All chipmakers, including NVIDIA and AMD, are prone to anti-consumer practices now and then. But no one trumps Intel in this department. From the “real-world performance” fiasco to ridiculing the chiplet approach (only to adopt it), and the repeated misinformation circulated by Raja’s AXG marketing team, it’s been a long and frustrating ride. I won’t mince words here and speak my mind. I’ve been writing about computer hardware since 2017. I made a bunch of mistakes at the beginning, but nothing I’m too ashamed to admit.
Since 2019, I’ve been in touch with NVIDIA and AMD’s PR team with regular review samples, press briefings, and more. Intel, on the other hand, is much more selective. One or two negative pieces and you get blacklisted…for a long, long time. I recently started working with their team again, but it looks like that didn’t last long. The reason? Negative coverage regarding the Arc Alchemist GPUs.
I did a bit of Googling, and looks like most of the outlets that covered the recent “Arc cancellation” rumors weren’t given samples of the A770/A550 GPUs. Blacklisting for breaking an embargo or posting rumors or leaks as facts is something I can understand. But when a post is labeled as a rumor at the top in caps, taking it with a grain of salt is a given.
Intel isn’t the only tech company practicing this moblike behavior. We’ve seen it from its rivals in the past, but none has been as bold, primarily due to its dominant (but now fizzling) position in the PC market. Furthermore, as Anthony from TweakTown shares, we get an equal amount (if not less) of traffic from reviews and news/rumors.
If anything, reviews are more taxing, and our revenue usually tanks as we don’t get to cover our usual snippets. The only one who loses out here is the end consumer: Fewer reviews, fewer data points to compare, and higher chances of being misled.
The rumor mill isn’t the only source of negative news on the Arc GPUs. JPR, a major analyst in the industry believes that Intel’s Arc family is doomed. His exact words:
Should Intel dump its AXG group? Probably. The company started the project six years ago. Since then, AMD and NVIDIA have brought out three generations of new and stunningly powerful dGPUs, and more are in the pipeline. Four new companies have started up in China, and two new ones announced in the US. Intel is now facing a much stronger AMD and NVIDIA, plus six start-ups-the rules of engagement have dramatically changed while Intel sunk money into projects it can’t seem to get off the ground.
The best thing Intel could do at this juncture is to find a partner and sell off the group. It could even be dressed up as a strategic move, just as they did going to TSMC to build the dGPU in the first place. The company can’t continue to carry an enormous payroll, pay a competitive fab for wafers, and then ask governments to subsidize its investments in new fabs that can’t even build the parts they are presumably designing. Not only is that a bewildering investment strategy, but it’s also an embarrassment.
Coming to my opinion on the Arc A770. It has its issues: high power consumption, dismal support for older titles, and of course, immature drivers. At the same time, the ray-tracing performance is better than both previous-gen AMD and NVIDIA GPUs, with the pricing being…okayish. Not great because if you have to choose between the A770 (a little faster in RT but garbage in everything else) and the RTX 3060 (solid raster and RT) at the same price, which one will you choose?
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