Perspective: Over the past few days, engineering samples of Intel’s Arc Alchemist GPUs have appeared in photos and videos. Of course, they don’t reveal much, but they show that Intel is making steady progress towards their release.
Above is a photo of the Arc GPU provided by Videocards anonymous source. It shows a combination of design elements from the two previous prototypes, the black shroud shown in May and the black PCB shown in October.
Four ports are visible on the left; one HDMI and three DisplayPorts. According to leaked driver updateArc GPUs will be among the first to support DisplayPort 2.0.
In the video below, which may be from the same source that VideoCardz provided the photos, the GPU is removed from the shipping box.
Just FYI, I have no idea where it’s from. pic.twitter.com/QEJs7D7Tmb
— Ayxerious (@ayxerious) February 5, 2022
Its small size stands out (for a modern GPU). It has two slots, standard height and width, so there is only enough space for two fans. It won’t have impressive cooling, but it won’t need it either: with only an 8+6-pin PCIe connector, its power is limited to 225W.
Below is a photo of the GPU circuit board taken from behind by a photographer. anonymous source. It’s likely that the final version will have a back panel, but it’s convenient that this prototype doesn’t have one because we can take a look at its innards.
Rumor has it that there are traces of eight memory modules around the GPU die. If used with 2 GB memory modules, they will provide 16 GB of video memory.
It is clear that Intel is distributing its prototypes to partners, which indicates that they are approaching the final stage of development. Some commentators believe that Intel can still meet the first quarter by releasing it in mid-March, but it is equally likely that Intel will need more time to produce cards and finalize drivers.
In a sense, Intel has been lucky with the shortage of chips. If AMD and Nvidia weren’t making record profits by re-releasing old architectures at insane prices, they would probably have released a new generation of GPUs by now and left Intel in the dust. Be that as it may, Intel may arrive just in time with an RTX 3070/Ti competitor that could be in hot demand.