Intel Kaby Lake-G CPUs With AMD Vega GPU Axed, Why The Unlikely Combo Is Ending

Intel Kaby Lake-G
Intel is discontinuing its Kaby Lake-G processors with AMD's Radeon RX Vega graphics infused into the package, marking the end of what had been an unlikely partnership. Vendors can still order Kaby Lake-G parts and will still be able to do so until July 31, 2020, after which Intel will no longer ship additional units.

Kaby Lake-G entered the scene in November 2017. The surprise collaboration saw two rivals come together to build what had looked like a promising product line combining Intel's 8th generation Core processors with AMD's Radeon RX Vega graphics and HBM2 memory on a single, multi-chip module package (MCM).

At the time, Intel talked about Kaby Lake-G enabling thinner and lighter notebook, 2-in-1, and mini desktop designs, "while delivering incredible performance and graphics for enthusiasts."

Here are the processors affected...
  • Intel Core i7-8706G
  • Intel Core i7-8705G
  • Intel Core i7-8809G
  • Intel Core i5-8305G
  • Intel Core i7-8709G
  • Intel Core i7-8706G
  • Intel Core i5-8305G

Why Intel Is Discontinuing Its Kaby Lake-G Processors With AMD Vega Graphics

So, why has this marriage fallen apart?

"Intel is refocusing its product portfolio. Our 10th gen Intel Core processors with Iris Plus graphics are built on the new Gen11 graphics architecture that nearly doubled graphics performance. We have more in store from our graphics engine that will bring further enhancements to PCs in the future," Intel said in a statement.

Back in May, Intel shared some internal benchmark data pertaining to its Ice Lake-U processors with Gen11 graphics. We will reserve judgement until we have had a chance to run our own benchmarks on Ice Lake-U hardware, but if Intel's data is reflective of real-world experiences, Gen11 out muscles Vega in some situations, and generally brings parity between the two.

Gen11 basically enables the same types of thinner and lighter designs with powerful graphics performance as Kaby Lake-G did. And looking ahead, Intel's first Tiger Lake processors with Gen12 graphics (Xe) are scheduled to arrive in 2020 or 2021.

More broadly, AMD is in a better competitive position and has managed to take some market share away from Intel, in the CPU space. Intel recently acknowledged this reality in a roundabout way, adding it wants to "aggressively compete in all segments."

On the graphics side, AMD has forged ahead with Navi, while Intel is looking to expand its reach with its own discrete GPUs, scheduled to arrive next year. As competition between Intel and AMD heats up, it just does not make sense for Intel to continue collaborating with its rival.