Intel Iris Xe Max graphics unveiled: Everything you need to know

Iris Xe Max
(Image credit: Intel)

Intel has unveiled its long-awaited discrete graphics today which will be found primarily in ultra-thin laptops. Intel Iris Xe Max marks the company's return to the discrete graphics market, and features Deep Link technology along with improved performance over Iris Xe that promises to outdo competitors.

Roger Chandler, vice president of client XPU products and solutions at Intel, claims Intel Iris Xe Max will "serve as examples of the kind of platform-level innovation that Intel plans to bring to market in the future as we execute to our scalable Xe roadmap."

Deep Link technology is Intel's way to improve overall hardware performance by aggregating "multiple processing engines through a common software framework." This will help to enhance processing power and artificial intelligence performance.

Intel says the Intel Iris Xe Max can "deliver Additive AI to provide 7 times faster AI-based creation." For context, this test was done in comparison to an Nvidia MX350. While we haven't tested the chip ourselves, Iris Xe Max can play AAA games at playable frame rates. According to Intel, the chip can run The Witcher 3 (Medium) at around 35 fps, Hitman 2 (Low) at 40 fps and Gears Tactics (Medium) at 45 fps at 1080p graphics.

Iris Xe MAX

(Image credit: Intel)

It also promises up to 1.78 times faster encoding than a high-end graphics card, and in this test, it was specifically compared to the RTX 2080 Super Max-Q. Additionally, the Intel Iris Xe Max is optimized to elevate the power of the laptop's processor by up to 20% when it's not being used.

Iris Xe Max has a frequency of 1.65 GHz with 4GB of memory and uses a PCI Express 4.0 connection.

Intel is also promising "great thin-and-light 1080p gaming on popular games." Additionally, the Intel Iris Xe Max will provide Game Sharpening and Instant Game Tuning, which are two new features accessible through Intel Graphics Command Center.

The Intel Iris Xe Max is available in the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 2-in-1, Acer Swift 3x and Asus VivoBook Flip TP470. These will be the first to utilize Intel's latest ultrathin graphics technology.

Intel also plans to get Xe technology into desktops within the first half of 2021 in the hopes of providing an enhanced "visual computing experience" for everyone.

Momo Tabari
Contributing Writer

Self-described art critic and unabashedly pretentious, Momo finds joy in impassioned ramblings about her closeness to video games. She has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Media Studies from Brooklyn College and five years of experience in entertainment journalism. Momo is a stalwart defender of the importance found in subjectivity and spends most days overwhelmed with excitement for the past, present and future of gaming. When she isn't writing or playing Dark Souls, she can be found eating chicken fettuccine alfredo and watching anime.