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Intel Arc A-series graphics cards are looking to third-party an established AMD and NVidia head-to-head in the coming months. Will Intel’s Arc-A series be viable? What specs, performance, prices, and release dates will the cards have? Let’s have a look.
Latest: Could it be that Intel will cancel Arc? It seems possible.
Intel Arc A-series release date
Arc A-series desktop graphics release date
Latest: Posting in the Intel Insiders Community Discord, Intel has stated:
“While there have been delays with the eventual launch of Intel Arc graphics for desktop, we want to be clear that this launch is getting closer.”
“Intel has started the ramp toward the full desktop launch, which you can see in recent content posted to our new Intel Arc News site https://arc.intel.com/, recent tech press interviews with Ryan Shrout and Tom Peterson, and a surprise reveal of the Intel Arc Gaming Truck.”
The statement adds: “Bottom line, the launch of the Intel Arc A7 series desktop products and the prizes intended for this contest are now in sight!”
However, Intel’s Arc A5000 and A7000 series – still do not have a set release date at this point. Lisa Pearce has stated the parts would release to OEMs and system integrators in the summer (now). So, it would make sense to see releases in Fall.
In a recent video from Gamers Nexus, Tom Petersen, Intel Graphics Engineer (and formerly NVIDIA), stated timelines for the Arc A750 were “sooner than you think…at some point we just need to start getting feedback”.
In the same video, Petersen stated when asked about a wider release, “it’s kind of up to our partners about how A380 does”.
Previously, the Arc A380 desktop graphics card hit the shelves on July 20th, but only in China. This single-region release was due to ‘component proximity’ and strong market demand.
Mobile graphics release date
Intel unveiled its mobile Arc A-series graphics March 30th. And speaking about mobile first, in a blog post that month, VP and GM of Intel’s Visual Compute Group Lisa Pearce commented:
“By beginning to launch our mobile products first, we aim to bring all our technologies (CPU, graphics, media, display, I/O, etc.) to bear to deliver great experiences.”
It’s business as usual for Intel in terms of rolling out new technology, so to follow the same for its GPU technology makes sense. Intel has 3M, 5M, and 7M variants, with Arc 5M and Arc 7M mobile graphics required for gaming capability. 5M and 7M laptops should arrive from partners this summer.
Intel Arc A-series specs
Arc A-series mobile specs
Intel’s A-series mobile graphics specs were confirmed around the launch in this image from Intel.
Arc A-series desktop specs
Confirming the prizes for its Xe-HPG Scavenger Hunt, Intel will deliver the winners a “Premium” prize of the Arc A770 16GB card and a “Performance” prize of the Arc A750 8GB card.
In fact, we now know the A380 is a 6GB card, while the A750 (mentioned above) offers 8GB. This means that there may be no 12GB model planned in the Arc A-series – the jump suggested above being from 8GB (A750) to 16GB (A770).
The below tables are speculative. An asterisk (*) marks where information appears to be proven incorrect.
|Intel A300||NVidia RTX 3050||AMD RX 6500 XT|
|Compute units||128 EUs||2,560 CUDA||16 CUs|
|Memory Speed||14 Gbps||14 Gbps||18 Gbps|
|Memory Bus Width||96-bit||128-bit||64-bit|
|Intel A500||NVidia RTX 3060||AMD RX 6700 XT|
|Compute units||384 EUs||3,584 CUDA||40 CUs|
|Memory Speed||16 Gbps||15 Gbps||16 Gbps|
|Memory Bus Width||192-bit||192-bit||192-bit|
|Intel A700||NVidia RTX 3070||AMD RX 6800 XT|
|Compute units||512 EUs||5,888 CUDA||72 CUs|
|Memory Speed||16 Gbps||15 Gbps||16 Gbps|
|Memory Bus Width||256-bit||256-bit||256-bit|
With the A700 series being Intel’s top performance bracket, the A750 and A770 look to be matched against AMD’s 6600 and 6650 XT, and NVidia’s RTX 3060 and RTX 3060Ti.
Is there an Intel Arc A7800?
Interestingly, there have also been rumors about Intel’s plans for an “RTX 3070 killer” in the shape of an Arc A7800. The belief was it would feature 512 EUs, a clock of 2.3GHz, 16GB GDDR, at 18Gbps on a 256-bit bus.
However, a tweet from Ryan Shrout of Intel’s graphics marketing team flatly denied the product:
“Despite some rumors to the contrary, there is no Intel Arc A780 and there was never planned to be an A780. Let’s just settle that debate.”
Tom, of ‘Moore’s Law Is Dead’ YouTube channel, responded to this comment calling out Intel for not delivering real-world performance on a product that was reportedly in the works:
“Just admit you guys failed to make your GA104-sized die compete with the 3070 Ti or 3070 outside of 3DMark.”
Intel Arc A-series performance
For Arc A-series desktop performance, the reports have been….mixed. By way of Tom’s Hardware, Russian YouTube channel PRO Hi-Tech (English captions available) showed the A380’s overclocking performance was impressive.
However, his ‘overclock’ was by tweaking power settings and the A380 behaved oddly in spite of the gains. Not least, it was noted that the ‘75W’ A380 card initially used 35W, before moving to 55W after the tweak. Strange.
Elsewhere, Gamers Nexus has also gotten hands-on with an A380 which again showed inconsistent performance. The overriding feeling is that there is still some driver and performance tweaking required by Intel ahead of launch.
Although to be taken with a pinch of salt, like all internal tests, Intel has released in-game results showing A750 performance. In the release, the Arc A750 beats the RTX 3060 in F1 2021, Cyberpunk 2077, Control, Borderlands 3, and Fortnite.
According to leaker @_rogame, Intel’s Arc A770M “works properly in 3DMark Time Spy”, and has delivered two scores – one from an Intel NUC12SNKi72 Mini-PC system also featuring an Alder Lake CPU. The other is from a Clevo Notebook X270PTA gaming laptop.
Both scored above 10K points; quicker than NVidia’s RTX 3060M.
Forbes’ Dave Altavilla, looking at the Intel A370M mobile graphics solution in June, called Intel’s Arc-A graphics a credible threat. However, there is undeniably some refining to do.
Arc A-series desktop graphics cards pricing
Moving straight to desktop graphics cards (as mobile graphics pricing isn’t directly a consumer concern) we do have an idea of Intel Arc A-series desktop pricing.
Thanks to a leak of pricing across the Alchemist series, we expect that pricing will be between $99 and $399.
Even more interesting is that Intel seems to be positioning its cards at lower prices so as to be more competitive with ‘competitor’ products from AMD and NVidia. The pricing leak is based on current gen AMD and NVidia cards of course.
Although at some point positioning against AMD RDNA3 and RTX 4000 series cards could be just as favorable.
The leaked image doesn’t refer to any Arc A7800 card at all. So either Ryan Shrout is right about it not existing, or Moore’s LAw is Dead’s claims about performance mean it didn’t reach viability – and so the slide leaked from one of Intel’s Taiwanese partners.
What’s after Intel’s Arc A-series ‘Alchemist’ cards?
Intel has pegged itself to an alphabetically sequential future for its graphics products. So A-series is ‘Alchemist’. Next will come:
- B – codenamed ‘Battlemage’.
- C – codenamed ‘Celestial’
- D – codenamed ‘Druid’.
- E – codename TBD