July 31, 2019 posted by

Intel keeps very careful track of its internal engineering samples, going to great lengths to ensure that if they leave the lab it is in pieces so small that they could never be reassembled again. So the first question we need to answer is: how did we get our hands on this thing? eBay obviously. What can’t you buy on eBay? A sponsorship on Linus Tech Tips. For that you have to talk to Colton, like Corsair did. Corsair’s Dark Core SE RGB wireless mouse features 1ms, 2.4ghz and low latency bluetooth connectivity.
Check it out at the link below. [intro music] So the seller turned out to have been a contractor at Intel a few years ago, who in the middle of a sixth-floor renovation went dumpster diving through the boxes full of “junk” that was destined for the e-waste pile. Apparently It was a treasure trove of press samples, laptops and this GPU-looking thing, that was noteworthy for being blue instead of green or red. You see, by that point, project Larrabee – this, sort of – had been cancelled for years and how many years depends on which cancellation you’re going by. So talking to Tom Forsyth, who was one of the key team members, he figures they got cancelled anywhere from four to five times, and remembers getting these weird memos. Yeah… You guys are gonna see some headlines. It’s just a thing. None of you were laid off. Just keep on working. BT-dubs you’ve been rebranded Xeon Phi. Thanks, bye. So what is this thing? That’s actually a somewhat complicated question, but because it’s got a DVI port, not to mention DisplayPort and HDMI soldered onto it, it is technically an engineering sample board for Intel’s first and to date only dedicated graphics card. Now, most people who follow the mainstream tech press believe that project Larrabee was an abject failure but as is so often the case, the truth is actually stranger than fiction. Not only was it a success, but it powered TH2, which was the world’s most powerful supercomputer for over two years, and ten years later you can actually still buy its descendants, either in socketed form, as we reviewed just last year, or on Amazon for a cool 1,500 greenbacks. So as it turns out, the goal of the program never was actually to create a gaming GPU. That was just a workload that was already fairly well understood at the time because, you got to remember, back in the mid 2000s the idea of using a GPU as a general-purpose computing unit was just emerging, so this idea of using it for gaming was actually just a small part of a business case to build a processor that had many highly efficient x86 cores that could be easily just, like, slotted into these powerful supercomputers. But that doesn’t mean that it couldn’t have been used for gaming. In fact, by the time they wound down the units that were working on graphics, they had about 300 of the top selling games on Steam running on the thing, with a card just like this one as the only GPU in the system. And the way this whole thing worked is incredible. Now, a normal graphics card, or GPU rather, uses a lot of fixed function hardware, so if you told it “okay look, I don’t need shaders, just draw a ton of tiny lines with really nice anti-aliasing” so it’s pretty much CAD, in a nutshell. It would use only a fraction of its hardware. But with Larrabee, everything is software, so the whole chip is lit up doing that. So that actually help to offset the x86 overhead a fair bit. This was the fastest CAD card at the time, and it had other benefits. With regular GPUs, you might run into a situation where enabling a particular feature in a game might hit the AMD users a lot harder than the Nvidia users or vice versa. So during development, AMD and Nvidia, they both have to actually guess as best they can what the next couple of years of games will demand, and then try to look into their crystal ball and build their hardware around that. Larrabee, no such limitation. This thing is a full-blown computer with up to 61 quad-threaded cores running a normal operating system like FreeBSD. Like, you could actually telnet into the thing and run a top command and see a list of all the processes that were running on it, and if you were running a game you’d see, I don’t know, 128 or 200 processes called “DirectX graphics”, and you could do that while the thing was working! So if you wanted you could cordon off some of the cores and use them for something else, or you could just yolo it and throw another workload into the mix and then just let the processor manage itself. The only non-programmable hardware on this puppy is the texture unit which takes very simple commands. I mean, wrap your brain around this. The thing that I’m looking at right here is Intel’s first ever DirectX 11 GPU. Even though it was built before DirectX 11. So this was possible because all of those graphics card features that are normally running in hardware are just running in software, so you could actually update it to DirectX 11 or DirectX 12 With a driver update. Now, there are some caveats here. I mean, there’s a reason that the thing never made it into a computer near you. It wasn’t as efficient as a dedicated graphics card for a lot of things. So it only got about a quarter of the performance in games as a comparably power consuming card from AMD or Nvidia at the time. But it was really good at certain graphics workloads for a number of reasons and- I mean if you think about it and you look at how far off they were, considering that they were effectively emulating dedicated hardware, it’s damn impressive. So… What happened? Well, management happened. Intel at its core, ha-ha, is a hardware company, so they wanted all the features completed so they could either ship this thing or can it. Because in the hardware world making up a four times difference in performance is impossible and you might as well just pull the plug, but the team wanted to work on performance optimization instead, because in the software world it’s not unheard of to go from, like, two pixels showing up on a screen and dog slow to a hundred times faster, in a week if you have a breakthrough. And it got to the point where they had to have separate teams for performance and for features, to get management off their backs. So the performance team actually got Quake running, like really fast, but then they found out that Quake was this weird edge case and the architecture would have to be completely redone. I mean to give you that some idea of the dysfunction, at one point there were three to four software teams with different ideas and working on different rendering architectures. But depending who you ask, the continued development would have been worth it. I mean imagine this: instead of turning anti-aliasing on for an entire scene, imagine if a game developer could say “Well, you know what? This sky is not important to be anti-aliased. Why don’t we just focus all of our AAA on, you know, these characters here, or this foliage there?” Or how about this, like, “oh crap that texture wasn’t loaded. You know what, let’s just procedurally generate a placeholder.” Boom. Arguably the stupidest decision that was made was to make the Larrabee graphics team and the GEN graphichs team, which is what Intel calls its integrated graphics internally, compete together for the same budget, and then like make internal presentations arguing about why their approach was good in the future and the other groups was bad and not the future, because they were both perfectly suitable for what they were doing. Larrabee was never going to be a 5 watt part that you could fit right into a CPU, and a 200 watt PCI Express part was nowhere on the roadmap for GEN. So, what I’ve got here (come on, come on, come on) is not “Knights Ferry”. That was the first Larrabee revision that had some deal breaking bugs. Apparently the saying in the hardware industry is “always plan to make a prototype, since you’ll end up making one anyway”. So this is Knights Corner and probably has anywhere from 6 to 16 gigs of RAM, and up to 62 cores depending on how many of them had some manufacturing flaws. Should we fire it up? I mean, come on, I wasn’t not gonna do that at this point. I spent like $400 on this thing off of eBay. I’ve got no drivers for it, so it’s actually- this is the first time I’ve turned it on so it is very possible that it won’t manage to display anything even in 2d, But I definitely… have to try. By the way, if anyone out there has the secret sauce drivers or has access to the secret sauce drivers that would make this run games, Please, hit me up. I mean, assuming that it even works, which we don’t know yet. I- I actually haven’t tried this, I wanted to save the suspense for the video. This is like far more postcodes than I’m accustomed to seeing. But it hasn’t stopped. And it hasn’t, like, rebooted. We’ve got some kind of uh… We’ve got some kind of LED on here. It looks like it stalled on D6, but I don’t know what that is. Now, when I talked to Tom, he did specifically mention it’s got DVI soldered to it. Now I don’t know if that’s because DVI was the most relevant output at the time, so that’s like what they used internally, or if the display port an HDMI were just dummies and DVI was the only thing that actually worked, so… Take two, I’m gonna run and grab a DVI monitor and gonna try this again. Like I kind of wonder about… You know what, It’s PCIe… I mean, would that be even gen two at that point? Like two thousand… 2007? 2009? I wonder about compatibility with a new board and stuff like that. You know what, I don’t think it’s gonna boot. Well, that’s pretty disappointing. I thought I might be onto something with the whole DVI thing. I’m just gonna try- I’m gonna try one other slot, just uh… I think there’s only one other one out in the wild and some like Russian collector of like weird hardware has it. Yeah. Not you, a different one. Okay, sometimes it hangs on 79 for a bit and then this thing boots, so that might have been a good sign. Oh no, that’s D6 again. I think it’s not going anywhere. Well, that was disappointing, but I’m… I’m gonna let it keep trying while I tell you guys about Massdrop. Oh, I’m like sad. It’s like hard to have any energy. Okay, we’ll try that again. Massdrop! Massdrop is featuring the Sennheiser PC37X Gaming Headset. They’ve got angled drivers and an open-back design and the drivers actually come from the same family as the HD598 and HD600 headphones. They offer superior stereo imaging and locational accuracy, and come with a noise cancelling microphone. They’re available on Massdrop at the link below for a limited time for just $120, so go check them out. So thanks for watching guys. If this video sucked you know what to do, but if it was awesome get subscribed, hit that like button- you can especially hit that like button if you want to make me feel better about how disappointed I feel right now. Uh… Or you can check out the link to where to buy the stuff we featured in the video description. Also linked in the description is our merch store which has cool shirts like this one and our community forum which you should totally join. Oh I really… I was really hoping I was just gonna get the screen to light up. That was all I was really… It was all I really wanted Good night sweet prince. You were too good for this world.



  1. Ca L says:

    tbh im kinda dissapointed linus got this and not someone like ben heck the dude who reverse engineered the nintendo playstation and got it working. need to get ben heck and tom forscythe together in the same room on this.

  2. SerbianGamer17 says:


  3. Damn Dunk says:

    gay earrings

  4. Garage Snax says:

    I have the drivers but they’ll cost you 100 million billion dollars *

    *Said all the people below

    Seriously though, I really hope you find the drivers and show us that baby’s performance. Quite intriguing…..

  5. Rodrick Moore says:

    no way

  6. Benjamin McSpadden says:

    I just happened to get those headphones in today and they rock so yay!

  7. Ydel Zuriel says:

    This is an advertising channel. Took 14 minutes to show that prototype gpu. Such an a**h*le.

  8. hadi 0838 says:

    and i thought intel were profit only and no profromance but i was proven wrong

  9. Boris B. says:

    02:15 "Intel's only, to date, dedicated graphics card!". Yeah, right…if you don't count i740 AGP from 1998…

  10. Qwe 12 says:

    Nvidia Want you Location!

  11. Technocat1394 says:

    @Linus Tech Tips You wanna bet I can't buy a Linus Tech Tips sponsorship on eBay????

  12. Oldwale401 says:

    14 mins for this.thats bullshit

  13. FaoLOr64 Animations and short movies says:

    It looks like an AMD card though

  14. Puolukka Hillo says:

    Have you guys tried applying an Anthony on this one? Rig with Intel stuff that works and this thing plugged in for examination to see what's in there. A bunch of different Linuxes compiled with all the graphics modules that could have anything to do with this card and maybe patch in a few really experimental ones from where ever. Could POST.

  15. tron944 says:

    But what's the hashrate? asking for us miners.

  16. uwu overload says:

    I swear that's a reskined and gpu

  17. Kavo_xD says:

    You could teach a class with that card the way your waving it around

  18. Kiswono Prayogo says:

    isn't that just a Xeon Phi?
    my old campus has that..
    not for graphic card of course..

  19. Magnus Nilsen says:


  20. Seby1302 says:

    lol Xenon phi is not a graphic card and not a PROTOTYPE this is a coprozessor ^^

    Xeon PHI Coprocessor 7120P
    and the

    Intel Xeon Phi 5110P have 8 GB GDDR5 ECC and 60 Cores xD

  21. M C says:

    I honestly do not think intel will produce gpus in the near future, because considering that intel is not even able to produce igpus, and it uses the igpus of amd, like the vega 10, that makes you really think.

  22. MaCzku says:

    shake baby shake

  23. aarif gangat says:

    Time for linus to suck more intel warty chode….

  24. REZ- Reviews and More! says:

    Can you please give a link to this thing on eBay?

  25. Joe DiGiovanni IV says:

    I've worked on sensitive military installations, and I would imagine a company like Intel has very similar procedures and regulations as far as what kind of documents can go in certain bins, and certainly the disposal of hardware from the facilities. Theres no way this unit was taken from a dumpster. I'd bet anything this thing was found in a separated container, where employees are to dispose of any hardware that's destined to be discarded of, in which is usually then contracted out to destroy of such property, or at a minimum, on site. If this was just a common Intel product, I'd say his story was possible. But theres no friggin way, that a prototype unit like this, with who knows how many thousands of dollars invested into R&D, would ever just end up in a everyday Waste Management dumpster out back . No way. And if somehow it's true, then I have no clue how theres smart enough people to build this product, but noone thinking twice about dumping their prototypes in a dumpster out back?

  26. Kent Hinson says:

    Should try it in slot two with a different gpu in slot one. Just to see if it's the motherboard being mad and thinking there is no output. Might get you past POST.

  27. muhdaimanakmal says:

    Make teams in a company compete ? Sounds like the fall of Nokia cough

  28. Alias100 says:

    Intel CEO: watches this video
    2 minutes later at Linus media group

  29. Iris Chlouch says:


  30. Iris Chlouch says:


  31. Iris Chlouch says:


  32. Sam Ninsai says:

    lol I think Intel was trying to squeeze creativity out of their teams. I wonder if they are now able to apply that creative thinking, to the next generation line up.

  33. Vivek Singh says:

    Ebay is shut in india so

  34. Thunder Kat says:

    So they replace all the cuda cores with tons of CPUs doing their job…No limit to what they can do but with multithreath limitations 😛

  35. Epic Pikachu says:

    Can it play minecraft at 100000 fps

  36. Thuban News Online says:

    Any update on this card?!

  37. Evan Angelillo says:

    i know a lot of stuff that is sold in the shady parts of ebay.

  38. shagadelic3000 says:

    I wish you would handle hardware with more care. You might have just ruined the card yourself.

  39. May Yuhan says:

    best videocard design i've ever seen so far

  40. G-Lad Beatz says:

    *sees the thumbnail

    me: Intel… just…. no smh

  41. xXIproUnhackableDontMessWithMeXx says:


  42. Juice Box says:

    hold 5 on your keyboard 😀

  43. Emerkaes says:

    Are you Stifler's mom son?

  44. E1 says:

    Mrs. Linus can you donate pc parts for me?

  45. Luca Mongiardo says:

    6:50 you seem a lot excited about DirectX 11 in an older card.. but that's normal, i have dx11 also in a GTX 460😂😂

  46. Mark Mathews says:

    Why the hell didn't they continue this. Sound like it would have been their Quadro answer if they got it working better. Perfect for 3D projects the way you were describing it.

  47. nexxusty says:

    No. You don't.

  48. nexxusty says:

    Its also not Intels first GPU. Intel i740 says hello.

  49. The Master Of RED Alien Face says:

    1 Frame in and we now know that Linus is a Labo fan.

  50. Prom1theus Gaming says:

    Linus you should do live streams where you just answer tech questions that your fans have. I would 100% watch that.

  51. Adamadon13 says:

    GabeN wants to know your location

  52. SEENI says:

    Is there any update??

  53. EC2Gaming 101 says:


  54. meezocraft op says:

    I want that too. I want to do a lot of various testings on it. Looks too expensive tho😭😭😭😭😭

  55. meezocraft op says:

    Intel after watching this video. Hey guys we need all that thrown cards back NOW

  56. The Q says:

    Its an FPGA
    This would have been a terrible gpu.

  57. BassLover says:

    ahut the fuck up linus. test this shit

  58. Mr Blades says:

    Intel was doing Ray Tracing in 2010 in game on this thing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVZDH15TRro crazy, nice find Linus, did you ever get it working?

  59. Akbar Teimouri says:

    You are just dragging the videos for too long.

  60. T-bonemain says:

    I cant find the link get me a banger PC pls mine blew up poor gang over here XD

  61. TE5LA says:

    I think Matrox should get back into the consumer gaming market.

  62. Bruce Xu says:

    11:13 Linus I think the "secret sauce" you were looking for is real! You can find it in Intel's internal memo about how AMD is a formidable competitor.

  63. Gareth says:

    I prefer the days of when LTT wasn't a script-based paid actors YouTube channel… this over the top presenting is pretty annoying.

  64. M4THM ok says:

    did you ever think it could be a servers graphics card ??? idk maybe to run specs from??

  65. Didi Graal says:

    I got Linus GPU prototype :p 128GB Vram Ddr10

  66. Luka Uršič says:

    i like the bled lake on the huge monitor behind linus

  67. Joshua Clark says:

    Stop touching the gold pins it's giving me a headache

  68. Kuba Smolis says:

    Did you disassemble it
    There must be an jumper
    (Or they just shredded the traces)

  69. meezocraft op says:

    Intel is like that. Go perfect or go home

  70. Bobby Hagan says:

    It's okay, Linus. You tried. :<

  71. Huey Freeman says:

    Linus is waving that 1500 dollar card around a lot before we know what it can do

  72. Orion Myers says:

    looks like a radeon card with paint lol

  73. Toàn Vũ Minh says:

    I want to dumpster dive in intel’s HQ, or any hardware HQ’s

  74. KateChan says:

    Nice clickbait

  75. Natei says:

    This needs to be looked at again. Theres something here, I hate to see good ideas go to waste

  76. Mutz03 Zockt! says:

    can I get this card?
    I need a GPU the AMD FX onboart card isnt very good

  77. John Veinard Quintana says:

    intel: WE GOT GRAPHICS CARD LOL. ryzen: but we sell graphics card and processors since we are created

  78. XtremeConditions says:

    But I mean, why hasn't Intel just glued a bunch of their integrated graphics cores together and made one larger GPU? They have drivers that run pretty much every game, so I don't really get what the issue is after some R&D work to make this thing legit.

  79. KyroxY says:

    Why do all reference GPUs have blowers?

  80. Michael Kaba says:

    Stop humble bragging, stop taking individual donations. LMG is so strong you should take it public. That ship has sailed. You pay for a name brand on Corsair, not performance. Crucial ram rated at the same speed does the same thing. Just not so flashy looking. You tools that buy that shit are retarded. And he KNOWS this. But yet he will let you over pay for ram or a gpu. Hence the advertising.

  81. Michael Kaba says:

    You are trying to control absolutely everything within your little micro dot of a company. Keep that cute face. You will need it come actual business time.

  82. Michael Kaba says:

    That test bench is shit

  83. Michael Kaba says:

    He tests shit on cinebench instead of a voltmeter and an O scope. Which means he believes manufacturers' specs. Don't ever do that.

  84. Michael Kaba says:

    Time to bail Linus out.

  85. Michael Kaba says:

    If I had unlimited money I could just keep throwing money at it until the problem disappears. Or if I invested 2000.00 in a quality meter and an O scope, i could probably figure out what the fuck was going on.

    I am old. They come in a combined unit nowadays.

  86. Michael Kaba says:

    Put a legitimate piece of test equipment out, explain its results. Then you might have credibility.

  87. Michael Kaba says:

    I have never seen Linus explain anything on a DMM. He really doesn't know what the fuck he is talking about.

  88. Michael Kaba says:

    Linus has absolutely no scientific background.

  89. The Trashmann says:

    Intel should continue the project even if they cancelled it it's a really good idea to have it being mostly software based as they could have a program in it that automatically updates the drivers, or automatically puts your games at the best performance without sacrificing the graphics and with all of that from what I can understand it's basically a computer (all Graphics cards are but this one actually uses a CPU from what I understand) so if they were to make it they could pretty much have the same system as Google Stadia has right now but can play any game with them having the beefy hardware I don't know it's just a theory

  90. Josué Hernandez says:

    Did you get the drivers? Make a part.2 pls continue pls

  91. noy says:

    should make a follow up video since the drivers are available 😮

  92. CalebTheCashew says:

    Linus looks way too happy in this

  93. Thomas Winovich says:

    Try making a whole pc and 2 graphics card into a giant graphics card

  94. youtude y says:

    I couldn't even watch this review. Sorry John.

  95. It’s_Robbie Time says:

    boi you forgot the most important thing benchmarks idrc about all that other bs

  96. Jack Shennan says:

    Could you use something like this for physics processor? Dedicated physX style? (I never got it to really work for me).

  97. Stathis X GR says:


  98. Marvin Westmaas says:

    If you still have this, LTT, there seems to have been a driver which has been pulled which seemed to have had support for upcoming discrete gpu's from team Blue. Maybe those drivers would make this dev board function ( somewhat.. ) as well.

  99. VoVillia Corp. says:

    I wonder if that gpu only works on legacy bios

  100. J. Roberto Ramírez says:

    I actually felt bad for him, He looked like a kid hoping to find an xbox down christmas tree and find a sweater instead XD

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *