Intel Rumored to Launch Arc Alchemist Desktop Cards Around Computex

Intel Rumored to Launch Arc Alchemist Desktop Cards Around Computex

May 5, 2022 0 By

Apparently, Intel intends to start selling its high-end Arc Alchemist graphics cards for desktops sometime in the third quarter, but it wants to formally introduce some members of the Alchemist family a bit earlier. At least, that’s the case if a new rumor from Taiwan is accurate. Intel has reportedly decided that broad media coverage of the Computex tradeshow is a promotional resource too good to pass up, which is why mid-range and performance mainstream Arc Alchemist GPUs will allegedly be revealed in late May or early June.

Attracting Attention

According to a report from WccfTech that cites its sources from Taiwan, Intel plans to introduce its Arc Alchemist A750, A580, and A380 discrete graphics cards for desktops in late May or early June. The Arc Alchemist A750 and A580 cards are projected to become available around the time of their formal launch. By contrast, Intel’s entry-level A380 could be announced at a later date and hit the market in July, if the information proves accurate. Meanwhile, the flagship Arc Alchemist A780 graphics board will be available even later, so expect it sometime in the third quarter, which ends on September 31.

Launching new Arc Alchemist graphics processors and cards at or around the Computex timeframe means that they will get very broad media coverage. Makers of add-in-boards (AIBs) will showcase them at their booths, will talk about their competitive advantages, and demonstrate various Intel-approved demos and/or performance numbers. All of these will inevitably draw the attention of the crowd to the new graphics boards with a blue badge on them.

Attracting attention for performance mainstream, mid-range, and entry-level boards is important for Intel due to the late arrival of its flagship Arc Alchemist A780 GPU. However, without a halo effect created by a top-of-the-range GPU, it is vital to properly position cheaper offerings and show them in a good light compared to their direct rivals.

Priced Between $150 and $350

Intel has supposedly already communicated recommended prices and comparable GPUs to its AIB partners, again provided the report is correct. It also reassured board makers that its drivers were improving, which may suggest that the performance of the GPUs is gradually increasing while the number of bugs and glitches is decreasing. Those are all important things, and AMD and Nvidia have a leg up on Intel GPUs because they’ve literally been doing this for decades. It’s only in the past couple of years that most games could even attempt to run on Intel’s integrated graphics solutions and not have severe issues.

Intel GPUComparable Nvidia GPUMSRPLaunch WindowA780GeForce RTX ??Q3 2022A750GeForce RTX 3060$350Late May – Early JuneA580GeForce RTX 3050$280Late May – Early JuneA380GeForce GTX 1650 $150July

The Arc Alchemist A380 is set to carry a $150 recommended price tag to compete against Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1650. Since this part is presumably based on the smaller ACM-G11 GPU, comparing it to Nvidia’s entry-level gaming GPU that does not support features like ray tracing makes sense. Meanwhile, GeForce GTX 1650 cards currently cost starting from $200~$220 in the U.S., so Intel is obviously trying to offer a better price here, if the $150 MSRP is accurate. Of course the GTX 1650 launched three years ago at a price of $160, so delivering similar performance at basically the same price today isn’t exactly an amazing success.

Next up is the Arc Alchemist A580, which is projected to cost around $280 and fight against Nvidia’s RTX 3050-series products. The card is allegedly powered by a cut-down version of Intel’s larger ACM-G10 graphics processor, though how deep those cuts go isn’t yet clear. Still, positioning it against Nvidia’s base model RTX offering is a bit strange. In any case, RTX 3050 boards currently start at $300 ~ $340, so if Intel’s A580 can offer similar level of performance across a broad range of games it might be worth a shot — assuming prices don’t drop even further before the card launches.

Finally, Intel’s performance-mainstream Arc Alchemist A750 part is expected to be priced at around $350 and compete against Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3060. This graphics card is based on a slightly cut-down ACM-G10 GPU, so it should probably have enough oomph to fight Nvidia’s offering, at least in games that do not heavily use ray tracing. Again, Intel seems to plan undercutting Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3060 on price by a significant margin as RTX 3060 boards start at $410 ~ $440 in retail (assuming that the information about Intel’s price is correct).

If Intel manages to ensure that Arc Alchemist graphics cards from AIB manufacturers retail at the above prices, these boards will could prove to be formidable competitors for Nvidia’s entry-level and midrange GeForce products. However, it remains to be seen whether Intel’s partners will be willing to sell Arc Alchemist products at bargain prices if these cards offer competitive performance when compared to direct rivals. There’s also the question of AMD’s Radeon RX 6000-series, which currently tend to offer much better price to performance values based on our GPU benchmarks and look at current GPU prices.

Uncertainties with Flagship

That still leaves the question of Intel’s flagship Arc Alchemist product, the Arc Alchemist A780 based on the fully-fledged ACM-G10 with all the pipelines and processing cores enabled and working at higher clocks.

Rumors say that Intel wants to position its flagship Arc Alchemist A780 against Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3070 or even RTX 3070 Ti graphics boards that retail for $700 ~ $780. If Intel’s Alchemist A780 manages to hit RTX 3070/RTX 3070 Ti’s performance levels, which seems a bit of a stretch (especially in games that use ray tracing, as Nvidia’s Ampere GPUs simply have far more RT cores), Intel won’t want to sell the cards too cheaply.

Even if Intel’s Arc Alchemist A780 ends up at $550, the gap between the model A750 ($350) and the model A780 will be too big. That means Intel may have a product that will sit between A750 and A780 and will compete against Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, like an A770. And of course, GPU prices continue to fall and we could eventually see RTX 3070 at $500 and RTX 3060 Ti at $400, their official MSRPs, by the time the A780 rolls around.

But while pricing of Intel’s flagship offerings is one factor that will determine its success on the market, another is its launch timeframe. Releasing the Arc Alchemist A780 just ahead of AMD’s and Nvidia’s next-generation offerings don’t make much sense, as gamers will wait for upcoming green and red team GPUs to show their performance and features and only then consider taking the blue pill card. By then, delivering performance roughly equal to a GeForce RTX 3070/3070 Ti may no longer be that appealing for gamers, unless the price also takes a substantial cut.

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