Intel 11day Gen Core “Tiger Lake” CPU is the first CPU to adopt the company’s new integrated Xe graphics architecture. When notebooks built around these CPUs are on sale in many parts of the world, the company revealed that some of them will also be equipped with its first discrete GPU, the Intel Iris Xe Max. In a surprising announcement, Intel also disclosed details of how laptops can use integrated and discrete Xe GPUs together to improve graphics performance and accelerate certain types of computationally intensive or AI-based tasks.
Intel’s Iris Xe Max’s name was leaked for the first time when Intel included product badges in its brand identity overhaul demonstration in September. Recently, it appeared in the list of notebook manufacturers, including the recent Acer notebook announcement.
The integrated GPU in the Intel Iris Xe Max GPU and the 11th generation Core Tiger Lake processor are based on the same Xe-LP GPU. It is aimed at thin and light laptops and can be used with integrated GPUs. This can be enabled through a software framework that Intel calls “deep linking.” The main applications that can be accelerated by “stacking” two GPUs include AI inference and video encoding.
Deep Link can also dynamically manage the power and heat dissipation space between the GPU and CPU. It is said that CPU performance can be increased by 20% when the GPU is idle. This is similar to AMD’s SmartShift power optimization feature.
Intel claims 11 types of AI-based content creation speed increased by 7 timesday Gen Core i7-1165G7 CPU and Iris Xe Max GPU compared to a laptop with 10 laptopsday Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 CPU and Nvidia GeForce MX350 GPU. In terms of media encoding, Intel said that compared with Core i9-10980HK and GeForce RTX 2080 Super (MaxQ), its performance has increased by 1.78 times.
The Iris Xe Max GPU has up to 96 execution units, the same as the high-end integrated implementation, but with the highest clock speed of 1.65GHz. It utilizes Intel’s 10nm SuperFin transistor technology. It can use PCIe 4.0 speed to connect to the CPU, and has 4GB of LPDDR4X memory and 68GBps of bandwidth. Through HDMI 2.0b, DisplayPort 1.4 or internal eDP, up to four displays can be run simultaneously. Supports variable rate shadows and adaptive synchronization.
In terms of game performance, Iris Xe Max corresponds to Nvidia’s GeForce MX350 entry-level discrete GPU, so you can expect to play relatively modern games in 1080p at a frame rate of 30p or more at medium and low speed settings.
Acer, Asus and Dell also released the first notebooks equipped with Iris Xe Max GPU. Acer Swift 3X, Asus VivoBook TP470 and Dell Inspiron 15 7000 2-in-1 will be available in some regions of the world in November.
Intel promised a long time ago to launch a discrete GPU in 2020 as part of an effort to comprehensively reform its integrated and independent graphics capabilities. The company hired Raja Koduri, head of AMD Radeon graphics cards, and several other key executives. At this year’s CES, the DG1 discrete GPU test tool was demonstrated and distributed to developers. Intel also promised to launch high-end gaming GPUs for desktops at its recent “Architecture Day” event. The hardware will support hardware ray tracing and be manufactured by third-party foundries. Next year, starting from the 11th generation “Rocket Lake” CPU, the integrated Xe GPU will also enter the desktop.