Intel could finally reveal its first gaming-grade graphics card, the Xe HPG, as soon as March 26.
That’s when the company will launch its Xe HPG Scavenger Hunt (opens in new tab), what appears to be an alternate reality game (ARG) based around uncovering the long-awaited Intel graphics project.
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GPU stock shortages have meant that PC gamers are still largely unable to find where to buy the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 and other recent graphics cards. That includes the AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT, which launched this week and promptly sold out.
It doesn’t seem like Intel is actually releasing the Xe HPG GPU on March 26, but there’s likely some hunger for alternatives to the M.I.A. Nvidia and AMD graphics cards.
Intel’s scavenger hunt site itself was only found after the processor giant dropped some cryptic clues. VideoCardz (opens in new tab) spotted a binary code hidden in an Intel GDC 2021 video (opens in new tab), which Wccftech (opens in new tab) readers cracked as being an IP address leading to the Intel site.
We need to decode this 😎00100011101000001110110111010000🤔🧐 pic.twitter.com/PCEZskpbsKMarch 18, 2021
Intriguingly, the binary code wasn’t the only apparent hint in the video. There was also a seven-digital alphanumerical code that flashed shortly before the binary string appeared, which remains thus far unsolved. It reads 79.0731W — could this be a scrambled code or something simpler, like “31W” referring to the 31st week of the year?
Perhaps we’ll find out on March 26 when the hunt commences. Though that's yet another mystery, as there’s been no hint as to what the hunt entails beyond participants eventually being able to enter a “secret code.”
As for what we know of the Xe HPG so far, it’s the gaming GPU version of Intel Xe: a total overhaul of Intel’s graphics architecture. Integrated Xe graphics are already present in certain laptops, but the Xe HPG is expected to form the basis of much more powerful dedicated graphics cards.
Previously, Intel has only confirmed that the Xe HPG will launch in 2021 and support ray tracing, a feature common to the Nvidia GeForce RTX 30-series and AMD’s Radeon RX 6000 series. Unofficially, Intel’s GPU is expected to use GDDR6 video memory and could be scalable enough to power graphics cards at a range of price points.
We’ll keep you updated on any major developments in the Xe HPG Scavenger Hunt. In the meantime, those who haven’t given up hope can try checking where to buy the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 and where to buy the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti.