Were the DG2-512EU, the DG2-384EU, and DG2-128EU trio of SKUs too disparate?
The wisdom shared in the parable of the three bears is hard to argue with, but you might need more than three choices of porridge before you enjoy the Goldilocks experience in real life – and the same is true for graphics cards. Thus, it was encouraging to see a member of Intel’s open-source Mesa driver team reference a DG2-448EU GPU in some notes about performance optimisation, published at the tail end of last week.
Providing some background to this revelation, Franciso Jerez is part of Intel’s Open-Source Driver Team working on the Mesa driver for OpenGL and Vulkan. Coelacanth’s Dream (Chinese) and VideoCardz noticed the comments made by Jerez about pixel pipeline optimisations for Xe hardware, and in particular the mention of testing the optimisations: “E.g. on DG2-448 it gives us a 20%-40% performance improvement on most interesting workloads”.
So, what does this mean for the range of graphics cards that is likely to be launched under the Intel Arc Alchemist banner? At its prior tech showcases, all we have is confirmation that the big DG2-512EU and the little DG2-128EU GPUs are being prepped. It is very likely there will be a middle-diddle GPU with 384EUs. With the revelation about the DG2-448EU above, we could easily be looking at a fleshed-out launch roster of five SKUs as follows; DG2-512EU, DG2-448EU, DG2-384EU, DG2-256EU, and DG2-128EU. VideoCardz reckons the first two or three could be based on full/cut-down DG2-512 dies, and there will be DG2-384 and -128 GPUs produced. A launch line-up of five variants should be sufficiently granular for wide market appeal at the various performance/price points.
Interestingly, Twitter hardware hound Tum Apisak spilled some DG2-448EU performance indicators as far back as June this year. He discovered benchmark results showing that this GPU was very close to the performance of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 and AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT. We shall see about that… Intel will launch its first Arc Alchemist series graphics products in Q1 2022, but at the current time, we aren’t sure if discrete laptops GPUs will be addressed first.