As the launch of Intel’s Arc Alchemist series draws closer, it seems like every day brings new information. Today brings another Nuggets. In a recent interview, Intel graphics researcher Tom Petersen teased a desktop graphics card very briefly. For a full second, a card with three eight-pin PCIe power connectors is shown.
The tease is done through a YouTube interview with HotHardware (opens in new tab), you can see above. We don’t know if this is just a pre-production sample of an engineered board, but it would be a bit unusual to show the latter in a press interview. If a real Arc card had 450W of PCIe connector power plus another 75W through the slot, then we might see a card that’s hot and power hungry, even if it’s not using all the 525W available.
A TDP close to that level means it will be on par with the RTX 3090 Ti (opens in new tab) in terms of power consumption. Unless Intel creates a market-shattering miracle, it’s unlikely that an Alchemist-generation graphics card will reach this level of performance. We hope this is just a joke, real Arc cards don’t need that kind of power.
If — and that’s a pretty big assumption — Intel can deliver 3080 or 6800 XT-class performance at around 450W, it could still appeal to gamers even though it will lag Nvidia and AMD in performance per watt. But only if they are offered at a convincing price. Of course, we’re only talking about high-end cards here. Entry-level and mid-range products are where the real sales are, and those markets will be very interesting battlegrounds.
Soon we will have all the answers.Rumors point to a May or June launch (opens in new tab) For desktop Arc cards. For all that information, this is the performance we’ve all been waiting for. No one really expects Intel to beat the competition on the first try, but if Arc cards can deliver competitive performance at various price points, have mature drivers, and deliver good performance per watt, then Intel may well have achieved its goal.
Intel’s marketing is accelerating (opens in new tab) As we get closer to the release of the card. That’s a little different from what we’ve seen from AMD and Nvidia, especially when we’re getting little official confirmation that a new generation of graphics cards is on the way. It looks like Intel is either confident in the performance of its graphics cards, or looking to raise its profile as a new market entrant, or both.
It is future generations that may prove to be competitive (opens in new tab). Intel is working hard on its Battlemage, Celestial and Druid generations. Intel hopes to compete at the high end with AMD and Nvidia with these graphics cards. Any bets on what the ‘E’ generation card will be called? magician? Elda? Check back in a few years.