Intel Arc flagship GPU is coming ‘very soon’ but won’t beat the Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti
Intel will be launching its high-end Arc A7 graphics cards “soon”, and Team Blue also gives us some basic facts about these GPUs, including how performance improves compared to Nvidia.
All from recent interviews computer gaming hardware (opens in new tab) (German tech website) and digital casting (opens in new tab) (Eurogamer) by Intel’s Tom Petersen and Ryan Shrout (as Video Kaz (opens in new tab) mark).
Intel shared a lot of interesting things going on with the Arc desktop GPUs, confirming that the next upcoming Alchemist graphics cards — the A770 and A750 high-end, which will join the already existing budget A380 — will be here “soon”, so maybe later this month.
There will be reference cards from Intel, available directly from Team Blue’s website, and custom boards from third-party card manufacturers will be available at the same time. The launch will include “key” countries, one of which will be Germany (so this time around, it won’t be limited to Asia for a long time).
When the flagship A770 Do When it debuts, it will be at a rough performance level between Nvidia’s RTX 3060 and 3060 Ti graphics cards, with the A750 roughly equivalent to an RTX 3060.
Of course, as Peterson pointed out in the Digital Foundry interview, the performance you’ll get will vary greatly from game to game, depending on a range of factors (one notable factor is that DX11 games are more erratic , which is a much talked about view lately, compared to DX12 or Vulkan). However, these are still rough performance guides to expect (on the AMD side, we’re talking about a mid-range between the A770’s Radeon RX 6600 and RX 6650 XT, by the way).
Another performance-related topic is that Intel’s Arc GPUs rely heavily on ReBARs (resizable BARs, a PCIe feature that allows the CPU full access to GPU memory to significantly increase frame rates). This is a recognized problem for older PCs that lack support for ReBAR, and Intel is working hard to optimize drivers to help these systems that suffer from Arc GPUs’ considerable performance penalty due to the lack of the feature.
Analysis: Refreshing attitude from Intel that gives us some hope
What’s refreshing about these nuggets from Intel is Peterson’s honesty. For example, we just touched on the thorny ReBAR support issue, and while Intel does work on optimizing for older PCs in this area, for now, Peterson recommends these users go straight to Intel’s GPU rivals AMD or Nvidia. This kind of candid commentary is the subject of an interview here, and it’s nice to see.
Peterson candidly admits that while there are supply issues with the delay in the launch of desktop Arc GPUs, the issues revolve around ensuring game compatibility and a good experience for buyers. Yes, with thousands of popular games out there, it’s always a headache.
Intel certainly knew this, but reading between the lines, the results were probably more head-scratching than expected, hence the long delay.
It’s also clear here that the Arc graphics card’s performance levels won’t be significantly boosted by further tweaking the graphics card driver, but we can expect it to be much more compatible and perform better than a ton of games. Overall experience – that’s mostly what Intel continues to work on right now to determine.
So it turns out that Intel isn’t upping the ante on performance, and with AMD and Nvidia’s next-gen GPUs on the horizon, intense competition in the graphics card space is on the horizon – seriously. The suggestion is that Intel can compete on price, and that’s exactly what we’d hoped — some A7-series desktop GPUs are priced very high against rival offerings.
Peterson also emphasized that Intel isn’t just in this year, or years, or even 10 years — it wants to be a player in graphics cards for a long, long time, and we can expect these drivers to get more and more over time. The more you hone in, and the better you are overall.
While the release of Arc Alchemist has been rather disappointing so far, what’s not disappointing is Intel’s attitude here, which does give us some hope for a brighter and more competitive GPU world , in a world where three players are fighting for it, not a duopoly.