CyberPowerPC, a well-known computer manufacturer, has surprised gaming enthusiasts with a new prebuilt desktop that can now be found in Best Buy. On the surface, it’s a budget gaming PC like any other, but looking deeper into the hardware reveals an unprecedented choice. The system comes with a discrete Intel Iris Xe DG1 graphics card — a GPU that most people have never even heard of. This raises some questions and might make people wonder: Are there now three, and not two, contenders in the graphics card arena?
The question can be put to rest almost as soon as it’s raised — Intel is not currently in a great place to compete with AMD or Nvidia. However, despite the fact that Intel’s Iris Xe was never meant to end up inside a gaming system, CyberPowerPC still found some use for it. The resulting desktop is being sold at Best Buy for the low price of $750. Aside from the surprising choice of GPU, the other components are what you’d typically find in a budget gaming desktop. CyberPowerPC’s aptly named Gamer Xtreme Gaming Desktop comes with an Intel Core i5-11400F processor, a 500GB SSD, 8GB of memory, and a set of gaming peripherals.
The Intel Iris Xe DG1 is definitely the most interesting part of this otherwise cookie-cutter system. That is partly due to the fact that it wasn’t initially meant for a consumer release. At first, the company sent the card in an SDV (software development vehicle) format to developers within its ISV (independent software vendor) community. There were no plans to release this particular card to the public, and Intel made it clear that the final specs of the GPU would differ from the SDV model.
But a few months ago, Asus presented a dual-fan version of Intel’s Iris Xe DG1. While we don’t know any details about the card found inside CyberPowerPC’s desktop, we can only assume that the specs are similar to the Asus version. If that is true, the card comes with 80 execution units, a 1,700 MHz clock, and 4GB of LPDDR4X memory combined with a 128-bit memory bus.
We expect the card to be sufficient for everyday use, but putting it in a gaming system is a brave decision. However, the DG1 is likely going to be a satisfactory option for gamers on a budget who don’t expect outstanding performance.
Intel has never tried to wedge itself between Nvidia and AMD, both of which are established on the discrete graphics card market. This might still change — Intel is working on its next discrete GPU, the Intel DG2, which is designed for gamers. Rumors initially pointed to a release date in 2022 or beyond, but new leaks suggest that the DG2 may arrive sooner than expected. If Intel’s plans work out, AMD and Nvidia might see some competition in the near future.