Intel Arc Alchemist is the naming that Intel has been using for their line of high-performance consumer graphics products. The line-up was originally announced in August 2021 aiming to compete with Nvidia. The ‘Arc’ in name showcases the multiple generations of graphics cards that are specifically targeted at gaming. It is not the same as the Intel Xe series, which is just there for normal day-to-day tasks.
The company has been touting its Intel Xe line of graphics cards for almost 2 years but now with the Intel Arc line-up, we can expect to see some much-needed boost in performance. Currently, none of the Intel Xe graphics cards can match up to the performance of Nvidia cards. So their new lineup of cards is expected to solidify Intel’s place in the dedicated graphics space too.
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Intel Arc Alchemist Graphics Card: Specifications
If all goes well according to Intel we will be seeing some of the most powerful gaming laptops and desktops running Intel Arc Alchemist graphics cards. It is rumoured that the new GPU from Intel can be as powerful as the Nvidia GTX 3070 Ti. But this claim is yet to be officially tested. According to Videocardz, rumoured specifications suggest that the upcoming GPU from Intel will feature 4,096 GPU cores. Along with this, the GPU will feature a boost clock of 2.2-2.5 GHz, 16GB GDDR6 memory, and a 256-bit memory bus.
In a recent event to showcase how powerful Intel Arc Alchemist can be the Intel team had it installed inside the ‘Beast Canyon’ small form factor custom gaming PC. But it is important to note that the GPU was optimized with XeSS upsampling technology for better FPS and performance. The XeSS upsampling technology is the company’s answer to DLSS and FSR by Nvidia and AMD.
Even with a top-notch gaming setup, you can expect to see your fans running on max. But it remains to be seen how well the Intel Arc Alchemist is able to handle new gaming titles that include rate racing and supersampling support in the future.
Intel Arc Alchemist Graphics Card: Architecture
The Intel Arc Alchemist graphic cards will use the Xe HPG architecture or a similar version of it. Intel also announced that they already have three future versions in work which are: Xe2 HPG, Xe3 HPG, and Xe Next.
We can expect to see the GPU be configured with the 256-bit Vector engine that will deliver hardware acceleration for both the computing and graphics-intensive tasks. On the other hand, the 1024 bit engines will push the AI functionality to improve the frame rates in your demanding gaming titles. The technology is similar to what Nvidia and AMD offer with their CUDA cores (for processing) and Tensor cores (for A.I. accelerated operations) respectively.
Talking about AMD and Nvidia another similarity that Intel Arc Alchemist have is that it will also run both rasterization and ray tracing features, as well as texture sampling, pixel processing, and geometry processing. Also, the Intel Arc Alchemist will be optimized for both DirectX 12 Vulkan and Ultimate.
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Intel Arc Alchemist Graphics Card: Features
We will be seeing the Intel Arc Alchemist lineup for both desktops and laptops. For now, there is only A350M and A370M available for ultra-thin gaming laptops. Now talking about the core features of Intel Arc Alchemist. One of the major features that became a talking point for the GPU is the Intel Deep Link technology which is one of the major strengths of the Intel Arc Alchemist. Deep Link works as a performance boost between Intel processors and graphic cards for gaming as well as graphic-intensive tasks that require hardware acceleration.
The future is primarily marketed towards laptop users in parallel with the other feature which is called ‘Dynamic Power Share’. This is how Dynamic Power Share works, it organically and efficiently roots power between GPU and CPU based on the task at hand. This is done to improve the overall performance when you need the most from your system. Intel seems to be claiming that it will drastically improve the battery life gaming performance as well as graphics rendering. So we can expect the Deep Link technology to be adopted by other software developers such as Adobe. If you are someone who renders a lot of videos as a creator then the Deep Link technology could be genuinely a game-changer for you.
The supersampling Deep Link resolution technology from Intel is much like the DLSS from Nvidia and FidelityFX Super-Resolution from AMD. Similar to those existing technologies XeSS uses an algorithm combined with the physical power of the GPU to optimize the visual appearance. This also reduces the physical workload done by the graphics card on your system. You can see it as a free frame rate boost but with minor changes to the visuals when compared to the native resolution performance.
Moreover, Intel has also listed a number of upcoming games that will receive XeSS support in the near future. These include Death Stranding: Director’s Cut and games such as Grid Legends, Hitman 3, Grit, and the Rift Breaker. But as of now, it is hard to describe how XeSS will be able to compete against what Nvidia and AMD have already out in the market. But the 4K performance it provides is certainly commendable.
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Intel ARC Limited Edition Discrete Desktop GPU
Along with this at the end of the announcement, the company also unveiled plans to release a new dedicated GPU for PC. It appears to be called Intel Arc Limited Edition Graphics and it is scheduled to be launched in Q3.
For now, all we have to look at is the design of the card. From some of the renders, you can say that it includes two axial fans instead of the regular blower-type arrangement that we see in most graphics cards today.
You can also tell that the dual-slot dual fan card includes one HDMI port and four DisplayPorts. Along with this the card will likely have a power consumption of up to 450W and will probably run pretty hot. Also for heat dissipation, there are four heat pipes attached to the fin stack on the integrated heat sink. The render does not include anything that might be considered supplemental power so we can assume that it’ll draw power from the motherboard. In the case of memory, it is not clear yet but we can assume to see that Intel will go with either 8GB or 16GB of memory.
It isn’t the first time Intel has created a GPU dedicated to desktop PCs. There is also Intel Xe DG1 which was made only for a few PCs and was only available with built-in desktops. But this time with the Arc series it is different and we can expect to see it available for the larger custom PC market.
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Intel ARC A-Series Mobile GPU
Intel will be launching two Intel Arc 3 Series GPUs with two variants A350M and A370M. These mobile GPUs will be available in the coming weeks starting with the Samsung Galaxy Book 2. Along with this, there will be Arc 5 and Arc 7 GPUs as well that will be launching later this year.
For instance, the Intel Arc 3 GPUs are competing with cards like the RX 6500M and RTX 3050. While the Intel Arc A770M will compete against the Nvidia RT 3080Ti Mobile and will feature 16GM of memory and a 256-bit bus. Like the desktop range, all Intel Arc Alchemist mobile GPUs feature the same architecture. And that being said, it supports ray tracing, variable-rate shading, and Intel’s XeSS upsampling technology.
Competition with AMD and Nvidia
A very important question is can Intel Arc Alchemist really compete against Nvidia and AMD? As per all the specifications and performance figures, we have seen it does suggest that Intel has something in hand that will give a proper competition to these two giants. But it all ultimately boils down to what customers will want to use in the long term.
We have seen what the Nvidia RTX 30 series is capable of and how the AMD RX6000 series has been performing since the launch. It is simply impossible to get your hands on these video cards for their actual retail price. So there is an opportunity for Intel here to take the market over by storm. But this is only possible if they have enough stock available not only for gaming laptops and PCs but also for discrete video cards as well. If they are able to deliver this then Intel Arc Alchemist can really become a popular choice for many consumers.
Moreover, it is also reported that many of the major graphic card manufacturers such as Asus, MSI, Gigabyte, EVGA, Zotac, and more have partnered up with Intel for its latest line of video cards. It will also be a great opportunity for Intel to deliver the much-needed graphic cards when currently the market is seeing a kind of drought.
So if Intel is really serious about competing with what Nvidia and AMD are offering; then they need to keep their prices comparable enough so that the performance can be directly matched. If Intel really wants to compete with its Arc Alchemist Graphics Card then they need to focus on their mid their options. And even better if they undercut the competitors or match their price at least. As Intel will be a new player in this dedicated graphics market they really need to focus on aggressive pricing to turn the tide in their favour.
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