Intel’s Iris Xe Desktop Discrete GPU now Available, Incompatible With AMD CPU’s

Back at CES 2020, Intel first announced its discrete GPU for small and medium enterprises and now its desktop version is finally shipping. The GPU is not, however, available to regular customers and the company ships it to manufacturers to put in pre-built systems instead. The Iris Xe, formerly known as DG1, is based on the integrated GPU platform of Tiger Lake and, to our surprise, it is actually less specific than its integrated mobile counterpart found in laptops. It has 80 execution units, 4GB of memory for LPDDR4X and support for HDR.

Intel Iris Xe Series Specifications

Iris Xe MAXIris Xe
Architecture10 nm SuperFin10 nm SuperFin
Execution Units 96 80
GPU Frequency 1650 MHzTBC
Memory bus width 128 bit 128 bit
Memory bandwidth 68 GB/s 68 GB/s
TDP 25 W 30 W
PCI ExpressPCIe 4.0 x4PCIe 4.0 x16

Intel Iris Incompatible with AMD CPUs

This is the first time in almost 22 years since Intel’s 740 was released, Intel graphics cards will be available to consumers. For Intel Iris Xe discrete desktop graphics cards to work, Legit Reviews revealed yesterday, a special UEFI BIOS is required. The announcement of Intel’s first dGPU for system integrators and OEMs has sparked pleasure among GPU enthusiasts. Finally, we get to see a third player entering the game after so many years. Intel Iris Xe Graphics is equipped with the Xe-LP architecture-based DG1 GPU. With only 80 Execution Units (640 Shading Units), this is an entry-level performance, well below anything gaming oriented.

However, the Iris Xe graphics cards are not targeted towards gamers. For low-power and low-cost multimedia machines, home entertainment systems, or business consumers, these cards are intended to be offered. We may finally see true competition in gaming markets only with Intel’s Xe-HPG based DG2 GPU, which is now needed more than ever, as both NVIDIA and AMD are facing supply problems. Intel had already confirmed, however, that an external foundry would manufacture DG2, which could also be affected by wafer constraints.

When it comes to Iris Xe, Intel has confirmed that only certain Intel systems, namely Coffee Lake-S and Comet Lake-S, will work with the graphics card. It also requires a special motherboard chipset, and neither of them is new. More significantly, however, on AMD systems, the Iris Xe graphics card won’t work.