In the beginning, Intels Arc Alchemist graphics cards are in a strange position. If all had gone according to the original plan, they would already be out and playable, but many delays have caused the entire range of GPUs to fail, leaving only one card the low-end Arc A380 with a moderate launch in China only. These were meant to finally provide the competition to Nvidia and AMD''s finest graphics cards, so where were the decisions?
Moores Law, a YouTube technology channel, recently gave a particularly severe evaluation of Arc Alchemist''s chances, citing alleged Intel insiders that their unreleased GPUs might be delayed or even canceled due to unavoidable performance difficulties. This report was indirectly denied by Intel''s head architect Raja Koduri, who wrote that the company was extremely committed to our roadmap. However, there is still much to do about this family of cards.
For help defog things a little, here''s where I''ll be able to collect everything we know so far about Arc Alchemist: confirmed models, specs, features, and other functions. These reports either come from Intel themselves, trustworthy third parties, or multiple evidence; the case of the even more elusive Nvidia RTX 40 series has shown how difficult it can be to obtain accurate data from leaks alone.
Intel Arc Alchemist specs and models
Arc Alchemist will consist of lower-end and mid-range cards; it wont be competing with the likes of the RTX 3080. Here are five models we know about, and by all accounts will be the complete set, along with their confirmed GDDR6 VRAM amounts:
|Arc Alchemist model||GDDR6 memory|
|A770 / A770 Limited Edition||16GB|
|A750 / A750 Limited Edition||8GB|
Intel has launched one (the A380) and has announced/shown off another two, the A770 and A750. Both the A580 and A310 should appear soon, as they were both listed alongside the others in an Arc graphics beta driver back in May 2022.
The A770 and A750 Limited Edition variants will be similar to those seen in the Nvidias Founders Edition GeForce cards, and these will be fully customized according to Intel''s specifications (including the cooler designs). Limited Edition models will also have faster memory, though the total amount of GDDR6 will remain constant.
Wccftech claims to have created an Intel presentation slideshow that reveals the last two missing VRAM specs, putting the A580 at 8GB and the A310 at only 4GB. These figures make logical sense given the rest of the Arc Alchemist range, though note the usual warnings about apparent leaks: these specs may even be subjected to modifications.
Sadly, there aren''t many other dead certainties to share. Only the A380 has a complete specs list, which includes its base clock speed as 2000MHz, its TDP as 75W, and a Xe core count of eight people.
Ah, Xe cores are among Arc Alchemists'' cores, which each contain three important elements: a set of 256-bit vector engines capable of showcasing on-screen graphics and 192KB of shared L1 cache. The latter are also capable of machine learning, particularly in the context of an AI-assisted upscaling. Expect the higher-tier Alchemist cards to have more Xe cores on board than the A380.
Intel Arc Alchemist features
XeSS (Xe Super Sampling) is a feature based on Nvidia''s DLSS and AMD FSR 2.0. To improve gaming performance, games are rendered at lower than native resolution. Then, XeSS combines the on-screen image with previous frames to make it more appealing to users, giving it the highest quality, if not all of the sharpness.
XeSS will also require games to actively provide support for it. So far, there were only 14 takers on Intel''s website, but there was likely to be more, despite DLSS and FSR support being limited when they first appeared. However, The Riftbreaker isn''t included, despite having previously served in a public XeSS demo. Here''s how it works:
- Chivalry II
- Death Stranding Directors Cut
- Ghostwire: Tokyo
- GRID Legends
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider
- Super People
- The Settlers
- Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodhunt
On Arc Alchemist GPUs, Ray tracing support is also available, although it remains to be seen how they will perform with such a demanding visual convenience. Also, expect board partners to deploy with modest factory overclocks just as their Nvidia and AMD GPUs most often do.
Intel Arc Alchemist performance
Both the A770 Limited Edition and the A750 Limited Edition have been shown to various media, but only the latter has had proper gaming benchmark results revealed. In a performance showcase video, the A750 Limited Edition was shown running Control at 1440p/High between 56fps and 66fps. However, the specs of the test PC were not disclosed, but it included one of the Intel''s 12th Gen Core chips (which includes several of the best gaming processors on the market).
A comparison graph was used to show the A750 Limited Edition defeating the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 across Control, F1 2021, Cyberpunk 2077, Borderlands 3, and Fortnite. Again, Intel primarily desire to strengthen in on the more affordable half of the graphics card market; I wouldnt expect the A770 to aim much higher than the RTX 3060 Ti, however.
Intel havent provided review units outside of China, although some Western outlets (with more money than RPS) have managed to import retail models over to test. The word, however, is unfortunate.
Hardware Unboxed, for example, tested a Gunnir-designed A380 with an AMD Ryzen 9 5950X. It only averaged 48fps in Assassins Creed Valhalla at 1080p/Highest, 42fps in Hitman 3 at 1080p/Medium, and 52fps in Far Cry 6 at 1080p. It was also much quicker than the Radeon RX 6400, but was also sluggish by other low
Hardware Unboxeds tests also revealed the extent to which the A380 relies on Resizeable BAR, which was often suffering double-digit framerate drops following ReBAR''s unreported release. Performance might improve in time, maybe even before the worldwide release, if Intel does some work with future drivers, and that applies for the Arc A750. What we haven''t seen so far hasn''t been quite significant.
AV1 is a great way to see video online, as it can drastically improve the image than other previous formats (like Nvidias H.264) even if you have less data to stream. EposVox will also provide a solid explanation on this, including hands-on testing with the Arc A380. It will not help with running games normally.
Intel Arc Alchemist release date?
The final Arc mystery. Yes, the A380 is available in China, but it''s far from a worldwide launch, and it''s far faster than almost all current-gen graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD. The models that more discerning 1080p/1440p players will want are still MIA.
These desktop GPUs were originally scheduled to launch in 2022, then in the summer, and according to Koduris tweet there will be additional updates this quarter. However, updates aren''t necessarily release dates, and were currently in Q3 of 2022, which extends until the end of September so Arc Alchemist might feasibly miss the summer window.
An advantage of this is that no-one knows anything up to and including Intel. Wahey. And that is true for Arc Alchemists prices in China, where it was launched with a RRP of 1030 Yuan. That''s roughly 125 / $153, without citing regional tax differences, though some retailers are selling it for around 1300 Yuan (about 158 / $192).
According to a previously cited Wccftech analysis, Intel should define certain US price estimates. Again, these may be a) unreliable or b) subject to change, but the A770 is placed in the $350-$399 range, with the A560 up from $200-$250, and the A310 is up from $99 or below.
I cant confirm any of these, and my own price predictions - made before any performance inklings - were evidently catastrophic overshoots. However, Intel is posing no threat to demand much more than these reported figures, particularly given that they are attempting to compete against AMD and Nvidias cheaper GPUs, who have already had a number of months to over a year. Even now, the great graphics card gouge of 2020-2022 is still decreasing.