Intel Iris Xe Max, discrete GPU for slim notebooks ‘Tiger Lake’ announced
Intel’s 11th Gen Core ‘Tiger Lake’ CPUs are the first to feature the company’s new integrated Xe graphics architecture. Just as laptops built around these CPUs go on sale in many parts of the world, the company has revealed that some of them will also ship with its first discrete GPU, the Intel Iris Xe Max. In a surprise announcement, Intel has also revealed details of how laptops can use discrete and integrated Xe GPUs together to boost graphics performance and speed up certain types of compute-intensive or artificial intelligence-based tasks.
The Intel Iris Xe Max name was first leaked when Intel included the product badge in a presentation of its brand identity review in September. More recently, it has appeared on laptop manufacturer listings, including a Acer laptop launch announcement.
The Intel Iris Xe Max GPU is based on the same Xe-LP GPU as the integrated GPUs in 11th Gen Core Tiger Lake processors. It is aimed at thin and light laptops and will be able to work together with an integrated GPU. This is enabled through a software framework that Intel calls Deep Link. The main applications that can be accelerated by “stacking” the capabilities of both GPUs include AI inference and video encoding.
Deep Link can also dynamically manage power and thermal headroom between the GPU and CPU, resulting in a 20 percent improvement in CPU performance when the GPU is idle. This is similar to AMD SmartShift power optimization function.
Intel claims that AI-based content creation is up to 7x faster in the 11th Gen Core i7-1165G7 CPU plus Iris Xe Max GPU compared to 10 laptopth Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 CPU and Nvidia GeForce MX350 GPU. In terms of media encoding, Intel says it has achieved 1.78 times better results than with a Core i9-10980HK and GeForce RTX 2080 Super (MaxQ).
The Iris Xe Max GPU features up to 96 execution units, which is the same as the high-end integrated implementation, but has a higher maximum clock speed of 1.65GHz. It takes advantage of Intel’s 10nm SuperFin transistor technology. It can take advantage of the PCIe 4.0 speed to connect to the CPU and it has 4 GB of LPDDR4X memory with a bandwidth of 68 GBps. Up to four displays can be run simultaneously via HDMI 2.0b, DisplayPort 1.4, or internal eDP. Variable speed shading and adaptive timing are supported.
In terms of gaming performance, the Iris Xe Max is positioned against Nvidia’s entry-level discrete GeForce MX350 GPU, so you can expect to play relatively modern games at 1080p on medium to low settings with frame rates above 30fps. .
Acer, Asus and Dell have simultaneously introduced the first laptops with Iris Xe Max GPUs. The Acer Swift 3X, Asus VivoBook TP470 and Dell Inspiron 15 7000 2-in-1 will go on sale in some parts of the world in November.
Intel had long ago promised to launch a discrete GPU in 2020, as part of a overwhelming effort to review its integrated and discrete graphics capabilities. The company hired AMD’s head of Radeon graphics, Raja koduriand several other key executives. At this year’s CES, the Discrete GPU Test Vehicle DG1 it was shown and distributed to developers. Intel also promised to launch a High-end gaming GPU for desktop PCs at its recent Architecture Day event, which will support hardware ray tracing and manufactured in a third-party foundry. Integrated Xe GPUs are also coming to the desktop starting with 11th Gen ‘Rocket Lake’ CPUs next year.