Intel talks Ponte Vecchio Xe GPU details

Over and over, I’ve heard PC enthusiasts, gamers, and bloggers alike ask the same question: “What is Intel doing?” AMD has seen an explosion in its market share with its Ryzen chips. Intel wears the crown with the Core i9-9900K, but AMD has gone from an also-ran to a true competitor against both Intel and Nvidia. What Intel’s been doing is working on its Xe GPU architecture, which it plans to use not just to make integrated and discrete consumer graphics cards, but also to push back at Nvidia’s invasion of the data center with its Ponte Vecchio GPU.

Intel gave up the details on Ponte Vecchio earlier this week, so here’s what we know. Ponte Vecchio will be manufactured using Intel’s 7-nm process. For reference, that Core i9-9900K is manufactured with the company’s 14-nm process.

The GPU will be a multi-core module design, much like Nvidia’s next-gen design is rumored to be. The design uses Intel’s Foveros chip-stacking technology, which lets Intel stack the processor dies and lets the chiplets of a multi-chip module communicate more efficiently. It will also use Intel’s Embedded Multi-Die Interconnect Bridge (EMIB) tech to join the chips together.

A unified base architecture

Ponte Vecchio will use the same base architecture as Xe chips, as will any other GPU Intel makes within this generation. The company will then branch out into sub-architectures. Anandtech describes the possibilities: “ultra-mobile parts of the product stack might focus on small die size… whereas a compute product might have high double-precision performance and run high-performance libraries.” Xe is the base, and Ponte Vecchio is one branch of that.

Intel said in an earnings call last month that the company is on track to launch 7nm products and a “datacenter-focused discrete GPU in 2021,” and that’s pretty much what Ponte Vecchio sounds like.

With Intel diving into the GPU game, it’s going to be very interesting to see all the different ways the chipmaker develops its new architecture and how that changes the playing field.

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chuckula
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chuckula

See the slides for yourselves: https://t.co/GQZ27YoS9Z?amp=1

Anybody can copy the Core 2 designs with some 70’s era PCBs.

Not anybody can implement EMIB and Foveros to link advanced heterogeneous silicon to a Rambo Cache.

Unknown-Error
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Unknown-Error

But can it play……

Oh, never mind

K-L-Waster
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K-L-Waster

Minesweeper? Possibly after the third driver revision…

Scott
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Scott

I honestly don’t see how Intel “wears the crown” with the 9900K. It depends entirely upon what is being tested. To be clear… I would have replied the same way if it had been claimed that AMD “wears the crown”.

DPete27
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DPete27

I think Intel needs Foveros chip stacking on their CPUs in 2020 to stop the onrush of Ryzen.

enixenigma
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enixenigma

Intel wears the crown with the Core i9-9900K, but AMD has gone from an also-ran to a true competitor against both Intel and Nvidia

.

That is quite debatable, I think.

Krogoth
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Krogoth

9900K is a very tenuously spot though. It only wins by short margins against Zen2 and its lesser kin in mainstream applications. In workhorse stuff, the battle greatly favors Zen2.

9900K is a difficult buy at its current price point even for Intel camp. 9600K and 9700K are more sensible buys and can rival it with a little arm-chair overclocking at mainstream stuff.

Caeden
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Caeden

Ya. I recently did a new build, and man… it was a hard call. the i7K is a great performer for gaming and ‘normal’ workloads, and the zen 2 stuff is just great for workstation loads. I ended up with an i9K simply because my local microcenter had it on a sale/bundle that put it at a $100 premium over the i7… was too good a deal to pass up, and as I don’t do much ‘workstation’ work anymore, it makes sense. I still looked at Zen 2… but the motherboards costs put the overall platform cost out of budget… Read more »

derFunkenstein
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derFunkenstein

He means the Nvidia part, and I agree. Navi isn’t pushing the RTX 2080 Super let alone the Ti.

jensend
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jensend

For >95% of gamers (as per steam hw survey) the >$400 video card segment is irrelevant. AMD is competing strongly in the price segments that matter to us mere mortals.

enixenigma
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enixenigma

Yes, I meant competition with respect to Nvidia. Ryzen is killing it against current-gen Intel parts in everything that isn’t gaming (and made good strides in that department, as well), and is somewhat competitive with Nvidia in what could be considered the meat of the GPU market (low to mid range), but Nvidia has been dominant in performance per watt and absolute performance for a few generations now. Before people call me a shill, note that I am running a Ryzen 3800x/Vega 64 machine. I’m hoping that RDNA2 will be competitive with Nvidia’s 2020 parts so that I can upgrade… Read more »

K-L-Waster
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K-L-Waster

Turing is good at everything, except price point.

jensend
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jensend

AMD is more than just “somewhat competitive” in the up-to-$400 market, and it still feels funny to hear $400 called “mid-range.” And Navi is just fine on perf/watt; nV isn’t “dominant” there.

Ryan Montgomery
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Ryan Montgomery

Shill

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