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Intel Working on Discrete GPUs Sounds Good, but Might be Bad

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Posted January 16, 2018 by Josh Jackson in CPU & Motherboards

At the end of last year, news came out that Raja Koduri was leaving AMD and moving over to Intel. I guess I can’t gauge what the general response was from the enthusiast community, but I personally felt like that was a bit of a slap in the face for those hoping for a Radeon turn around. Vega sounded interesting, but the end results were no where near what expectations were building it up to be. Now, it looks like a leak is showing that Intel is developing two discrete GPU solutions and while more competition is typically a good thing, the move could be a net negative to the industry instead.

The most obvious ramification of this news is that we could end up with a more competitive environment to combat Nvidia. While the Green Giant has certainly fared well in the graphics division, they also have a price tag to match. I’m not saying they don’t deserve it, but it’s always nice when tough competition gives builders more value for their money. On the other hand, there’s a couple of things here that really bother me. First, this adds a third driver to the arena that developers will have to take seriously. Sure, Intel iGPUs pose a similar issue, but the low level performance of the hardware indicates it might not be as huge of a concern to AAA. This may be a concern that’s completely non-legitimate, but the concern of Intel hiring Raja may be of more concern.

As much as I hate to say it, Vega is a failed launch in terms of gaming and Raja proved he couldn’t deliver when the situation really called for it. Does that mean he won’t deliver with Intel? Not necessarily, but AMD is in a position that they will likely have to find a way to build on their performance with future designs. Intel is in a position that their integrated and discrete graphics can be “good enough.” The dGPU market could really use a shot in the arm for gamers who can’t afford high-end systems, yet this could leave them in the same position they’ve always been in. Currently, Intel is partnering with AMD to offer a dGPU solution that, while not as powerful as Nvidia cards, is a nice step up from Intel’s iGPU performance. I’d imagine AMD will work hard on trying to catch up with Nvidia, leaving me to wonder if Raja will be able to make more impressive showings during his new tenure at Intel.

While that may have been a lot of negative to consider, there is some very positive flip sides to all of that. For starters, AMD is still going to be a major competitor to Intel in the dGPU market because of their APUs. That gives us a really good chance to see AMD and Intel graphics being a more mainstream contender to Nvidia’s dominating presence in the gaming scene. In light of that, it would be nice to see a little less of Gameworks. I appreciate what Nvidia is trying to do, but as an AMD user, it only feels like a proprietary kick in the rear telling me I’m not allowed to enjoy a game as much as others. Check out the link below for more details and here’s hoping 2018 is a great competitive year!



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