Intel Declares A "GPU Golden Age"

With AMD’s recently released Big Navi cards, the two big GPU manufacturers have now both officially entered the next generation of gaming. Future games are expected to offer 4K graphics and ray tracing as standard options, so every card that either AMD or Nvidia produces supports both those graphical benchmarks (to varying degrees, depending on how much you can afford).

Believe it or not, Intel is also getting into the GPU business starting in 2021 by releasing a new integrated GPU architecture, server-side GPUs, and even a discrete consumer gaming video card to compete with both AMD and Nvidia.

Raja Koduri, Intel’s chief chip architect, tweeted out yesterday images of the Xe-HP data center GPU. This is a server-side GPU that will help with game and graphics-related processing, although you could probably use it for a beastly virtual machine if you wanted.

Intel’s consumer-grade GPU will be called the Xe-HPG and it’s coming later in 2021. Koduri is excited to see Intel entering the market to finally compete with AMD and Nvidia, noting that 2021 will be a “GPU Golden Age…”

It’s a bit hyperbolic given we know next to nothing about Intel’s new GPU architecture or how it will compare to either AMD or Nvidia’s current offerings, but even without Intel joining the fray, Big Navi and Ampere GPUs are doing some great work.

For example, take Cyberpunk 2077. Kirk reviewed CD Projekt Red’s latest masterpiece using an Nvidia RTX 3090, and the difference between playing it on that thing versus a PlayStation 5 is the difference between night and day. There’s just so much more a high-end GPU can do over any home console that it’s hard to describe even in words, so that’s why Kirk went into Cyberpunk’s photo mode to show us the visual quality you can achieve with a next-gen video card.

Golden Age or not, it’s definitely a good time for GPU makers. They can’t even keep stock in stores at this point, and shortages are expected to last well into 2021.

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