The first Arc desktop GPU could be out in about a month
Intel’s entry into gaming GPU market currently held by just Nvidia and AMD has been long awaited. Intel took its first step with Arc GPUs in late March, but only with low-end mobile models so far. But the three-way competition could start as soon as this month with the arrival of regular Arc graphics cards in desktop PCs. According to the WCCFtech, mainstream models will come out first and we already have some price estimates.
The arrival of Intel’s desktop gaming graphics cards is getting pretty close. WCCFtech reports that it has found out when, roughly, desktop Arcs might start selling from sources somewhere in Taiwanese graphics companies .
The launch schedule of the cards should be staggered. In the first wave, Intel is reportedly preparing a trio of graphics cards, which is interesting because according to various leaks, there could be a total of seven to eight models in this first generation of its desktop cards for gamers. This hopefully means that more cards will still follow the first three that WCCFtech is talking about so far. These are said to be the Arc 750, Arc 580 and Arc 380 models.
First the performance Arc 7 and the cheap Arc 3
The Arc A750 and A380 are the first to be released. According to WCCFtech, these two cards are expected to be released either sometime at the end of the current month or early next month. Or late May/June, which makes it possible the launch could be tied to Computex. Intel hasn’t given specific release dates to partners yet, only that they will occur sometime in the range of May 15 to June 30 (the information is a few days old though, so something could happen in the meantime). It’s also possible that there could be a delay of maybe a week or two separating the A750 and A380 card launches.
The Arc A750 model will be based on the larger of the two GPUs that Intel has produced, the ACM-G10, but according to earlier leaks, A750 should be the stripped down version with only 75% of the Xe cores active. So the GPU will have 3072 shaders and perhaps the L2 cache could also be shrunk to 12MB and the memory bus narrowed to 192 bits. The card should therefore carry 12 GB of GDDR6 memory with a bandwidth of 384 GB/s.
Performance could reportedly be somewhere around the GeForce RTX 3060 – for now, this would be the highest Intel will get in the performance rankings until a fully enabled version of the GPU comes out. However, the company is reportedly telling partners that their drivers are improving quite quickly, and performance may therefore reach higher over time after release. The launch price is said to be around 350 USD, which is about 400 EUR including VAT.
Second model Arc 380 would be a low-end SKU based on the ACM-G11 chip, but this time the fully enabled die. So it should have 1024 shaders (8 Xe cores), 4MB L2 cache and perhaps 6 GB of GDDR6 memory on a 96-bit bus (192 GB/s, or slightly less if the effective frequency is below 16.0 GHz).
According to WCCFtech, these graphics cards are supposed to have roughly the same performance as Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 cards from the Turing generation, and the price is supposed to be around 150 USD. For Europe, that would currently be around 170 EUR. It would therefore be one of the most affordable new cards on the market. AMD’s Radeon RX 6400 is close at 159 USD, however.
The midrange Arc 5 later
The third model, which will slot in between the two previous models, is to be released later. It will be the Arc A580 – i.e. the Arc 5 segment. Here Intel is reportedly planning a release sometime in July.
The Arc A580 has the same ACM-G10 GPU as the A750 card, but will be more stripped down, to just 2048 shaders/16 Xe cores. That means only half of the die will be active, and it’ll probably be the same with the memory bus, which will probably be reduced to 128 bits, so the capacity will be 8 GB (bandwidth perhaps 256 GB/s at 16.0 GHz effective frequency). This card, according to WCCFtech, will perform somewhere around Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3050. The price is reportedly projected to be somewhere around 280 USD, at this moment. That would currently amount to about 320 EUR.
Full performance A770/A780 models later?
Intel has reportedly not yet consulted about the release of higher models (A770 and A780) with card manufacturer partners. These cards should have a fully active ACM-G10 chip, and thus could be able to compete in higher performance tiers, against GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, RTX 3070 (and maybe RTX 3070 Ti?) cards. Or alternatively the corresponding cards from AMD’s lineup, of course, which would probably be Radeon RX 6650 XT, RX 6700 XT and RX 6750 XT.
It is possible that the reason these models will come out later is because Intel initially reserves the fully active ACM-G10 chips for laptop graphics. But it would be better if it wouldn’t take too long for that to change, because after the end of the summer holidays, the competitors are going to bring in a whole new generation of GPUs, while these Arc cards were originally meant to compete with the current one.
Intel has previously announced that it will release the most powerful card of the Alchemist generation under the Limited Edition label this summer. This should probably be one of those higher models instead ofthe A750, so either A770 or A780.
English translation and edit by Jozef Dudáš, original text by Jan Olšan, editor for Cnews.cz