We’ve known for a while that Intel‘s Arc Alchemist lineup of GPUs are supposed to launch early next year with two configurations. A high-end model pitted against the RTX 3070 and a lower-end model aimed at budget gamers. Or at least, that’s what Intel has told us so far. YouTuber, Moore’s Law Is Dead, courtesy of his “best sources”, has revealed that Intel is planning to release three different Alchemist GPUs for desktop next year.
There have been a plethora of rumors floating in the air regarding Intel’s upcoming GPUs, but we can paint a somewhat clear picture through all the fog. The most unanimous information stemming from these leaks is the fact that the top-tier Alchemist SKU is a direct RTX 3070 competitor at the $500 price point. And, that there’s a lower-end model aimed at budget gamers, carrying performance similar to that of the GeForce GTX 1650 (Super)/Radeon RX 580.
Today’s leak seems to reiterate those rumors by providing some insight into the market positioning and performance deltas of these cards. According to Moore’s Law is Dead’s sources, Intel is planning to launch three different Arc Alchemist cards meant to compete with Nvidia and AMD. The top-of-the line card will have 512 Execution Units, the next one down will have 384 Execution Units and the lowest-end one will have only 128 Execution Units.
512 Execution Units SKU
The 512 EU card will have a die size of 396mm² and will use the full die. Whereas, the 384 EU model will utilize a cut-down version of the same die. The 128 EU SKU is, however, a completely different die. We’ve had reports on all three of these models before, but the 512 EU information is the most close to “official” as almost everyone has reported similarly on this.
The 512 EU model will be based on the DG2-512EU GPU revealed by Intel a while ago, and will have clock speeds of 2.2 – 2.5Ghz, but it’s not known whether these are maximum or average clocks. The GPU will come with 16 GB of GDDR6 memory running on a 256-bit bus at 16Gbps, but there are possibilities of it running at 18Gbps as well. MLID states that the card will have a maximum TDP of <235W and will feature an 8-pin + 6-pin power connector.
The card has a supposed performance delta of somewhere between the RTX 3070 and 3070 Ti. It is said to be faster than the Radeon RX 6700 XT. The DG2-512EU model has a better process node, a bigger die size, and much higher memory bandwidth as compared to the 6700 XT, hence the Intel offering is said to be performant. Intel’s offering also has a slightly bigger die size, much better process node, and higher memory bandwidth than the RTX 3070, but it doesn’t look to be as powerful as the RTX 3070 Ti, as you can see below.
384/448 Execution Units SKU
The 384EU model is based on a GPU that has not been officially revealed by Intel yet. It is set to feature 8 GB of GDDR6 VRAM, potentially over a 256-bit as well, running at 16Gbps. As mentioned before, Intel is utilizing the same die at DG2-512EU here, just cut down to be less performant. We can expect performance somewhere between a RTX 3060 and 3060 Ti. MILD mentions that there are rumbling of a 448 EU model as well but he hasn’t received any credible info on that so far.
Apparently, this model is being tested under covers as a potential replacement for the 384 EU SKU. Meaning that, if Intel gets lucky and is able to get good yields, a 448 EU model could come out in place of the 384 EU one. That being said, MILD also says that this could just be a mobile SKU meant for notebooks instead. Right now, the plans are for the 384 EU model but they could change to 448 EU last minute, if things go right.
128 Execution Units SKU
Lastly, the 128 EU model is, as you can tell, the worse out of the bunch and isn’t even a gaming GPU per se. MILD’s sources note that the card will have either 4 or 8 GB of GDDR6 memory—most likely 4 GB—over a 64-bit bus. That’s because the card has a performance delta between the GTX 1650 and 1650 Super. The card will have no external power connectors as the maximum TDP will be below 75W, which is what a PCIe slot can provide on its own. The card will allegedly feature the same clock speeds as the 512 EU model; 2.2 – 2.5GHz.
If were to talk about pricing then MILD notes that it’s too early to judge yet but he’s confident that this will release at the sub $200 price bracket, a segment that has been pretty much abandoned by both Nvidia and AMD at this point. So, it’s only fair for Intel to capitalize on this gap in the market by offering a new budget GPU. This will increase competition, which may force Nvidia and AMD to start paying attention to this segment again.
Pricing and closing thoughts
MILD also says that, while it’s not finalized yet, Intel will most likely price all of these models aggressively to give themselves the best chance against the established big dogs. That’s great news for customers who’re looking for a new graphics card but can’t seem to score one as now there is one more option to choose from. Now, whether these cards will actually be available at MSRP, or even remain in-stock regularly is a completely different story.
Moore’s Law Is Dead has been fairly consistent and on-point with his leaks, however these are still leaks at the end of the day. So, take all of this with a grain of salt but also, realistically speaking, I think we can already see what kind of GPU Intel is planning to launch next year. There are enough leaks out there that share common traits between them that it’s easy to construct the card in your mind already.