Editor's note: Since this article posted, Tom's Hardware reported that Koduri's original statement about the first Xe graphics card had been mistranslated. There is no new news about what the first Xe product will be—Koduri's remarks stuck to Intel's official story. We're pasting below Koduri's actual remarks from the video interview, which you'll also find in the Tom's Hardware report:
Not everybody will buy a $500-$600 card, but there are enough people buying those too – so that’s a great market.
So the strategy we’re taking is we’re not really worried about the performance range, the cost range and all because eventually our architecture as I’ve publicly said, has to hit from mainstream, which starts even around $100, all the way to Data Center-class graphics with HBM memories and all, which will be expensive.
We have to hit everything; it’s just a matter of where do you start? The First one? The Second one? The Third one? And the strategy that we have within a period of roughly – let’s call it 2-3 years – to have the full stack.
Our original story follows.
Intel’s discrete “Xe” graphics cards will be priced to move when they debut in 2020. In an interview with Russian YouTube channel Pro Hi-Tech, Intel’s chief architect and graphics head Raja Koduri said that the chip giant is targeting the mainstream $200 price point with its initial consumer offering.
Koduri drops the information around the 6:15 mark in the video below. If you don’t speak Russian, you can turn on closed captioning and set the subtitles to English in the video settings, but they’re a bit garbled. Fortunately, Redditor u/taryakun provided a more legible translation of the exchange:
“Our strategy revolves around price, not performance. First are GPUs for everyone at $200 price, then the same architecture but with the higher amount of HBM memory for data centers... Our strategy in 2 to 3 years is to release whole family of GPUs from integrated graphics and popular discrete graphics to data centers GPUs.”
AMD has also taken the “GPUs for everyone” approach in recent years, kicking off recent GPU generations with more affordable options, including the $200 Radeon RX 480 and $350 Radeon RX 5700. Raja Koduri headed AMD’s Radeon division before Intel poached him in late 2017. Nvidia, meanwhile, tends to launch new GPU generations with powerful high-end graphics cards like the $600 GeForce GTX 1080 and $1,200 RTX 2080 Ti. Nvidia has dominated enthusiast-class graphics cards for several years now, which probably plays into it and AMD’s respective release strategies.
If Intel aims for the mainstream “sweet spot” of graphics card pricing, the company could build on the back of its existing graphics empire. The company is already the volume leader in PC graphics thanks to the integrated graphics built into most of its processors, and the 10th-generation Core processors that launched yesterday pack vastly improved visual capabilities.
One thing you don’t want to read too much into: Koduri's mentioning HBM for data center variations of Xe in the same breath as the $200 price point. High-bandwidth memory has its place in the world, but we’d be shocked to see the expensive technology trickle down into $200 consumer graphics cards by 2020.
AMD’s $400-plus Radeon Vega GPUs came equipped with HBM2, but the new Radeon RX 5700 series shifted back to traditional GDDR6 memory. In an interview on PCWorld’s Full Nerd podcast, Radeon chief Scott Herkelman confirmed that the price of HBM was a big part of that decision.