New Intel listings suggest devs and manufacturers are testing Xe gaming GPUs

Intel Xe GPU
Pictured: Intel's SDV (software development vehicle) for DG1, announced at CES 2020. (Image credit: Intel)

Intel's upcoming gaming graphics cards appear to be shipping out for testing and validation. One entry on the EEC database shows a demo board for Intel's upcoming gaming GPU, DG2, is out in the wild. While another hints at a DG2 software development platform making the rounds.

"Demo board DG2 Pre PO board kit host" arrived late last month, while a "Discrete Graphics SDP software development platform (DGD22SEH1X)" turned up today, March 1. The latter could be for another GPU, not DG2, but the codename suggests it could well be DG2 in the flesh.

There's not too much known about Intel's gaming graphics cards just yet, but the Intel Xe architecture at its core has been around for some time within 11th Gen Tiger Lake laptops. Those max out at 96 Execution Units (EUs), while the discrete variants will reportedly be fit with up to 512 EUs.

Some rumoured specs have already been spreading around the usual channels, suggesting six discrete Intel graphics cards in the Xe DG2 lineup, with the top card potentially capable of facing off against the AMD RX 6800.

So performance is sure to be significantly different from what we experienced with Tiger Lake.

Integrated Xe GPUs also had a similar Software Development Vehicle (SDV) ahead of availability. This was actually a discrete graphics card that aimed to bolster the software ecosystem ahead of the iGPU availability with Tiger Lake.

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DG2 is also built using a different subset of Intel Xe architecture: Xe-HPG. That's a specific gaming-focused version of the GPU design. Mobile chips so far have been released with the Xe-LP architecture, while upcoming supercomputer chips brandish Xe-HPC. What differentiates the low-power and server-side architectures from the gaming one, we don't precisely know.

Intel officially 'powered on' DG2 GPUs last year, and appears to be on track to deliver this year. At least to some degree—we don't yet know which SKUs or chips it plans to launch as a part of its gaming GPU lineup. 

With that in mind, it's not all that surprising to see Intel taking the steps to ready the wider ecosystem and software in time for its big release.

Jacob Ridley
Senior Hardware Editor

Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things as hardware writer at PCGamesN, and would go on to run the team as hardware editor. Since then he's joined PC Gamer's top staff as senior hardware editor, where he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industries and testing the newest PC components.