The Intel Arc Alchemist desktop GPU is finally here, unveiled in most of its glory at the end of the company’s Arc Graphics YouTube event. Team blue will release a limited edition variant of the graphics card in Summer 2022, alongside three new discrete graphics options that aim to offer enhanced 1080p gameplay and features like XeSS upscaling.
Unfortunately, Intel’s keeping hush on specs relating to its best graphics card contender, but a glimpse at its design reveals dual fans tucked beneath a stylised grille that proudly reiterates the product’s “limited edition” status. The company has yet to clarify exactly what it means by ‘limited’, but it could be a reference to the add-in card’s subtle grey and dark silver design.
In terms of output options, a rotational view of the GPU reveals one HDMI output and three DisplayPorts. Weirdly, the graphics card doesn’t appear to have a visible power connector, but this is presumably something Intel has chosen to omit from its teaser 3D model.
Intel’s “one more thing” showstopper is what gaming PC enthusiasts have been waiting for, but the presentation also marked the launch of the Arc Alchemist discrete graphics lineup. There are five variants of team blue’s gaming laptop chip, which are assigned into Arc 3, Arc 5, and Arc 7 categories, with the latter set to arrive in early Summer.
At the top end of the scale, the Arc 7 packs 16GB GDDR6 memory, 32 Xe cores, and 32 ray-tracing units, while the entry-level Arc 3 offers 4GB of VRAM paired with 6 Xe and RT cores. Intel’s wide range of options should help it compete with several Nvidia and AMD mobile chips, especially since its flagship model seems to be on par with the discrete GeForce RTX 3080 Ti.
Of course, we’ll need to wait for benchmarks before knowing whether Intel’s graphics lineup will make its competition sweat. Also, while its Arc Alchemist teaser has piqued our interest, it’s hard to tell whether it’s set to compete with upcoming RTX 4000 series GPUs, or if it’s designed to sit amongst current RTX 3000 series combatants.