A new review of Intel's Iris Xe DG1 graphics card has popped up, putting Intel's new discrete GPU through its paces and showing that it is surprisingly capable. While the Xe DG1 is far from being one of the best graphics cards on the market, the review shows that the entry-level graphics card holds some value in a time where the graphics card shortage is still going strong and pricing for Nvidia and AMD GPUs has skyrocketed.
Based on a cut-down Iris Xe Max silicon, the DG1 arrives with just 80 execution units (EUs) or 640 shading units, depending on which metric you prefer. Intel's discrete graphics card sports a 1.2 GHz base clock and a boost clock that climbs to 1.5 GHz. The DG1 also wields 4GB of LPDDR4X-4266 memory across a 128-bit interface. It conforms to a 30W TDP, so the graphics card doesn't require active cooling or PCIe power connectors. The DG1 provides one DisplayPort output, one HDMI port, and one DVI-D port for connecting your displays.
A previous generic benchmark revealed that the DG1 was slower than Radeon RX 550, a four-year-old graphics card. However, a single benchmark wasn't sufficient to really determine a winner, and as we all know, there's nothing like real-world gaming results. YouTuber ETA PRIME recently acquired a $749.99 (opens in new tab) CyberPowerPC gaming system that leverages the DG1, more specifically, the Asus DG1-4G. He has put the graphics card through its paces so we can see what kind of performance it brings to the table. We've got the quick breakdown of results in the table below, and the full video at the end of the article.
Intel Iris Xe DG1 Benchmarks
|Game||Resolution||Graphics Preset||Frame Rate (FPS)|
|Forza Horizon 4||1080p||Low||60 - 70|
|Injustice 2||1080p||Low||59 - 60|
|Overwatch||1080p||Medium||65 - 99|
|Fortnite||1080p||Performance Mode||106 - 262|
|Genshin Impact||1080p||Medium||57 - 60|
|Rocket League||1080p||High||82 -120|
|Grand Theft Auto V||1080p||Normal||79 - 92|
|Cyberpunk 2077||720p||Low||25 - 33|
|Red Dead Redemption 2||900p||Low||32 - 47|
The CyberPowerPC system features a Core i5-11400F processor, which explains the DG1's presence. The curious part here is that Intel had previously stated that the DG1 is only compatible with its 9th-Gen Coffee Lake and 10th-Gen Comet Lake processors. The Core i5-11400F is an 11th-Gen Rocket Lake chip. It would appear that the chipmaker secretly added Rocket Lake support on the DG1.
Do bear in mind that the YouTuber swapped out the 8GB single stick of DDR4-3000 memory for a dual-channel 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4-3600 memory kit. The upgrade likely improves the gaming PC's performance over the stock configuration.
The results showed that the DG1 could deliver more than 60 FPS at 1080p (1920 x 1080) with a low graphics preset. Only a few titles, like Cyberpunk 2077 and Red Dead Redemption 2, gave the DG1 a hard time. However, the graphics card still pushed more than 30 FPS most of the time.
As we knew from Intel's DG1 announcement, the entry-level market was DG1's objective all along. The graphics card's 1080p performance is more than reasonable if you can live without all the fancy eye candy in your life. If not, you should probably pass on the DG1. It would be interesting to see whether the DG1 can hold its own against one of AMD's latest Ryzen APUs. Unfortunately, that's a fight for another day.