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This article was published on January 26, 2021

Intel now sells desktop graphics cards, but don’t get your hopes up

This isn't an alternative to that RTX 3090 you can't find

Intel now sells desktop graphics cards, but don’t get your hopes up

Intel seriously doubled down on graphics performance with the launch of its Iris Xe graphics on laptops last year, all while implying it would bring similar gains to the more crowded desktop market as well. Today we are seeing the first inkling of this with the launch of Intel’s first dedicated, plug-it-in-a-slot desktop GPU in decades.

The card is simply dubbed the DG1 (I’m going to hazard a guess that’s “desktop graphics 1”), and is being co-designed with ASUS and another unnamed partner. That said, don’t expect it to compete with any of Nvidia or AMD’s most popular cards. In Intel’s own words, the cards are “designed for mainstream PC’s and small- and medium-size businesses,” and are being “sold to system integrators who will offer Iris Xe discrete graphs as part of pre-built systems.”

In other words, it seems this isn’t a card you’ll just be able to pick up at a Best Buy, nor does Intel provide much concrete information about performance, although it appears to be very similar to the Xe Max chip. The company does specify the cards come with 80 execution units and 4 gigs of video memory.

Rather than serious gaming, the card seems primarily aimed at accelerating day to day tasks like improving encoding and decoding performance, and offering features like adaptive sync and better multi-monitor support (up to three 4K HDR displays). Intel also claims its DP4 AI acceleration will help improve tasks like photo and video editing.

But hey, it’s a start. We know Intel is also working on its high-end Xe-HPG (High-Performance Gaming) cards — announced back in August. These are the cards meant to make Nvidia and AMD take notice, but it seems we’ll have to wait longer to see exactly what Team Blue has in store for desktop gamers.

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