Intel's gaming-grade Arc GPUs break cover; Launching in Q1 2022
Intel's latest bid to enter the high-end graphics card market dominated by NVIDIA and AMD is called Arc (stylized as ARC). This is touted to be the chipmaker's first serious rodeo at making dedicated graphic cards aimed at gamers. Products outfitted with Intel Arc technology are expected to debut in the "first quarter of 2022" and will be based on a GPU codenamed "Alchemist".
Intel's newest GPUs will serve gaming PCs, thin-and-light notebooks
Details about Intel's Arc range (not to be confused with the Intel Ark website that helps decode processor model numbers) are obscure at the moment. However, reports suggest that Arc will serve dedicated graphic card duties on high-end gaming PCs and thin-and-light gaming laptops. The Alchemist codename seems to replace the "DG2" codename that this product range got when it was rumored.
Intel's GPUs to feature features rivaling NVIDIA's DLSS, AMD's FidelityFX
In a recently-released teaser, Intel confirmed that support for contemporary high-end features like hardware-based ray tracing and "AI Accelerated Super Sampling" for content upscaling would be available. The features would compete with NVIDIA's DLSS and AMD's FidelityFX technologies. The trailer also showed Arc GPUs running Forza Horizon 4, PUBG, and Metro Exodus. However, statistics about the silicon's visual and thermal performance remain unknown.
Intel's previous GPU for system integrators rivaled NVIDIA's GTX 1030
Intel revealed that Arc GPUs following the Alchemist would be codenamed Battlemage, Celestial, and Druid. Evidently, the codenames are in alphabetical order and share a high-fantasy theme. These Arc cards previously known as DG2 GPUs seem to succeed a proverbial DG1 card that was released exclusively for system integrators and manufacturers. The DG1's performance was comparable to NVIDIA's GDDR5-based GeForce GTX 1030 GPU.
Pricing, availability, and performance metrics remain unknown
The Alchemist range of GPUs are reportedly based on Intel's Xe HPG microarchitecture that is a mix of the company's HP and HPC microarchitectures. The GPUs are also expected to pack support for variable-rate shading, mesh shading, and DirectX 12 Ultimate. We will have to wait for the GPUs to launch before we get concrete details about their pricing and availability.