We’ve been hearing about Intel’s (re)entry into the discrete enthusiast graphics realm for quite some time, and the company even confirmed its efforts when it snatched GPU guru Raja Koduri from AMD. At the time, Intel stated, “In this position, Koduri will expand Intel’s leading position in integrated graphics for the PC market with high-end discrete graphics solutions for a broad range of computing segments.”
Today, however, the company has shown off a nice teaser video of its upcoming discrete graphics solution. While Intel doesn’t really present much in the way of new information (it spends most of the video talking about advances that it has made in the graphics arena), we do get a shadowy glimpse of the card which the company says “Will set our graphics free”.
Unfortunately, Intel says that the cards won’t arrive until 2020.
“We have exciting plans to aggressively expand our computing and graphics capabilities and build on our very strong and broad differentiated IP foundation,” said Dr. Murthy Renduchintala, Intel’s chief engineering officer in November 2017. “With Raja at the helm of our Core and Visual Computing Group, we will add to our portfolio of unmatched capabilities, advance our strategy to lead in computing and graphics, and ultimately be the driving force of the data revolution.”
In the lead-up to the release of its dedicated graphics solution, codenamed Arctic Sound, Intel has been beefing up its GPU drivers and quickening the pace of new driver releases to stay in lock-step with the latest games to hit the market. Like AMD and NVIDIA, optimizing graphics driver software for the latest game releases (and squashing bugs) is paramount to keeping a loyal enthusiast fanbase.
Intel wouldn’t be delving into the dedicated graphics market if it didn’t have a powerhouse GPU at its disposal, so we’re hoping that Arctic Sound will be able to stand toe-to-toe with what NVIDIA and AMD will be offering in 2020 – we don’t need a repeat of the i740. After all, NVIDIA just announced its Turing GPU architecture that underpins both the Quadro RTX and GeForce RTX families. If the rumors are accurate, the GeForce GTX 2080 could be throwing down roughly 12.2 TFLOPs of FP32 compute performance in conjunction with 448GB/sec of memory bandwidth when it launches this year.
It’s anyone’s guess with NVIDIA and AMD will be dropping on enthusiasts two years from now when Arctic Sound is first hitting store shelves…