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Intel's Iris Xe Max GPU Barely Beats Nvidia's GeForce MX330 In Latest Benchmark

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(Image credit: Shutterstock)

The Iris Xe Max (DG1) GPU, which is already shipping to OEMs, has graced the grounds of Geekbench 5. The submissions (via Tum_Apisak) show that the looming GPU's performance is somewhere along the lines of AMD's Radeon RX 550.

Intel has been away from the discrete graphics market for a considerable amount of time now, and the Irix Xe Max marks the chipmaker's return. The GPU comes equipped with 96 Execution Units (EUs) that boil down to 768 shader cores. The original Iris Xe Max test platform had the GPU with 3GB of GDDR6 memory. However, the same GPU has appeared in Asus' upcoming VivoBook Flip 14 laptop with 4GB of LPDDR4X memory. It would appear that the Iris Xe Max can be configured with GDDR6 or LPDDR4X memory.

Both Iris Xe Max submissions painted the GPU with a maximum frequency of up to 1.5 GHz. It's base and boost clock speeds are uncertain at the moment. A previous sighting had the Iris Xe Max clocked up to 1.55 GHz, but that could just be the result of manual overclocking.

Intel Iris Xe Max Specifcations

GPUGeekbench 5 OpenCL ScoreShading UnitsBoost Clock (MHz)Memory
GeForce MX35013,8326401,4682GB GDDR5
Radeon RX 550X12,598???
Iris Xe Max*11,8857681,5003GB
GeForce MX33011,1623841,5942GB GDDR5

*Specifications are unconfirmed.

Geekbench 5 isn't the end-all-be-all benchmark for graphics. In the meantime, it's what's available. In any event, we should approach the Iris Xe Max's results with caution: The final product could perform better, or even worse.

The Iris Xe Max never aimed to compete in the performance bracket; therefore, it isn't a big shocker that the GPU barely beats Nvidia's GeForce MX330. The Geekbench 5 numbers showed that the Iris Xe Max was just 6.5% faster than the GeForce MX330. On the contrary, the GeForce MX350 delivered up to 16.4% higher performance than Intel's offering.

In comparison to the Radeon RX 550X, the two-year old AMD GPU outperformed the Iris Xe Max by up to 6%.

We suspect that Intel is creating a small, mobile ecosystem with its Tiger Lake chips, and that's where the Iris Xe Max's real value lies. When alone, the Iris Xe Max probably won't leave a dent on some of its rivals. However, if you were to combine the GPU with Tiger Lake's iGPU in a multi-GPU setup, that would be another story. Although the concept is unconfirmed, a pair of Xe GPUs have already come forth, proving its feasibility. The dual-GPU arrangement was sporting up to 192 EUs or 1,536 shader cores. That should be 96 EUs from the DG1 and 96 EUs from the Tiger Laker iGPU, so everything apparently falls into place.

The Acer Swift 3X, which is powered by 11th Generation Tiger Lake processors and Iris Xe Max graphics, is scheduled to debut in December. Thereby, it won't be long until we get to see what the Iris Xe Max is really made of.     

  • pacdrum_88
    What a disaster. I mean, the RX 550 is $60 right now. Just bought one the other day. And, it's old. If this is the best Intel has, what all of their R&D has been going into, future doesn't look bright. AMD crushing on CPU and GPU front. And, Intel sold off their NAND fab if I recall... What's their plan going forward?
    Reply
  • evdjj3j
    Is anyone surprised?
    Reply
  • hotaru.hino
    I don't think Intel is targeting DIYers and people who want add-in cards. Where this will shine is the system builder market where Intel can provide a complete package for those who want something with more GPU power. i.e., it gives Intel clout on clamping down their system builds even further to only their systems.

    This will likely put NVIDIA in a bind on the low-end but... eh. I'm sure they make bookoo bucks there /s.
    Reply
  • escksu
    pacdrum_88 said:
    What a disaster. I mean, the RX 550 is $60 right now. Just bought one the other day. And, it's old. If this is the best Intel has, what all of their R&D has been going into, future doesn't look bright. AMD crushing on CPU and GPU front. And, Intel sold off their NAND fab if I recall... What's their plan going forward?

    If the power consumption is 10w it will be very good.
    Reply
  • artk2219
    escksu said:
    If the power consumption is 10w it will be very good.

    Thats the thing, as far as i know they didnt claim this was a crazy high end chip, honestly its decent enough to play a ton of games (not necessarily at amazing settings) so long as their driver support doesnt suck. If the price is right, the performance is decent, the power consumption is in check, and theyre readily available, they would be a welcome option in the mainstream graphics segment.
    Reply
  • i-am-i-u-r-u
    Now I know why AMD let a number of people go who were hired by Intel.
    Reply
  • nofanneeded
    This is good result for intel , if it can beat nvidia MX330 at the same TDP .
    Reply
  • shady28
    The Xe DG1 is the same as the iGPU part.

    DG2 is the one that is supposed to be around 3070 levels of performance. That one hasn't yet been seen.

    So basically the iGPU has performance like an MX330. And when they put it in a discrete package, it performs like an MX330.

    There's nothing new here.

    Congrats on turning "nothing new" into yet another clickbait headline.
    Reply
  • SM2262EN
    I mean you also need to remember that this is being paired with slow LPDDR4X memory, rather than the much faster GDDR5/6. When Nvidia did this with the GT1030, the performance often just about halved, as shown here: https://www.gamersnexus.net/hwreviews/3330-gt-1030-ddr4-vs-gt-1030-gddr5-benchmark-worst-graphics-card-2018
    Reply
  • zodiacfml
    What an ultra safe, low volume move. Who still puts mx330 performance level on their laptops which can be replaced by iGPU which I remember correctly 70 to 80% performance of that card.
    Reply