Intel Xe architecture is one of Intel’s great bets for the following years, with it they intend not to be left behind in a section in which their rival AMD has been years ahead, graphics hardware, whose utility and market today is more beyond playing games.
Intel Xe dedicated GPUs do not work with AMD CPUs
The reason is that a special UEFI BIOS is required for Intel Xe GPUs to work. The information comes from Legit Reviews and following the announcement that several builders are going to start including Intel graphics cards in their computers. Which will be based initially on a version of the Intel DG1 or Xe-LP with 80 execution units.
These cards are rather low-end and are not intended for the gamer enthusiast, but the fact that a special UEFI BIOS is required means that such GPUs can only be used in conjunction with Intel CPUs. At the moment we do not know if those based on the DG2 architecture such as the future Xe-HP, Xe-HPG and Xe-HPC are going to have this type of limitation, but, in any case, it would be a way for Intel to tie its customers exclusively to your processors.
And not with all Intel CPUs
In a statement to the Legit Reviews medium by an Intel spokesperson you can see additional information on this controversial issue:
Dedicated Iris Xe cards will be sold paired with 9th generation (Coffe Lake-S) and 10th generation Intel Core desktop processors alongside Intel B460, H410, B365 and H310C motherboards as part of pre-built systems. These motherboards have a special version of the BIOS that supports Intel Iris Xe, so the cards will only work in these systems.
Therefore not only does it not work with AMD systems, but Intel has created a graphics card that only works with certain models of motherboards and will not be sold beyond there. If you plan to buy a pre-built PC with one of the Iris Xe then you have to know that you will not be able to re-use it if you change motherboard to change processor or if the motherboard itself breaks, be it from Intel or AMD.
Is it a good decision on Intel’s part?
Obviously from the user point of view it is not, but if applied in the high performance computing market then we would be talking about a defense mechanism against NVIDIA and AMD, where their GPUs are designed to communicate between CPU and GPU with proprietary interfaces such as with NVLink and Infinity Fabric.
One of the most important markets for Intel and under which they have more contracts is precisely the HPC market, in which AMD can offer combinations of Zen CPUs and Radeon GPUs as a joint package and after the purchase of Xilinx AMD has become much more dangerous for Intel in all markets. In the case of NVIDIA, if they complete their ARM purchase, they will no longer need to use Intel CPUs, and we have already seen IBM POWER processors using the NVLink interface to communicate with NVIDIA GPUs.
So it makes sense that Intel, in the face of certain markets, is defending itself in order to maintain its position, what we do not see sense is in the gaming market, but the Intel Xe-HPG still does not appear.