Intel, after a long gap, has officially launched a dedicated graphics card — the Iris Xe MAX discrete GPU. Though the name might make it look intimidating, it is just an entry-level discrete GPU, aimed towards offering better computer performance rather than gaming.
The Intel Iris Xe MAX GPU is designed and developed to go with the 11th Gen Tiger Lake processors, which comes with built-in Iris Xe-LP GPU, where LP stands for low-power. The Iris Xe MAX is likely to go head-to-head against the NVIDIA MX250/MX350 GPUs, instead of mainstream graphics cards.
The company has partnered with major computer OEMs like Acer, Dell, and Asus to launch laptops based on the Xe Max platform. And Acer recently launched the Swift 3X, the first laptop in the country with the Iris Xe MAX graphics.
The raw-performance of the Intel Xe-LP and the Xe MAX are almost similar. In fact, both GPUs have an identical number of ALUs (786) and EUs (96). However, the Iris Xe MAX GPU is running at a slightly higher clock speed at 1650 MHz, instead of 1350 MHz.
Another major difference between the Xe-LP iGPU (integrated) and the Xe MAX dGPU (dedicated) is that the dGPU comes with 4GB of video memory, whereas the iGPU shares the memory from the system. So, even when running GPU intensive tasks like video rendering, a laptop with dGPU (Xe MAX) will offer better multi-tasking performance.
However, a laptop with the dGPU is likely to take a hit on battery life when compared to a laptop with an iGPU, as the Iris Xe Max comes with a TDP of 25W. Though both graphics cards are based on Intel 10nm SuperFin, the integrated one will use less power, hence, offering better battery life.
Laptops With Intel Iris Xe MAX GPU In India
As of now, the Acer Swift 3X is the only laptop available in India with the dedicated Intel Iris Xe MAX GPU, and it comes with a starting price of Rs. 79,999, which is similar to some of the mid-range gaming laptops with dedicated NVIDIA or AMD GPU.
If you are planning to get a laptop with Iris Xe MAX GPU, then don’t get for the sake of sheer GPU performance, as it is not a mainstream graphics card. However, when compared to a gaming laptop with a similar price tag, the laptop with Intel Xe MAX GPU will offer better battery life and is likely to run cooler and quieter.
So, NVIDIA or AMD might have to worry a little about the Iris Xe MAX, as Intel is likely to push OEMs to include a Xe MAX graphics, especially on creator’s and business laptops instead of AMD or NVIDIA GPUs, and the company might actually come up with a full-blown gaming GPU in the next few years.
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