Intel has long-teased its Arc graphics card collection, and we got our first taste with the reveal of the Intel Arc mobile graphics cards for laptops in March. The big question for most gamers is, when will we see the desktop equivalent?
Intel’s Arc desktop collection, codenamed Alchemist internally by Intel, is set for release sometime this summer – but that’s about all we know officially. As with most things, leaks and rumours provide much more detail, giving us a good idea about what to expect from Intel’s Arc desktop graphics cards.
Here, we explain all there is to know about the Intel Arc desktop GPU range, from release date and pricing rumours to the latest design and spec leaks.
When will the Intel Arc desktop GPU be released?
Intel has confirmed that the desktop versions of its Arc graphics card collection will be released “this summer” but it’s keeping quiet on specifics. Considering the last-minute delays of its Arc mobile range, it’s easy to see why Intel is keeping its cards closer to its chest this time around.
A report from wccftech suggests that four graphics cards are on the cards, the A380, A580, A750 and A780, with the latter believed to be a direct competitor to the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070.
However, despite leaks about the flagship A780, Intel’s head of Graphics Marketing Ryan Shrout recently took to Twitter to shut down expectations. In a mid-July 2022 tweet, Shrout confirms that there is, and never was, an A780. While that means there won’t be a true flagship competitor, the suggestion that it was never a thing sounds a little bit sus. After all, why would Intel aim for its top-end card to compete with Nvidia’s entry-level RTX 3060?
Despite some rumors to the contrary, there is no Intel Arc A780 and there was never planned to be an A780. Let’s just settle that debate. 🤣
— Ryan Shrout (@ryanshrout) July 16, 2022
With that all said, a report from Igor’s Lab paints an interesting picture of the behind-the-scenes chaos, suggesting that delays have forced a release sometime between the beginning of July and end of August 2022.
Igor speculates that software could be a culprit, but it might not be the only issue, suggesting that it’s also possible Intel is running into issues with aftermarket support, partner card development, game development and integration or commercial considerations, but this is unconfirmed right now.
Intel has since launched the entry-level Intel Arc A380, but the rest of the collection – said to better compete with the likes of Nvidia and AMD – are yet to be released. Intel has teased that they are indeed on the way, drip-feeding new information via its YouTube channel, but pricing and release date are yet to be confirmed.
It’s largely believed that Nvidia and AMD are gearing up to launch their next-gen graphics cards towards the end of the year, of which Intel’s offering likely won’t be able to compete, so it’ll need to get these out of the door sooner rather than later.
How much will the Intel Arc desktop graphics cards cost?
Wccftech’s anonymous sources shed light on just how much the Intel Arc desktop range could cost at launch, and it looks like Intel is getting competitive on pricing. Here’s how the rumoured pricing will stack up:
Intel Arc A380: $150Intel Arc A580: $280Intel Arc A750: $350
The pricing was later reiterated by a separate report from Wccftech, providing not only pricing but details on what to expect from each model – but more on that later.
That’s fairly competitive, but remember that’s just an MSRP and third-party manufacturers will likely add extra cost depending on the tweaks to the reference design provided by Intel. Let’s also not forget about scalpers and the general lack of GPUs in the market in 2022, both of which will likely drive the price beyond the MSRP.
Still, it’s nice to see Intel’s budget-focused intentions at least!
We’ll update this section once we learn more.
Latest Intel Arc desktop GPU rumours
We got our first look at the Intel Arc desktop graphics card collection, dubbed Alchemist internally by Intel, during the Intel Arc mobile launch in March 2022.
Before we go any further, it’s probably worth explaining the ‘Limited Edition’ moniker in the preview video above.
It’s safe to suggest that Intel hasn’t gone through all the trouble to develop a new graphics card collection to only sell a handful. Instead, it’s likely Intel’s version of Nvidia’s Founders Edition, effectively selling a small number of reference Intel Arc GPUs at launch alongside popular third-party alternatives.
So, what can we pick up from the Arc desktop teaser? While it’s likely not a final render that’ll exactly match the real-world equivalent (it’s missing a power connector, for one) we can pick out key features including 3x DisplayPorts and 1x HDMI port.
More generally, it’s a nice-looking GPU with a more simplistic approach than many – an important factor among gamers in 2022 with the rise of transparent cases – though it’s worth noting that third-party manufacturers will likely have a bit of fun with the design. If you don’t like Intel’s reference design, one of the many third-party alternatives will.
We also know that it’ll come with many of the optimisations and features announced for Intel’s mobile GPUs, as both cards share Intel’s Xe-HPG architecture. That includes support for XeSS, Intel’s upscaling algorithm, DX12 Ultimate, ray-tracing and more, with dedicated Xe-cores offering AI acceleration and a new media engine to boot.
What about unofficially? Well…
As noted earlier, the Intel Arc desktop GPU collection is rumoured to be split into three (or possibly four, depending on who you ask) models – the A380, A580, A750 and A780.
Intel Arc A380
The Arc A380 was rumoured to be the least powerful of the range prior to its release, and now we’ve got confirmed specs to back that up.
On paper, it looks like it could match the performance of Nvidia’s last-gen GTX 1650, sporting 6GB of GDDR6 VRAM and a 2,000MHz boost clock. Despite the entry-level nature, there is ray-tracing support with 8 RT Cores, along with 1024 Shading Units and a 75W TDP.
Intel Arc A580
The Intel Arc A580 is rumoured to compete with Nvidia’s RTX 3050, and although specs are yet to be confirmed, a report from wccftech suggests that the graphics card will offer 8GB of GDDR6 memory and a 175W TDP at release.
Intel Arc A750
The Arc A750 has its sights set on the Nvidia RTX 3060, and although a full rundown of specs is yet to be confirmed (aside from a teaser of 8GB of VRAM and a 225W TDP from wccftech), Intel has showcased its performance on YouTube.
In the first of what Intel claims will be regular video updates, the company has officially showcased the performance of the Arc A750.
That comes mainly in the form of a Cyberpunk 2077 benchmark test, achieving a steady 59fps at 2560 x 1440 on High graphics settings, while Intel also showcased graphs that seem to show the A750 beating the RTX 3060 in several games including F1 2021, Control and Fortnite. In fact, Intel claims up to a 17% increase – but only in those specific games mentioned.
It seems that, unlike Nvidia and AMD, Intel is relying more on game software integration to improve performance, rather than offering sheer graphical grunt. So, while it could potentially beat the RTX 3060 in some games, it’ll likely match or trail in unsupported titles.
Intel Arc A780
The flagship A780 was rumoured to be able to compete with Nvidia’s RTX 3070 and AMD’s RX 6700 XT, though not much else was known about the graphics cards aside from whispers of its existence from industry sources.
However, following a tweet from Intel’s Ryan Shrout confirming that the A780 isn’t in development, it’s largely believed that Intel couldn’t get the tech to produce as much graphical power as its competitors.
So, if you were looking for something more powerful than Nvidia’s entry-level 30 series GPU, you might want to look elsewhere.
We’ll be sure to update this section as rumours surface ahead of the Intel Arc desktop GPU range reveal in the coming weeks.