By Anurag Hegde
It looks like Team Green (Nvidia) finally has some more competition when it comes to the GPU market. Intel just confirmed the release of a discrete line of GPUs named the ‘Xe GPUs’. Enthusiasts can expect the release of these cards at some point in 2020.
Nvidia enjoyed uncontested success when it came to Real-time Ray tracing technology, however that’s expected to change; Intel’s Xe GPUs are speculated to have hardware support for that very same feat, something only Nvidia’s RTX line of cards supported so far. Jim Jeffers, Senior Director at Intel mentioned this in May of this year at the FMX conference in Germany.
It’s been a long time since Intel have been in the GPU game. The last discrete GPU from Team Blue was the i740, released way back in 1998. Since then it’s just been Nvidia and AMD that have competed in the dedicated GPU market, with Nvidia dominating for the most part.
With more games announcing support for Real-time Ray Tracing and Nvidia creating its own studio to remaster old games to have Ray Traced graphics, fans and enthusiasts alike will be hoping that more competition will lead to more competitive pricing.
The exact specifications and pricing of the cards are still unclear. However, there are sources that suggest that Intel may first target the mainstream market, which is around the $200-$250 (£157-£196) price range.
Intel also seems to be taking notes from its competitors after it released the Intel Graphics Command Centre software, which happens to be Intel’s version of Nvidia’s GeForce Experience. This might not be useful at the moment as Intel’s Integrated Graphics barely hold up in most games, but once their discrete graphics make it to the market, the software will hopefully make much more sense.
Intel can hit the nail on the head if they can give gamers what they’ve been waiting for; Ray tracing supported cards capable of 4k gaming that are reasonably priced.