For the longest time, the two pillars of graphics cards have been NVIDIA and AMD. However, there’s about to be a third pillar supporting the GPU space, as Intel has officially announced its own Arc GPU brand with devices targeted at gamers seeking the best performance from their hardware.
Intel’s New Arc GPU Brand Is Coming
Intel’s GPU devices were initially called “DG2,” but they’ve received the official Arc branding from Intel. The first GPUs in the Arc line have a brand new code name now, as Intel refers to them as “Alchemist.”
The company says it plans to ship its first batch of Alchemist products by the end of March 2022, so we’ll be waiting for some time before we can get our hands on these chips to see how they compare to NVIDIA and AMD’s offerings.
After Alchemist, Intel plans to ship devices with the codename Battlemage, Celestial, and Druid (see the pattern here?), but those are a long way out.
“Today marks a key moment in the graphics journey we started just a few years ago. The launch of the Intel Arc brand and the reveal of future hardware generations signifies Intel’s deep and continued commitment to gamers and creators everywhere,” said Roger Chandler, Intel vice president and general manager of Client Graphics Products and Solutions.
Unfortunately, Intel didn’t provide too much information about the actual performance of its upcoming cards, only saying they’ll support all DirectX 12 Ultimate features, ray-tracing acceleration, and AI-based supersampling for antialiasing. These features are required to compete with modern GPUs, but we’ll have to wait and see if Intel can offer anything else to make them stand out from the crowd.
Intel says we can expect to learn more about its upcoming GPUs later in 2021, so we’ll have to be patient for the time being.
Will These Cards Actually Be in Stock?
Of course, if Intel can produce enough cards to actually have them in stock, that would certainly give the company a leg up, as finding GPUs for anywhere near MSRP is almost impossible at this point. Hopefully, by March 2022, the GPU shortage will have worked itself out, and we will be able to easily get cards from NVIDIA, AMD, and Intel at a standard price.
If you can’t wait until 2022, Intel is selling shirts with its Arc branding, though even those won’t ship for some time.