This is the first Intel Xe DG1 graphics card and it’s shipping to devs right now

We've seen the new Intel Xe in the flesh, and there's a whole lot of potential in there...

Intel Xe DG1

Intel has begun shipping DG1 Intel Xe graphics cards. Marking the company’s return to the discrete GPU game after nearly a decade on the sidelines, Intel DG1 SDV (software development vehicle) is now in the hands of developers and ISVs. Oh, and that card pictured is the real-deal.

That rippled silver add-in card pictured above houses the DG1 silicon, Intel’s first GPU out the door under the Intel Xe architecture umbrella. The shroud and design are entirely bespoke to the SDV GPU for developers, and we’re told not to expect a matching model for client-side PC gaming. Intel wouldn’t say whether it could look similar to this, however. I’d bet the ‘Xe’ logo on the backplate will stick around on at least a few models. And the LEDs, of course the LEDs. That is, if discrete add-in cards are even a thing, which is yet to be confirmed or denied.

It’s working too, chomping through actual games. Over at a CES 2020 briefing, senior members of Intel’s visual computing team – Ari Rauch, John Webb, and Damien Triolet – offered up a glimpse of live gameplay in Warframe. They say this should not be taken as a representation of performance, as the card’s main purpose is to familiarise devs with Xe’s feature set… but for the record it was running at 30fps on low at 1080p.

I’d say that strengthens rumours of a 96 EU graphics card to match the integrated graphics on the way with Intel Tiger Lake processors. Want to know why? When asked whether there would be any co-processing between iGPU and dGPU, Intel’s Ari Rauch tells us: “it’s an amazing question,” before cutting the conversation short with a tell-tale “we’re not discussing that at this time” response, and Webb tells us to “wait for that part of the story.”

If I were a betting man, I’d be leaving Vegas without my shoes, but I’d also be willing to bet that’s a bit of a tell as to Intel’s plan for multi-GPU support across its Intel Xe products, Tiger Lake and DG1.

But pinch of salt and all that jazz. Today, all we know is Intel’s shipping a relatively low-performance GPU out the door to get developers through the door. And that it’s a rather dashing graphics card, truth be told.

“We have to make sure applications are making the most of what we’re doing,” Webb continues.

It remains a possibility that Intel DG1 will exist solely as a mobile part despite today’s announcement.

Oh, and we’re told the Intel Xe name will make a little more sense closer to launch… something about representing its multitude of features and functions. Marketing, eh?

Intel will be carrying out another Odyssey Reddit AYA on January 16, 2020, between 9-10am PT. That will focus largely on software enablement, and a few software developers will be joining in – so make sure not to miss it for the latest details on what Intel Xe has to offer.