With RTX 3070 supply still scarce and AMD alternatives not faring any better, any competition is nice. On paper, the new Intel Arc Alchemist GPU appears to be just the ticket, with performance comparable to Nvidia’s RTX 3070.
The GPU is still some time away, with a release date of Q1 2022, but YouTuber Moore’s Law is Dead claims to have offered a first glimpse at what the card will look like — or what it presently looks like in its pre-production condition, at any rate.
Fortunately, we aren’t left guessing from the image alone, since Intel has been rather forthcoming about what to expect from the card.
Earlier this year, during its Architecture Day event, which HotHardware covered, Intel disclosed that the Alchemist will be the first of its Arc series of commercially available GPUs, with up to eight render slices per GPU instantiation, four cores per slice, and 16 vector engines per core.
The card will reportedly contain 512EUs (Execution Units), while additional leaks have stated that 448, 384, 256, and 128EU variants may also be in the pipeline.
Intel also revealed last week at an event that the card will enable real-time ray tracing, mesh shading, and variable rate shading. In addition, it will include up to 16 specialized matrix engines for AI acceleration.
These are utilized in XeSS, Intel’s Super Sampling technology that seeks to compete with Nvidia’s DLSS and AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution.
This should allow you to output a greater resolution than your computer could typically generate in compatible games, potentially mixing the performance of 1080p with the output of, say, 4K. Here’s a working example from Intel’s Architecture Day:
Of course, tech demos may not often represent real-world performance, but this all sounds quite promising for a first try at a contemporary discrete graphics card. While the worldwide chip shortage isn’t ideal for any technology company, it might potentially work in Intel’s favor.
With AMD and Nvidia cards flying off the shelves as soon as they’re restocked and commanding exorbitant prices on Ebay, loyal consumers who may be afraid of trying an Intel card may decide that taking a chance is preferable to paying exorbitant prices for their first pick.
That is, of course, assuming that Intel does not experience the same difficulties in keeping their cards in stock when they launch early next year.