GPU can also achieve performance levels supposedly approaching a GeForce RTX 3080, it would likely further increase the supply of discrete graphics in the market and take the strain off gamers around the world.