The Intel Arc series has been the subject of speculation for many months. Codenamed Alchemist, the GPU is designed to tackle gaming-specific demands. Although Intel has long developed integrated graphics solutions in their CPU lineup, the Intel Arc series is different, in that it includes discrete GPUs aimed at gamers and PC builders. Now, Intel has announced release dates for the much-anticipated Intel Arc GPU series, set to compete with Nvidia and AMD across multiple product lines.
Intel announced its planned release timeframe in a tweet posted to the @IntelGraphics Twitter account. Intel intends to release its GPU products in a staggered approach, starting with notebook GPUs which are set to be launched this quarter. Intel will follow this up in Q2 with their desktop lineup, then end in Q3 with workstation-grade GPUs, should things go to plan.
Intel describes their GPU strategy as the start of a new era. With benchmark leaks showing that the Intel Arc GPU beats the Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti in test scores, it’s no wonder that gamers are hoping the Intel Arc series could be the answer to the GPU shortage. Intel is already looking to 2023 with an extensive roadmap that includes a future GPU codenamed Battlemage, with the company “increasingly confident” about their strategy.
The Intel Arc series is based on the Intel Xe GPU architecture and will include Xe Super Sampling, which Intel refers to as “AI-enhanced upscaling.” These types of features have become important in recent GPU designs, with Nvidia offering a similar system called DLSS, and AMD competing with their FidelityFX upscaling technology. Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger is hoping to put pressure on Nvidia, with Intel looking to compete against the Nvidia GeForce and AMD Radeon lineups, which have both recently been refreshed.
At CES 2022, Nvidia announced a spate of new GPUs, including the GTX 1050 which promises DLSS and raytracing at 60FPS, 1080p. AMD responded in kind with their equivalent RX 6500 XT GPU. Unfortunately, availability of these GPUs has been poor. The Intel Arc series promises to be a solution to this; Gelsinger has said the company wants address GPU shortages, aiming to deliver “millions of Arc GPUs”.
Competition in the GPU space couldn’t have come at a better time for gamers, who have been suffering from increasing GPU prices and poor product availability. While there’s no guarantee that the Intel Arc series will help remedy this, it ought to shake up the discrete GPU market, which has long been an AMD-Nvidia duopoly.