Intel is targeting discrete GPUs with lower power consumption for Arc • The Register

While Nvidia and AMD are releasing high-end graphics cards for those with big budgets to spend, Intel is doubling down on the mainstream GPU market with lower-powered discrete products and CPUs with improved integrated graphics.

Raja Koduri, head of Intel’s Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics Group, said in a recent interview that Intel will continue to prioritize low-end and mid-range graphics products that offer “higher performance with lower power consumption” with a maximum power consumption of around 100 watts 200 to 225 watts.

“At this point, my priority is to reach that core audience with a power connection. And that can get you up to 200-225 [watts]. When you nail that and something above and something below, it all falls into the sweet spot,” said Koduri, AMD’s former Radeon chief architect.

This is consistent with Intel’s first generation of Arc graphics products for desktops and laptops, which debuted this year. The line’s flagship desktop GPU, the Intel Arc A770, has a Thermal Design Power (TDP) of 225 watts and a suggested price of $349, giving it 42 percent better performance per $1 than Nvidia’s Mid-range GeForce RTX 3060, which the company has previously claimed.

Meanwhile, Nvidia has decided to stick with its latest GeForce generation with the $1,599 24GB RTX 4090 card, which draws 450 watts for normal power consumption and 600 watts for overclocking, and the 1,119 Dollar RTX 4080 16GB card at the higher end of the market, which requires 320 watts at rated power. The company is reportedly planning to relaunch the card, which was originally known as the 12GB model of the RTX 4080 and had a suggested price of $899, renaming it the RTX 4070.

AMD, on the other hand, plans to celebrate the launch of its RDNA 3-based GPUs on Tuesday with two high-end cards. The new 24GB flagship Radeon RX 7900 XTX will have a total board power of 355 watts and a suggested price of $999, while the 20GB Radeon RX 7900 XT will require 300 watts and cost $899.

While both Nvidia and AMD are expected to release cheaper cards in the future, their strategy of focusing on high-end graphics first contrasts with Intel’s focus on more affordable mid-range and low-end products.

However, Koduri told Gadgets 360 that “performance-per-dollar competitiveness with AMD and Nvidia wasn’t the goal.” Instead, Intel considers this metric to be a “baseline” and hopes to outperform its rivals with features like AV1 encoding and decoding, as well as real-time ray tracing and upscaling techniques, the latter of which can significantly boost gaming performance at higher resolutions.

Koduri didn’t rule out that Intel would eventually release discrete graphics products that require more power to achieve higher performance, but he said these would serve more to “brag about rights.”

While Intel has some serious work to do to gain market share over Nvidia and AMD, the company must first ensure its GPUs are optimized to run well in a variety of games and applications, especially older games that are still popular are.

Koduri admitted Intel still has some catching up to do in the department, but the company just announced a new driver update that claims to make older DirectX 9 games like League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive run faster — in some Cases much faster – on the Arc GPUs.

The other area where Koduri believes Intel can make a big impression in the GPU market is in integrated graphics. He claimed that the next-gen CPU for desktops and laptops, codenamed Meteor Lake, will come with more powerful integrated graphics that can replace lower-end discrete GPUs in some cases, which could make entry-level gaming PCs more affordable.

“So in terms of overall cost and performance per dollar, it’s going to be a lot more compelling than a CPU plus a discrete GPU. That’s what Meteor Lake focuses on. The realistic time frame in which this will trickle down into OEM notebooks. . I would say 2024 is the year I would expect a dramatic shift in the PC graphics landscape when it comes to how much integration will go,” Koduri said.

All of this assumes Intel can release products at a reasonable pace without significant issues, and we know the company has had issues with other products in these areas. Even Intel Arc got off to a rocky start this year, to put it mildly, due to delays and software glitches. ® Intel is targeting discrete GPUs with lower power consumption for Arc • The Register

Rick Schindler

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