Nearly a month after Intel supposedly launched its first-ever Arc A-Series discrete GPU, the Arc A350M is still not available worldwide. Laptop sporting the Arc A350M GPU are only available in South Korea for some reason with no official word from Intel on when we can expect them elsewhere in the world. While the company has remained quiet about this hasty launch, leaks and reports have highlighted that Arc A-Series simply isn’t ready yet.
The hardware might be there but Intel needs to do put in some serious effort on the software side to get drivers on-par with those from NVIDIA and AMD if they wish to compete with those two players. The current rumor going around town is that Intel is still evaluating Arc A-Series as its releasing. Somehow, not bringing their first GPU to other regions in the world helps in that. But, it looks like that’s about to change soon.
Arc A370M laptops listed on Best Buy
Today, Videocardz spotted two new laptops listen on the US Best Buy website, both 2-in-1s featuring largely the same specs but with a sizeable price discrepancy. The two laptops are the ASUS ZenBook Flip and the HP Spectre, both rocking the Arc A370M GPU. If you remember, Arc A370M was announced side-by-side Arc A350M at the Arc A-Series launch event but it wasn’t released at the time.
The Arc A370M is still an entry-level offering so don’t get too excited. However, it does make use of the full-fat ACM-G11 die, so you’ll see 8 Xe-Cores and 8 Ray Tracing units working their magic here, 2 more compared to the A350M. The memory specs are the same, though; 4GB of GDDR6 VRAM running across a 64-bit wide bus interface. On the other hand, the A370M does have a higher TGP of 35-50W and also a higher max boost clock of 1550Mhz.
So far, no benchmarks featuring the Arc A370M have leaked so we can’t say much in terms of performance, but an educated guess would be to just say that it will be more performant than the Arc A350M, at least. This also leads to an interesting speculation of how the Arc A-Series launch was meant for one SKU and one SKU only. Arc A350M was the only Arc GPU that was part of Intel’s launch, plus it only released in one country and was available in just one laptop model.
That being said, AMD did mockingly post a benchmark graph comparing the Arc A370M to its own Radeon 6500M mobile GPU on Twitter. In the benchmark, AMD’s offering can be seen absolutely destroying the Arc GPU in every game. Moreover, AMD was also kind enough to include a little key in the corner telling us how both Intel and AMD’s GPUs here are manufactured using TSMC‘s 6nm process node and that the Intel GPU actually has nearly 2 billion extra transistors, yet it still loosed to Team Red.
— Radeon RX (@Radeon) March 31, 2022
Pricing and release
Regardless, the new Arc A370M lineup seems to be a lot more promising as we’ve already seen multiple leaks with different laptops rocking the GPU. Speaking of which, the ASUS ZenBook Flip from today’s leak was listed on Best Buy for $1,399 USD. On the other hand, the HP Spectre offering will be priced at $1,999 USD. Keep in mind that these laptops were only listed on the site and are not currently available for sale.
The pricing here is not exactly very competitive. The RTX 3050 from NVIDIA easily washes the Arc A350M, which means it will most likely edge the Arc A370M too. The real kicker is that GPU is available in laptops as cheap as $600, so when you ask nearly $2000 for essentially an early-adopters fee in the form of a weaker GPU, it doesn’t seem like a good deal.
One silver lining can be drawn here, however. If you take a look at the same ASUS ZenBook Flip laptop but with Intel Iris Xe Graphics, it costs $1200. The Arc A370M version, as mentioned before, costs $1400 but it actually has a bigger SSD as well (512GB vs 1TB). That means there’s just a $200 difference to go from a integrated GPU to an actually decent entry-level discrete GPU, not to mention double the SSD capacity.
Intel hasn’t said anything about Arc A370M’s release, but seeing how they’re listed on Best Buy and a few other retailers, we can only hope it’s sooner rather than later. When it eventually does launch though, it will be the second GPU from the company’s Arc A-Series lineup. We say that because Intel has stayed very tight-lipped about the other Arc GPUs that were announced at the launch event.
At least we have a few listings for Arc A370M that indicate its release is close whereas Arc 5 and Arc 7 series is no man’s land right now. Arc A550M, Arc A730M and Arc A770M are still months away as Intel has told the press to expect a June 2022 release for higher-end variants. That sucks because Arc 5 and Arc 7 GPUs are arguably the more exciting SKUs and we have no leaks and rumors pertaining to those to keep us satiated either.
The best we can hope for right now is for Intel to up its software game as much as its trying to up its hardware game. It doesn’t matter if you have the fastest GPU in the world if the drivers just plain suck, which they do in Intel’s case. There is a long list of known issues in games on top of random, undocumented glitches. So, it’s clear that a lot of work needs to be done, and it needs to be done fast if Intel wishes to stand toe-to-toe with NVIDIA and AMD, especially in the wake of a new GPU generation right around the corner.