Intel Arc Alchemist Desktop Gaming GPUs Tipped to Launch Somewhere Between May and June at the Earliest

When Intel officially unveiled its first-ever discrete GPU series, Arc Alchemist, back in 2021 they initially announced a release window of Q1 2022 with the early days of 2022 being the ideal target. However, as we can see those plans didn’t exactly pan out and even when recent leaks suggested that Intel was looking at a possible March 2022 release date, it seems that we’d have to wait a little longer for the company’s debut desktop graphics cards.

Igor’s Lab has just reported that the expected date of Arc Alchemist’s release has now been moved ahead to a May-June window at the earliest. That timeframe would still make the Q2 release that Intel has officially confirmed as of late. However, there is another interesting thing to note here pertaining to what SKUs we would actually see in May/June.

Several different sources have told me of another Intel card postponement, at least as far as SKU 1 to 3, the three performance models, are concerned. There are currently consistent rumors that the first models will be released between May 2, 2022 and June 1, 2022. – Igor’s Lab

SKU 1, 2, and 3 are all reportedly set to launch between the 18th and 20th week of this year. Here, Igor’s Lab is referring to the high-end SKUs in the Arc Alchemist lineup based on the DG2-512 GPU, also known as “SOC1“. We’ve already covered these SKUs and their specs in detail here. Just as a reminder, the highest-end SOC1 SKU will compete with the RTX 3070 Ti in terms of raw performance, and there will be three GPUs that will spawn from the this die, with the highest end SKU featuring the full die and the others featuring cut-down variants.

Intel Arc Alchemist reference card | Moore’s Law Is Dead

The tape-out for Qualification Samples is expected in the next two weeks which means that Intel will have around two months for manufacturing and fulfilling orders for the retail units. Intel is also working on its own AI-based super-sampling tech XeSS, similar to DLSS, which is taking a good chunk of the company’s time and resources on the side as XeSS is said to launch side-by-side the GPUs and will act as a selling point for Arc Alchemist.

Drivers still need work

The reason for this delay hasn’t been clarified but one can make an educated guess pertaining to drivers. This is Intel’s first serious attempt at competing with the big dogs in the discrete GPU market so it’s obvious that they would not want to rush anything. Intel is likely still fine-tuning the drivers before release to squeeze every bit of performance from the hardware.

As of now, we expect Intel to launch at least five Arc Alchemist GPUs over the course of 2022 with higher-end models coming first and more mainstream SKUs trickling down later. There’s also the Arc Alchemist mobile series that was rumored to launch before its desktop counterpart but clearly that plan hasn’t worked out either. It would be interesting to see if Alchemist sees any other delays because a third player in the congested GPU market would certainly alleviate some of the demand.

Huzaifa Haroon
Born and raised around computers, Huzaifa is an avid gamer and a Windows enthusiast. When he's not solving the mysteries of technology, you can find him writing about operating systems, striving to inform the curious.

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