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Before Arc lands, Intel's full 96EU Gunnir Iris Xe DG1 gets tested and it doesn't impress

Gunnir Iris Xe Max Index V2
Gunnir Iris Xe Max Index V2

In January last year, Intel made a pretty big announcement as it launched its Iris Xe Max discrete desktop graphics card. The company announced at that time that Asus and another AIB vendor will provide custom DG1 cards. While credible rumors suggested it was Colorful, a relatively unknown Chinese brand dubbed "Gunnir" finally got the deal.

Interestingly enough, Gunnir actually has three models of the DG1. The first two come with the official DG1 specification of 80 Execution Units (EUs) while the third variant, the flagship, has the full 96 EUs. And the 96EU card is also clocked 10% higher with a boost frequency of 1,650MHz.

It is called the Gunnir Iris Xe Max Index V2 and the GPU has been tested by Twitter user Löschzwerg.

Intel Gunnir DG1 Index V2

However, despite having nearly a third more (32%) higher computing power than the official Iris Xe desktop card, the Gunnir Iris Xe Max Index V2 model performed just 12% better in the 3DMark Time Spy graphics benchmark. The Gunnir 96EU DG1 has scored 1,824 points while the Asus DG1 with 80 EUs had managed 1,630 points as per YouTuber ETA Prime's review (via VideoCardz).

Time Spy score of Intel DG1
Time Spy score of Intel DG1

Although there could be other reasons for the poor performance scaling on the 96 EU DG1 part, it is possible the that 68GB/s memory bandwidth is not enough for the faster-clocked 96 EU Iris Xe Max to fully stretch its legs. As such, the 32 % higher processing power may be resulting in only 12% improvement.

Interestingly, Intel's upcoming first gen Alchemist Arc GPUs actually start at the 96EU SKU and go all the way up to 512EUs. This enrty-level 96EU part, dubbed the Arc A370M, will be the first Arc graphics card to launch. These upcoming GPUs however are based on the faster Xe HPG architecture instead of Xe LP on DG1.

Source and image: Löschzwerg (Twitter)

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