Wednesday, October 21st 2020

Intel's First Discrete Graphics Solution, Iris Xe MAX, Debuts in Acer's Swift 3X Featuring Intel 11th Gen Tiger Lake

Acer today announced the Swift 3X, a new laptop which will give consumers the first taste of Intel's discrete graphics solution powered by Xe. Remember that Intel's Xe is Intel's first discrete-class graphics architecture, whose development was helmed by former AMD graphics head Raja Koduri after Intel hired him just a week after he tendered his resignation with AMD. This is the first materialization of an Intel-developed, discrete graphics product for the consumer market, and thus should blow the lid on Intel's Xe performance. Whether or not the blue giant cements itself as a third player in the discrete graphics accelerator space - at first try - depends on the performance of this architecture.

The Swift 3X features the new Intel Iris Xe MAX discrete graphics solution paired with 11th Gen Intel Core processors "in order to offer creative professionals such as photographers and YouTubers unique capabilities and powerful on-the-go performance for work and gaming." The Swift 3X comes in at 1.37 kg (3.02 lbs), and Acer quotes up to 17.5 hours of up time in a single charge; if necessary, the Swift 3X can also be fast-charged to provide four hours of use in just 30 minutes.
The Swift 3X features a 14-inch FHD IPS screen that covers 72% of the NTSC color gamut and offers an 84% screen-to-body ratio; offers Intel Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+); and features USB-C, Thunderbolt 4 and USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports for expanded connectivity.
Jerry Kao
The Swift series has always been about pushing the envelope, trying to fit as much power into as portable a package as possible. The new Swift 3X continues that mindset, with discrete graphics in a sleek chassis for those who need style and performance on the go."
Chris Walker
It is exciting to see the new Aspire, Spin and Swift series of laptops take advantage of the real-world performance and platform integration delivered in new 11th Gen Intel Core processors. With the Swift 3X, we've partnered closely with Acer to unlock new capabilities for creators on thin-and-light laptops with the unmatched performance of 11th Gen plus the all-new Intel Iris Xe MAX discrete graphics."
Price and Availability
Acer Swift 3X (SF314-510G) will be available in North America in December starting at USD 899.99; in EMEA in November starting at 849 EUR; and in China in October, starting at RMB 4,999.
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24 Comments on Intel's First Discrete Graphics Solution, Iris Xe MAX, Debuts in Acer's Swift 3X Featuring Intel 11th Gen Tiger Lake

#1
medi01
It would be hilarious to see this paired with AMD CPU.
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#2
Steevo
Such a GPU, aimed at Youtubers......
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#3
tigger
I'm the only one
I have a feeling the Iris Xe max might suprise
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#4
AnarchoPrimitiv
tigger
I have a feeling the Iris Xe max might suprise
If Intel sells it at cost, which I'm sure they will
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#5
xtreemchaos
im looking forward to see how the discrete gpu performs, im hopeful honist.
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#6
windwhirl
Raevenlord
and in China in October,
Well, I'm expecting some reviews coming from China, then. It's unlikely that whatever Intel launches during 2020-2021 could push me into buying an Intel dGPU (I'm almost set to acquiring a Nvidia GPU, mostly for FAH), but still, I'm interested.
xtreemchaos
im looking forward to see how the discrete gpu performs, im hopeful honist.
More competition is good.
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#7
silentbogo
wouldn't hold my breath for anything more than "productivity-level" performance.
As far as current leaks, it's the same 96EUs, but 64-bit memory interface running 4GB of LPDDR4X, and with much tighter thermal/power envelope.
E.g. it's meant to replace the likes of MX200/300 in thin and light segment, since MX450 hasn't really materialized yet.
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#8
Solaris17
Dainty Moderator
Raevenlord
and thus should blow the lid on Intel's Xe performance. Whether or not the blue giant cements itself as a third player in the discrete graphics accelerator space - at first try - depends on the performance of this architecture.
Not really. IMO that will be decided if they make discrete pcie x16 cards.

This appears to be a separate low power mobile chip. I dont expect anything from this at all. Even if it can technically be called "Discrete"
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#9
theoneandonlymrk
Solaris17
Not really. IMO that will be decided if they make discrete pcie x16 cards.

This appears to be a separate low power mobile chip. I dont expect anything from this at all. Even if it can technically be called "Discrete"
True, they're teaming up with Acer I would be surprised if I liked it in use is all I'll say.
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#10
R0H1T
AnarchoPrimitiv
If Intel sells it at cost, which I'm sure they will
They probably extort a decent chunk on the TGL chips so they can sell the Xe even at a loss!
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#11
Solaris17
Dainty Moderator
theoneandonlymrk
True, they're teaming up with Acer I would be surprised if I liked it in use is all I'll say.
Shit being acer id be surprised if I liked using it regardless of what was in it.
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#12
Minus Infinity
Solaris17
Shit being acer id be surprised if I liked using it regardless of what was in it.
I agree, Acer are a rubbish brand IMO.
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#13
Chrispy_
The more I hear about Xe dGPU and Tiger Lake Xe IGP, the less excited I am.

Xe's IGP was touted as having 40% better performance than Renoir, that turned out to actually be 15% better than Renoir but only in cherry-picked synthetics and it's actually worse than Vega7 (not Vega8) in real-world gaming tests.

Given that Xe as a dGPU was never promising that much in the first place, if it misses the mark as much as the laptops have then we've got a damp squib on our hands in Q1 2021.

Competition is good, but it has to actually compete to be useful to us consumers.
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#14
Fourstaff
Not really hopeful about the performance at this price, but Intel has to start somewhere. Kudos to Acer for experimenting.
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#15
jaggerwild
WOW! All this time and this is All Intel came up with so far?
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#16
delshay
xtreemchaos
im looking forward to see how the discrete gpu performs, im hopeful honist.
I'm not. First question that come to my mind is what node is it built on. ..7nm, 8nm, I suspect it maybe higher.
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#17
Verpal
silentbogo
wouldn't hold my breath for anything more than "productivity-level" performance.
As far as current leaks, it's the same 96EUs, but 64-bit memory interface running 4GB of LPDDR4X, and with much tighter thermal/power envelope.
E.g. it's meant to replace the likes of MX200/300 in thin and light segment, since MX450 hasn't really materialized yet.
IMO Nvidia might want to clean up some GP107 stock before actually deploying MX450, in Hong Kong there are at least 3 new laptop with 1050 variant last couple week.
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#18
Vayra86
Solaris17
Not really. IMO that will be decided if they make discrete pcie x16 cards.

This appears to be a separate low power mobile chip. I dont expect anything from this at all. Even if it can technically be called "Discrete"
Exactly.

This is just a rebrand of Intel's IGP, trying to look fancy running Windows desktop. At least they managed to cram another X in the name, can't go wrong.

Laptops are the worst possible way to show off your GPU performance. Especially at this form factor of thin and light.

I've still not seen a sliver of what would make Intel's Xe even remotely compete with the current midrange.
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#19
silentbogo
Verpal
IMO Nvidia might want to clean up some GP107 stock before actually deploying MX450, in Hong Kong there are at least 3 new laptop with 1050 variant last couple week.
Or the yield on Turing is too good, that there aren't that many chopped-up TU117s left for ultrabooks.
Either way, this snowballed into things like Xe graphics on Acer, and Lenovo Thinkpad E-series switching to things like integrated Vega on AMD and discrete RX640 on Intel variants.
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#20
watzupken
Chrispy_
The more I hear about Xe dGPU and Tiger Lake Xe IGP, the less excited I am.

Xe's IGP was touted as having 40% better performance than Renoir, that turned out to actually be 15% better than Renoir but only in cherry-picked synthetics and it's actually worse than Vega7 (not Vega8) in real-world gaming tests.

Given that Xe as a dGPU was never promising that much in the first place, if it misses the mark as much as the laptops have then we've got a damp squib on our hands in Q1 2021.

Competition is good, but it has to actually compete to be useful to us consumers.
I have little confidence about Intel's Tiger Lake XE graphics so I am not surprised by the results. But objectively, I would say Intel did pretty well for their first try at graphics. The poor results from Tiger Lake could be attributed to (1) poor driver support in games, and (2) lack of power/ cooling.
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#21
xtreemchaos
delshay
7nm, 8nm
me thinks 10nm but thats a guess. i wouldnt be so qwick to knock it intel is quite good at pulling rabbits outa hats :) . the thing thats making interested with this lappy is the battery life 17.5 hours, at the mo when im out in the field astro imaging im having lug around 2 x 12v power tanks i could probley lose one that i use to top me lappy up.
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#22
Brusfantomet
Considering that 5000 yuan is a significant lower sum than the 900 Dollars or 850 Euro price there must be an extra shitty version for the Chinese market, or the rest of the world is getting shafted with those prices.
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#23
Chrispy_
watzupken
I have little confidence about Intel's Tiger Lake XE graphics so I am not surprised by the results. But objectively, I would say Intel did pretty well for their first try at graphics. The poor results from Tiger Lake could be attributed to (1) poor driver support in games, and (2) lack of power/ cooling.
Not really their first try at graphics. They've been making (bad) graphics solutions for 22 years and for the last three years have had AMD's previous lead graphics architect working on Xe. Raja Kodori knows how to make a GPU, so if Xe sucks it's because Intel aren't currently very good at fabricating silicon or writing drivers.

Raja didn't lead AMD through its best products of the last two decades but he certainly moved things on successfully and managed to get architectural improvements out of 28nm over and over again when all the fabs screwed up at once and we were stuck on 28nm for 3-4 generations.
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#24
Beertintedgoggles
Chrispy_
Not really their first try at graphics. They've been making (bad) graphics solutions for 22 years and for the last three years have had AMD's previous lead graphics architect working on Xe. Raja Kodori knows how to make a GPU, so if Xe sucks it's because Intel aren't currently very good at fabricating silicon or writing drivers.

Raja didn't lead AMD through its best products of the last two decades but he certainly moved things on successfully and managed to get architectural improvements out of 28nm over and over again when all the fabs screwed up at once and we were stuck on 28nm for 3-4 generations.
Exactly. I know a lot of us don't consider integrated graphics as being part of the GPU game but it is. Obviously not on the same level as AMD or Invidia and I'm not naïve enough to imply that scaling up an IGP into a discrete solution is a feasible or a competitive solution but they are not completely new to the graphics arena. True, they are still pretty green (in the inexperienced use of the word) when it comes to discrete graphics so all in all.... I guess I'm not saying much.
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