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Intel's Xe-HPG DG2 Graphics Card Pictured: Big, Green and Power Hungry

Intel
(Image credit: Intel)

YouTube channel Moore's Law Is Dead has published what it claims to be one of the first images of Intel's upcoming enthusiast-grade DG2-series graphics card based on the Xe-HPG architecture (possibly codenamed 'Niagara Falls'). The board does look like a graphics card, but it doesn't have any Intel logotypes (they might have been removed to protect the source) or any other clear indication this is a DG2 GPU, so we should view any gleaned information with some skepticism. 

Intel's upcoming DG2 lineup is projected to include at least two graphics cards with either 384 or 512 execution units (EUs) and up to 16GB of memory that communicates over a 256-bit interface. The YouTube channel has published an image of Intel's alleged DG2 graphics card and shared some additional information about Intel's possible plans. The report says that while Intel might formally introduce its DG2-series graphics cards in Q4 2021, the cards won't be widely available until Q1 2022.

Performance-wise, the top-of-the-range DG2 is projected to be slightly slower than Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3080. Still, Intel is reportedly pricing the product 'aggressively' and is looking at a 'sweet spot' in the $349 to $499 range to grab market share.

(Image credit: YouTube/Moore's Law Is Dead )

The picture of the board also gives us a few points to chew over. First, the board has DisplayPort and HDMI interfaces and houses memory chips, so this is definitely a graphics card. The memory chips are installed in a pattern previously attributed to Intel's upcoming high-end graphics cards with Xe-HPG GPUs, so this may indeed be Intel's DG2. 

Secondly, Intel's high-end Xe-HPG GPU has a rather sophisticated multi-phase (10+) voltage regulating module (VRM). The VRM consists of two blocks on both sides of the GPU with a power management controller located near the display outputs. Such a VRM may imply the complexity and dimension of the graphics processor. In any case, this is an early sample and not a commercial product. Since this is a development board, some elements might be installed on the PCB merely for testing purposes. 

Another thing that catches the eye are the two eight-pin auxiliary PCIe power connectors that can deliver up to 300W of power to the GPU and its memory. Additionally, the card can draw another 75W from the motherboard. That means we're looking at a power-hungry graphics card. It's noteworthy that the power connectors face the front side of the PC, which increases the actual length of the card. In contrast, modern AMD and Nvidia graphics cards feature power connectors on their top edge near the back. It is noteworthy that previously leaked pictures of an alleged Intel DG2 card showed the board with power connectors on top. Since we don't know how old either sample is, it's impossible to draw any conclusions here. 

Finally, just like the latest AMD Radeon and Nvidia GeForce graphics cards, the alleged Intel DG2 desktop board seems to be slightly taller than the bracket, which is logical as its developers needed to accommodate the sophisticated power supply circuitry somewhere. It still isn't as tall as Nvidia's GA102-based reference designs, though. 

Keeping in mind that Intel's higher-end Xe-HPG graphics cards seem to be quite a bit out on the horizon, even accurate information about their current state should be considered preliminary – hardware gets more mature, and plans tend to change during the design process. 

  • InvalidError
    Quite the safe bet that the board size will go down considerably for the production model from eliminating all of the extra debug stuff like the wafer connector in the middle of the area between 12V inputs (which are missing standard connectors) and VRM..
    Reply
  • CerianK
    I was worried the 'Big Guy' wouldn't be able to go green... fears abated for the moment.
    Reply
  • herrwizo
    Provided this card is a good ETH miner, and I see no reason for it not to be, it is dead in the water on launch day, at least for gamers. Any news on GPUs these days are tending to be more depressing.
    Reply
  • mfilipow
    The article is clearly wrong as far as the power connector’ layout is concerned. There is an option for both rear and top mounted connectors, up two 2x 8 pin, - and it is the top position being propagated - with 1x8 plus 1x 6 pin!!!
    Reply
  • thGe17
    Additionally the article ignores the statement, that the 512 EU-design now seems to target < 235 W, therefore the "power hungry" seems to be incorrect.
    And again, this looks more like a dev/prototype board/PCB, therefore there may be a lot of things present, that will not be needed on a final design.
    Still it seems we have to wait another six months before we will know for sure. ;-)
    Reply
  • zodiacfml
    They should secretly sell this as a mining card as soon as possible with basic drivers just enough for mining and old gen games. They will do the industry a huge favor while recoup their R and D early while drivers take their time being polished.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    zodiacfml said:
    They should secretly sell this as a mining card as soon as possible with basic drivers just enough for mining and old gen games. They will do the industry a huge favor while recoup their R and D early while drivers take their time being polished.
    Since DG2 will be made on TSMC's 7nm, that won't necessarily help much until more of TSMC's clients move to 5nm and free up 7nm wafers.
    Reply
  • VforV
    thGe17 said:
    Additionally the article ignores the statement, that the 512 EU-design now seems to target < 235 W, therefore the "power hungry" seems to be incorrect.
    And again, this looks more like a dev/prototype board/PCB, therefore there may be a lot of things present, that will not be needed on a final design.
    Still it seems we have to wait another six months before we will know for sure. ;-)
    The author did not even watch the entire video this leak is based of, or he would not said so many untrue things/facts about this leak.
    It's the 2nd article (at least) that I see this guy Anton Shilov do it like an amateur at best (and I won't say the worst)...
    I have no ideea how one can be so terrible, yet (still) employed to write these things.
    Reply
  • jasonf2
    If the card can get anywhere close to a 3080 and is available at those prices it will be a success. I seriously look forward to some of Intel's fab capacity getting into the GPU market.
    Reply
  • thisisaname
    jasonf2 said:
    If the card can get anywhere close to a 3080 and is available at those prices it will be a success.
    The way things are going at the price quoted they could be about as fast as a 3060 and would be a success.
    Reply