Intel’s Arc Alchemist GPU
When it comes to graphics cards, big names like NVIDIA and AMD usually come to mind as the brands that stand head and shoulders above the rest. How about Intel? Has anyone even heard of a top-performing Intel GPU?
Last year, Intel announced their dedicated gaming GPUs, a line under the brand, Intel Arc, from which, their GPU line dubbed “Arc Alchemist” to be released in Q1 of 2022. Made to be available for both desktops and notebooks, Intel seems to be aiming to compete against both AMD and Nvidia here. Not much was known about the first Alchemist GPUs at the time, but they did publish a teaser video featuring the card’s performance capabilities of games like PUBG, Psychonauts 2, Metro Exodus and more.
Intel’s Arc GPUs will be capable of mesh shading, variable-rate shading, video upscaling, and real-time ray tracing. Most importantly, Intel is also promising AI-accelerated supersampling, which sounds like Intel has its competitor to Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) technology. AMD also launched its own FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) answer to DLSS in June. The aim of these technologies is to upscale games from a lower resolution to provide smoother frame rates without a noticeable compromise to image quality.
All this in mind, the card still hasn’t been released yet, as Intel has managed to keep its Alchemist cards mostly under wraps, however, this hasn’t stopped benchmarks and spec sheets leaking ahead of the official launch date. Considering the performance capabilities of Nvidia’s RTX 3000 and AMD’s RX 6000 series cards, Intel’s Alchemist GPUs face very stiff competition.
So what do we at least know about the Alchemist cards? They’re to be built with the Xe-HPG (Xe-High Performance Graphics) architecture. They’ll support ray tracing and will supposedly offer a great performance boost when using XeSS (Xe Super Sampling) compared to other Nvidia and AMD compatible cards. Additional leaks also suggest that the Alchemist cards will come with 6GB of GDDR6 VRAM, which should be enough for 1080p or even 1440p gaming. The cards were proposed to rival Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3070. In a virtual test, Intel’s GPU gained an 8% lead over the RTX 3070 Ti, while this doesn’t give us an indication of how their cards will perform in games, it’s certainly a more promising result.
Intel’s desktop Arc graphics cards are scheduled to release later this year, however with the rumoured 2022 launches of the RTX 4000 and RDNA 3, who knows if the Arc Alchemist cards will be able to keep up in terms of performance.