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Intel's gaming DG2 GPUs are coming to laptops too

Intel Iris Xe Max GPU
(Image credit: Intel)
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Hot on the heels of Intel announcing its Xe-HPG DG2 (opens in new tab) graphics cards are 'right around the corner' (opens in new tab), there is now rumour that DG2 will be heading to laptops. Igor's Labs (opens in new tab) has been talking to laptop manufacturers and believes we'll be seeing mobile versions of DG2 shipping with the mobile spins of Alder Lake, Intel's next-generation hybrid chips this autumn. 

Lower powered SKUs of the GPUs with 4GB of RAM and 196 and 128 graphics execution units (EUs) are expected in late October, with more powerful variants bridging the Holiday 2021 period. 

There are apparently five SKUs of DG2 in total, with the amount of EUs being the main differentiator along with the clock speeds and the amount of GDDR6 RAM attached to them. Having a full line-up of options is a good call here, as laptop manufacturers like to be able to hit a number of price points in their portfolios. 

The biggest version of DG2 is expected to have 512 EUs, with 16GB of GDDR6 to call its own, although we probably won't see this until the start of 2022. That chip also appears to have a thermal design power (TDP) of 100W. That's a lot for the chip on its own and doesn't include the memory, so this isn't going to be a GPU you're going to be able to squeeze into an ultra-thin and light. 

It's still fairly early days for DG2, but it feels like there's a lot riding on Intel getting its GPUs right this time. Its predecessor, the unsurprisingly titled DG1, appeared to go out to select developers (opens in new tab), but it didn't advance much beyond that. 

Whether DG1 simply lacked the raw power to have an impact in the market, or there were other problems, we'll probably never know, but Intel needs to get a lot right this time around. And a graphics card is much more than just the hardware. 

One potential issue with this move is many end-users associate Intel with the not-really capable integrated graphics that are squeezed in alongside its CPUs. It's going to take some serious re-education to get the idea across that DG2 is different, assuming it can actually bring serious framerates to our games. 

It looks like buying the best gaming laptop (opens in new tab) is about to get a lot more interesting,

Alan Dexter
Alan Dexter

Alan has been writing about PC tech since before 3D graphics cards existed, and still vividly recalls having to fight with MS-DOS just to get games to load. He fondly remembers the killer combo of a Matrox Millenium and 3dfx Voodoo, and seeing Lara Croft in 3D for the first time. He's very glad hardware has advanced as much as it has though, and is particularly happy when putting the latest M.2 NVMe SSDs, AMD processors, and laptops through their paces. He has a long-lasting Magic: The Gathering obsession but limits this to MTG Arena these days.