NVIDIA has allegedly decided to strongarm board partners from working with Intel on its next-gen Arc Battlemage graphics cards. A report from PRO Hi-Tech claims that NVIDIA has threatened AIBs with a limited supply of RTX GPUs if they decide to partner with Intel on its upcoming Arc GPUs. The repercussions of the partnership could extend to a potential ban, although that’s quite unlikely.
Intel’s Arc Alchemist A750 and A770 graphics cards have been doing fairly well in the last few quarters, racking up a decent market share among mainstream gamers. The Q1 report from JPR indicates a low single-digit market share for the Arc GPUs, which may eclipse AMD by the year’s end if the current rate of adoption continues.
Normally, rumors of this kind would be easily discarded, but NVIDIA has built a reputation for engaging in borderline anti-competitive activities, the most notable being the GeForce Partner Program (GPP). Board partners were forced to use separate product branding for Radeon graphics cards, leaving the flagship/holo for NVIDIA’s top-end offerings. Notable examples include the ASUS ROG Strix, MSI Suprim X, and Gigabyte’s Aorus Extreme.
What’s ironic about this situation is that Intel has been using similar tactics against AMD in the notebook OEM/ODM space. Many gaming notebooks are still limited to Intel CPUs, even if they are simple refreshes of preceding lineups.
Unfortunately for Intel, NVIDIA controls more than 90% of the dGPU market, and most first-tier AIBs won’t risk a supply cap. For the time being, Team Blue will have to settle for lesser-known second-tier board partners.