The Graphics Arc-Intel’s New Arc GPU

The Graphics Arc-Intel’s New Arc GPU

Not quite the hero we needed, wanted or deserved. That being said it’s nice to have another competitor enter the lineup. We expect a release this summer, hopefully by the end of August 2022.    The launch will consist of the A380, A580, A750, and not the fabled A780. The A indicates the generational launch and stands for codename Alchemist, and the next generation is said to be B for BattleMage.   Intel doesn’t have an answer for the high-end desktop cards to compete with Nvidia or AMD in their first launch of desktop GPUs.

Arc Line Up and How It Stacks Up

The Arc A380 is scheduled to be the entry-level card from Intel and according to specs should pair well against the Gtx 1650 or Rx 6400.  As of now, it seems they are behind on driver development leaving potential performance on the table. Gamers Nexus reviewed and benchmarked the A380 and confirmed A380 doesn’t perform appropriately without enabling Resizable Bar.  This level of GPU is the least processing you would need to do entry-level gaming, but it won’t handle DX 11 very well without some major driver updates.  Though not the best specs, it does have Ray Tracing Cores, which might not be great in games at these specs, but could help with development tasks and art design.

  • 2000MHz base clock
  • 8 Ray Tracing Cores
  • 1024 Shading units 128 Vector engines*8 X cores
  • 75W TDP
  • $150

The Arc A580 specs are not officially released, but it is alleged to compete with the Rtx 3050 and has incrementally better specs than the A380 and a significantly higher TDP.  Rumors the price point will be around $280 make it reasonable for its rumored performance.

The A750 is another incremental improvement at least in rumors and is aimed at the RTX 3060 in performance and spec.  And thought to be launched at a $350 MSRP.

The rumored A780 is no longer thought to be launching per the head of Intel’s Graphics Marketing Ryan Shrout on Twitter.

What are the Positive Takeaways?

Intel finally entering the GPU market should shake things up even if only competing in the low to mid-range market. As they improve driver support and their processes, this could make AMD and Nvidia sweat a little as Intel takes its slice of the market share.  I don’t expect this generation of Arc GPUs to pose much of a threat, however, it’s a step in the right direction.

Right now Intel is one of the only companies that are poised to even attempt to compete with the GPU Giants AMD and Nvidia.  With more and more demand for CPUs and GPUs in everything we use in modern society, I imagine there will be a niche for Arc GPUs to fall into.  It might not even land where we think it is going to.

What are the Negatives?

Intel is way behind when it comes to discreet graphics cards and doesn’t have the robust driver libraries or driver knowledge of the other two big guys. AMD and NVIDIA have been building and updating drivers for their lineups for a long time now and are continually improving their driver support.  Intel is going to have a steep climb to catch up in the driver race.

Entry-level and mid-level GPUs have always been great at running older titles even though they may struggle in newer triple-A titles.  Intel’s Arc GPU is not going to have such a good time however because they are severely lacking in Direct X 11 support.  That could all change by launch or even after launch, but as of right now, it’s not looking very encouraging.

Who Are These Cards For?

Not gamers, but possibly designers and data centers will have specific use cases that allow these cards to shine.  Anyone entering the PC gaming world is not going to want one of these because they are rife with nuance and would ultimately lead to frustration when trying to get certain games and programs to function as intended.  The cards are said to do well in many modern games, but the idea that older games on DX 11 won’t play well makes this a hard sell for me.

Enthusiasts that want a new toy to tinker with will have plenty to chew on with these brand new to market Intel Arc GPUs.  I expect we will soon see massive boost clock and voltage increases in these cards from the overclocking community.  And because they seem to be built well should hold up to the abuse people will put them through. Mostly.  I don’t see this generation of Arc GPU causing any major disruptions in the market, but it’s possible that it is paving the way for future iterations to do just that.

In Conclusion

I look fondly over to Intel and wish them the best of success with the Arc lineup and the future genIn Conclusionerations to come.  I hope that when this launches completely it is enough to get a foothold in the discreet graphics card market.  That wouldn’t just be good for Intel, but for consumers as well.  More competition leads to more innovation and better less expensive units for end users.

If you are looking for a hassle-free GPU this is probably not the card for you.  In the future it might be though.  This might not even be true in a few months, but right now with no DX11 support I can’t recommend this GPU for any new PC users and even experienced users may want to shy away from this generation of Intel Arc GPUs.

Thanks for reading,

Chris Coul

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