Intel May Launch Arc Alchemist Desktop Cards at Computex at Competitive Prices
Rumor mill: Intel’s window of opportunity to gain momentum in the desktop GPU market is closing, and the company knows it. Industry insiders claim that Team Blue has been reaching out to its supply chain partners to speed up the launch of its Arc A-series desktop GPUs. And best of all, the price can be low enough to steal the thunder from Nvidia and AMD competitors, at least in the core performance segment.
In less than a week, AMD will make the final push for RDNA 2 generation GPUs with updated RX 6000 series graphics cards. Meanwhile, Intel is struggling to get its Arc Alchemist desktop GPUs ready, but even the laptop versions announced over a month ago are missing. In action.
Intel’s official window for releasing Arc desktop GPUs is “end of Q2”, so given the paper launch of mobile versions, you can expect the same to happen for the rest of the Alchemist family. In other words, Intel could announce new products in June and give them a few months to spread through various release channels.
However, new reports suggest that Team Blue is exploring the idea of holding a presentation at Computex, which will host both in-person and online events from May 24 to 27. Several industry insiders from Taiwan claim that Intel wants to ride the wave of media coverage at Computex, which is expected to feature many announcements from the likes of AMD, Arm, Asus, IBM, Microsoft, MSI, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Supermicro, Zotac, Acer, Gigabyte and Kioxia.
Intel has not yet agreed on the details with its partners, but the idea is to announce the Arc A580 and Arc A750 graphics cards later this month and start selling them in early June. The entry-level Arc A380 will go on sale at the end of June and hit the market in July, while the flagship Arc A780 will arrive sometime in August/September.
Saving the high-end Intel Arc Limited Edition graphics card for later presents some challenges as there won’t be a halo effect to swallow up the rest of the lineup. At the same time, Intel will be releasing its desktop Arc GPUs when GPU prices and availability improve significantly every month.
Based on early tests, the performance of the upcoming Arc desktop GPUs won’t be impressive, so it would be a mistake to ask for a premium over similar offerings from Nvidia and AMD. Recent rumors indicate that the MSRP ranges from $150 for the Arc A380 (performance similar to RX 6500 XT/GTX 1650) to $350 for Arc A750 (performance similar to RX 6600XT/RTX 3060).
If true, this could be a boon for gamers who can’t wait for the next-gen lineup from Nvidia and AMD and are quite happy with running modern games at 1080p and medium-high detail. One could also argue that Intel missed the opportunity by waiting so long for its desktop graphics cards to launch. However, the slow pace of driver development suggests that Team Blue probably ran into a problem or two in the software department.