Flashback: Intel was poised to be bravo six, going darkish. Their covert GPU improvement program was confirmed. It took one burst for them to seize practically a dozen trade specialists from different firms. They hunkered down. They went radio silent for a 12 months. Then, they employed a advertising staff.
That advertising staff flipped the paradigm and launched an unprecedented stage of transparency into the event course of. (I’m personally grateful to Intel’s advertising staff for giving me a lot to put in writing about.) Their ploy has typically labored. Early guarantees of ray tracing and a 10nm manufacturing node extinguished considerations primarily based on Intel’s CPU strife. An early leak promising a GPU with 4096 cores rapidly impressed; solely final week photographs of the most important GPU in improvement sparked a wave of recent curiosity. But guarantees made years in the past are rapidly forgotten and intangible specs increase considerations over accuracy.
It’s been 5 months since their final press occasion. In that interval, we’ve seen just one Intel GPU make the rounds. Designed with software program builders in thoughts, the Xe DG1 SDV will not impress shoppers. As the one seen product, nonetheless, and on condition that it has loads of RGB, that function has fallen upon it. Yesterday’s SiSoftware leak dispelled rumors suggesting it will have 128 EUs, however somewhat 96 EUs (the distinction was an error in counting the CPU’s built-in graphics as a part of the discrete answer). That’s a mediocre 768 shaders/cores. The database entry additionally confirmed that it was working at 1.5 GHz, and that it was paired with 3GB of reminiscence.
That’s on no account an inadequate efficiency bracket for a tool supposed for builders. Released as the proper consumer-oriented product, in laptops, say, as Intel demonstrated again in January, it might be completely aggressive. But I’ll pose this query to Intel’s advertising staff: why ought to anybody care?
A 12 months in the past, when this machine was leaked alongside three Xe HP (excessive efficiency) GPUs with stunningly stunning core counts, the leak as a complete was a superb signal. That solely the least spectacular of the merchandise has manifested just isn’t a terrific signal. I’d nearly say that final week’s picture of what turned out to be the most important of the beforehand leaked GPUs was an try to distract from that reality. What was very promising 5 months in the past doesn’t look so rosy anymore.
Intel, select: cease placing RGB in your developer playing cards and pretending players have one thing to look ahead to quickly, or outright give us one thing to be eager for.