Intel’s CES 2022 keynote was one of the most boring presentations in the history of the event. Other than the launch of the Alder Lake-H mobile processors and the non-K Alder Lake-S desktop SKUs (which was already known), the chipmaker’s keynote was filled with fluff. Many gamers and enthusiasts were anticipating the announcement of the Arc “Alchemist” graphics cards, or at the very least, some performance figures comparing them to the competition. What we got was sheer marketing gibberish.
One little tidbit that Intel did reveal was with respect to the OEM/ODM support. The chipmaker revealed that its partners have already received test samples of the Arc GPUs, with over 50 notebooks and pre-built PCs expected to feature the Alchemist range of graphics cards later this year. The OEMs include ASUS, MSI, Gigabyte, ACER, Samsung, HP, Dell, Haier, Clevo, etc.
Going by the whispers in the industry, it would seem that Intel’s 1st Gen Arc graphics cards will launch towards the very end of Q2, if not well into Q3. The specifications and prices are expected to be shared at Computex in June which means that the hard launch won’t come till the very last days of H1 2022.
The Arc “Alchemist” graphics cards are slated to offer performance up to the level of RTX 3070 and possibly even the RTX 3070 Ti in some titles. Support for hardware ray-tracing (BVH traversal and ray/triangle-box intersections) and the XeSS AI-based upsampling techniques are going to be two key factors driving the adoption of Intel’s first gamer-centric GPUs.