The Intel Xe household of GPUs is the business’s strong attempt at going head-to-head with the all-popular Nvidia graphics cards. Making something competitive against the GeForce RTX 3080 isn’t going to happen overnight, obviously, and so Intel has elected to begin from the ground up by launching integrated Iris Xe solutions first before ultimately providing discrete options. The first laptops with incorporated Xe introduced late in 2015 while the discrete Xe Max is now lastly readily available on shop racks albeit in restricted amounts.

The very first two laptop computers sporting the Xe Max GPU that users can purchase today are the Asus VivoBook Flip 15 TP470 and Dell Inspiron 15 7506 2-in-1 Black Edition. Driver concerns were brimming when we at first got our hands on the Dell convertible, but Intel eventually dealt with numerous of these issues with driver updates (variation 27.20.100.9039 at the time of writing). The Xe Max is no traditional discrete GPU, nevertheless, as Intel has actually designed it specifically for video encoding and graphics editing rather than raw gaming prowess.

Does this mean that the Xe Max can’t play video games at all? Though it can certainly run some titles faster than the GeForce MX350 based upon our experience with the Dell convertible, other titles might run significantly slower. For instance, both DOTA 2 and GTA V would each run practically half slower than the GeForce MX350 to be simply marginally better than the integrated Xe 96 EUs. The GPU isn’t enhanced for many video games and the results absolutely show.

Even worse is the reality that the Dell Inspiron 15 7506 2-in-1 Black Edition retails for well over $1000 USD. When thinking about that a basic laptop with faster GeForce GTX 1650 or GTX 1660 Ti graphics expenses about the same, the Xe Max would need to come down in cost significantly to be more beneficial.

Intel is reported to be dealing with a DG2 series of desktop graphics card that can better measure up to the cards from AMD and Nvidia. We’ll just need to wait and see if the DG2 drivers will be much better optimized for games or if we’ll be getting a repeat of the Xe Max.