Intel Arc Alchemist Release Date, Price, Performance, Specs [2022 ]

Intel Arc Alchemist Release Date, Price, Performance, Specs [2022 ]

Intel Arc Alchemist Release Date, Price, Performance, Specs

Intel Xe is coming, but what exactly is it? Can it compete with AMD and Nvidia in the ultra-competitive GPU market? Let’s take a closer look.

By Branko GapoMay 11, 20224 mins ago

In the midst of two GPU juggernauts hyping up their new releases, a less prominent name in the field is attempting to enter the fray. Intel is hoping to finally be competitive in the GPU market with its Intel Xe lineup.

The rivalry between AMD and NVIDIA is heating up again after years of NVIDIA dominance. However, things appear to be on far more equal footing following the releases of their next-gen graphics cards.

All of this provides a perfect storm for Intel to enter the market. Let’s see how the Intel Arc Alchemist (previously Intel Xe) will fare in performance and price.

Let’s get right into it!

Updates +

May 11, 2022: Added another rumored delay for Intel’s desktop GPUs.May 4, 2022: Cut down on outdated leaks, added release date and pricing information.April 22, 2022: Added three new SKUs, updated specifications, added A770 leaks and more.April 12, 2022: Added benchmark images of the A350M in-game.April 1, 2022: Revamped the entire article following Intel’s announcements and added a lot more content.March 30, 2022: Added Arc mobile GPU specifications table.March 24, 2022: Another update on the release date.March 15, 2022: Added Intel Arc Event announcement, release date information, and performance rumors.February 22, 2022: Added new Geekbench leaks.January 31, 2022: Cleaned up the article and added A370M leaks.January 25, 2022: Added Intel Arc flagship benchmark leak and specification information for mobile SKUs.January 13, 2022: Updated release date information.December 22, 2021: Added new benchmark leak from Ashes of the Singularity.December 14, 2021: Added information about possible release date delay and about the flagship GPU die size.December 6, 2021: Added table for possible SKU configurations.November 29, 2021: Added a bit more information on future Intel Arc generations.November 22, 2021: Added new benchmark leak of the 512 EU SKU.November 16, 2021: Further grammar optimizations.November 15, 2021: Added new Intel Arc Alchemist GPU and PCB images.November 11, 2021: Added a few additional images.November 3, 2021: Major rework of the article. Updated or removed outdated information.October 28, 2021: Removed outdated information and leaks.October 18, 2021: Added interview with Pat Gelsinger and their role in the dedicated GPU market.October 12, 2021: Added information regarding Intel’s new GPU architecture and Intel Xe IP vice president.September 28, 2021: Added information on Intel’s dGPU history.September 20, 2021: Fixed a few information-related errors.September 2, 2021: Added new official information from Intel about Alchemist architecture.August 3, 2021: Added new benchmark score of the 128 EU SKUJune 23, 2021: Added a new leak of a Xe SKU compared to the RTX 3070 and RX 6700 XT.May 25, 2021: Added information regarding the fact that Intel Xe DG1 would appear in pre-built systems.April 7, 2021: Added a few more leaks.March 5, 2021: Added leaks of a DG2 Discrete GPU in use by Intel.

AMD vs NVIDIA – Which GPU Manufacturer Should You Choose?

Table of ContentsShow

Intel’s Discrete GPU History

Intel has never previously been successful in the (dedicated) graphics card category. Usually, Intel’s dGPU prototypes ended up scrapped, such as the Larrabee project in 2008.

Source: VGAMuseum

However, it has been more than a decade since Intel’s last attempt to create a dedicated GPU, so things have changed (for the better).

That isn’t to say that Intel has no clue how to develop a graphics card. On the contrary, they know what they’re doing; their integrated Intel HD Graphics have been a staple of the vast majority of modern laptops. 

Intel has decided to make its own dedicated graphics card because these integrated GPUs are not for gaming.

Intel’s Xe just announced, so we’ll try to dive deeper into the information we already have. Note that we will only discuss mobile GPUs (Xe-LP) and desktop GPUs (Xe-HPG).

Release Date

During the Intel Arc Event that was held on March 30, 2022, Intel finally made some real announcements. They showcased the specifications of their Intel mobile GPUs and added a general release date.

Intel Arc A350M and A370M are now officially out and available in laptops (from $899 and up).

The faster mobile GPUs like the A550M, A730M, and A770M will be available in “early summer”. We expected that all mobile GPUs will launch after Intel’s event, but again, Intel disappoints with a pretty vague release date.

In terms of desktop GPUs, we only got one short teaser about a limited edition dedicated GPU that will come in Summer 2022 with confirmation from CEO Pat Gelsinger that Intel Arc desktop GPUs are on their way.

Here’s the teaser:

However, the release date has been delayed so many times by now that Intel’s promises don’t hold any weight anymore.

And even though we saw the last possible delay, Intel hits us with another one, moving the release date for desktop GPUs as late as possible. Igor’s Lab claims that the release date window will be between July 1st and August 31st of 2022.

Price

Until Intel releases any information, we can’t really speculate about Arc GPU price.

However, it is given that Intel will have to price their GPUs lower than both AMD and NVIDIA to be competitive despite Intel’s good standing in the technology world, they are still unknown in the graphics card market.

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger spoke numerous times on this topic.

Gelsinger believes that NVIDIA’s immense success can be attributed to a lack of competition in the market and its decade of dominance. Even when AMD provides a much better value GPU, the majority of customers still favor NVIDIA.

Fortunately, we did get a few pieces of information regarding the price of these GPUs.

Intel mentioned about their plan to sell over 4 million ARC GPUs throughout 2022 and that their average GPU price will be around $75 which gives us a vague idea of the entire lineup.

In addition, Intel’s online scavenger hunt for Intel Arc GPUs has given us a short glimpse into the pricing of these GPUs.

A few of the winners have shared a screenshot in which Intel entails the contents of the package and the approximate value of the said package.

La Frite David is getting a Performance Intel Arc GPU, some Intel merch, and 3 months of Xbox Game Pass. All of this is valued at around $700.

If we take the Xbox Game Pass and merchandise costs out of the approximate value, we can estimate that the GPU costs around $600 or more.

For the winners with the $900 Premium package, we estimate that the GPU is valued at around $800.

Performance

A December 2021 leak finally shows real performance from an Intel Arc Alchemist GPU. Note that we do not know which SKU was specifically used for this Ashes of the Singularity benchmark.

As we can see from these two screenshots, this unknown Intel Xe GPU outputs 126 FPS at the medium preset.

However, even this leak does not tell us a whole lot. If you look at the next image, the AotS benchmark chart, you can see that the 3080 Ti has scored lower than the 6700XT. This is because AotS isn’t a great GPU benchmark.

A hardware leaker by the name of TUM_APISAK, found a benchmark of Intel’s flagship Arc GPU, DG-512EU on SiSoftware. And it seems like this is the first time we see an Arc Alchemist GPU running at full potential.

It’s listed at 2.1 GHz with all 512 Xe-Cores.

For comparison, we’ll use a score of a 3070 Ti in the same benchmark.

Intel DG-512EU (left) vs RTX 3070 Ti (right)

The overall score for the Intel GPU is 9,017 MPix/s while the 3070 Ti racked up just 8,369 MPix/s. This puts the DG-512EU about 7 to 8% faster than Nvidia’s counterpart.

It may seem unexpected, but it shouldn’t be a surprise considering that Intel boasted up to 3080-like performance with Intel Arc. Keep in mind that this benchmark is not a representation of in-game performance.

We have yet to see Intel Arc Alchemist performing in a game.

Fortunately, though, we have some official Intel charts showing the real performance of Intel Arc mobile GPUs.

While we always suggest waiting for third-party benchmarks since these charts aren’t always honest, these numbers do seem promising.

The A370M which is one of the lower-end Intel Arc GPUs seems to outperform the Iris Xe GPU by up to 30%. It is quite impressive that an Intel mobile GPU can output 60FPS on medium settings in three different AAA game titles.

We have some Arc A350M benchmarks too, but it seems that Windows optimizations still are not in place.

In a lot of these games (PUBG, Forza Horizon 5, Cold War, etc.), GPU utilization is extremely low leading to stuttering and low average frametimes.

Specifications And Features

With the release of Iris Xe, we only saw a glimpse of what Intel Arc is all about. So, Intel does have a good starting point. In addition, there are some rumors and speculations regarding the discrete GPUs from Intel, and we’ll also cover those.

Let’s look at the possible Intel Arc Alchemist SKUs:

SKU/GPU NameXe CoresShading UnitsMemoryMemory BusTGP/TDP

Arc A78032409616GB GDDR6/X?256-bit~300W?

Arc A770 16GB32409616GB GDDR6/X?256-bit250W?

Arc A770 8GB3240968GB GDDR6/X?256-bit250W?

Arc A75024307212GB GDDR6/X192-bit~200W?

Arc A580162048Up to 8GB GDDR6128-bit~150-200W?

Arc A550815368/6 GB GDDR6128-bit100-150W?

Arc A380810246GB GDDR6?96-bit100W?

Arc A35067684GB GDDR664-bit50W?

Arc A31045124GB GDDR664-bit50W?

Keep in mind that all GPUs listed in the table above are still just raw guesses based on the information we have right now. It could change in the future as Intel starts announcing the GPUs.

Latest leaks revelead two new GPUs, the A770 with a 16GB and 8GB variant. So, that’s the new SKUs in the desktop GPU lineup. This same A770 showed up in a PugetBench with performance half as fast as an RTX 3060.

Image Source: Videocardz/PugetBench

Not a good sign, but PugetBench isn’t exactly a good test for GPUs and the Arc card might not be running at its full potential.

We’ve got a couple of A380 leaks which is a low-to-mid-end GPU. So, not exactly an RTX 3090 contender, but budget-friendly GPUs are more than welcome. This could go against the 1650S based on this leak below by Apisak.

And it seems to be confirmed through this SiSoftware chart.

We can clearly see that this entry-level Intel A380 GPU is faster than the RX 6500 XT, but slower than the 1660Ti and RTX 3050. But, as we’ve mentioned several times by now, driver optimizations can go a long way. Don’t give up on this card yet!

There have been numerous rumors that Intel’s ARC Alchemist largest GPU will battle against RTX 3070/RX 6800-like performance.

And it seems that has been confirmed now since the die shots leaked (by Moore’s Law is Dead). A twitter used those leaked die shots and Intel’s Architecture Day 2021 die renders to find the die’s real size.

The final size comes out as 396mm². That’s only a few millimeters bigger than the RTX 3070 or 3070 Ti (392.5mm²).

This tells us that Intel has a similar number of transistors on the die as Nvidia’s 3070 Ti. Of course, there are tons of other factors that affect the GPU’s performance, but this gives a rough idea of Intel’s DG2-512 GPU.

Intel Arc Alchemist Mobile

While most of this article’s focus is on Intel’s desktop releases because that’s what most people have been waiting for, we can’t ignore the fact that Alchemist will show up in laptops too.

Here’s a table for a bit more specifications.

A350MA370MA550MA730MA770M

Xe-cores68162432

Ray Tracing Units68162432

GPU Clock1150 MHz1550 MHz900 MHz1100 MHz1650 MHz

GDDR6 Memory4GB4GB8GB12GB16GB

Memory Bus Width64-bit64-bit128-bit192-bit256-bit

GPU Power25-35W35-50W60-80W80-120W120-150W

VideoCardz’s original leaks have an exact match with these specifications shared on Intel’s Arc Event.

So, the A770M, the flagship GPU gets 16GB of GDDR6 VRAM and a power of up to 150W which allows a GPU clock of 1650MHz. The weaker A730M clocks quite a bit lower and gets 12GB VRAM.

The mid-range A550M comes with 8GB VRAM with a 1600MHz boost clock.

The little brothers, the A350M and A370M both come with 4GB of VRAM and clocked at 1150MHz and 1550MHz respectively.

Intel Arc Roadmap And Xe-Cores

We’ve seen a lot of rumors, leaks, suggestions, and assumptions regarding discrete GPUs falling under the Intel Xe tree. But, we finally got a more profound and official look at this architecture at Intel’s Architecture Day 2021.

First thing first, we finally have a proper name to refer to Xe-HPG, Alchemist.

Intel also gave a roadmap/naming scheme for three other future GPU generations, Battlemage, Celestial, and Druid. These all fall under Intel Arc, the new architecture.

Expect Intel Arc GPUs up until 2025 or later.

But, let’s put our focus on Alchemist since it is the GPU generation we’ve been anticipating for years.

After a year-long silence (or more) on Intel Arc we finally got some insight into how these GPUs work. Specifically, Intel’s compute building block, Xe-Core. The Xe-Core is a direct replacement for Intel’s Execution units (EUs).

Every Xe-core includes 16 Vector Engines (VE) and 16 Matrix Engines (XMX). Each of those Vector Engines processes 256 bits per cycle. Based on Intel’s explanation, each VE has 8 ALUs. That leads to a total of 128 ALUs in one Xe-Core. The core also has its L1 cache.

Intel combines four of these cores to create a Render Slice. We’ve now jumped up to 512 ALUs and 64 XMX.

Furthermore, there are four Ray Tracing Units in each Render Slice to help with ray tracing performance. There are also Samplers, Pixel Backends, and engines for Geometry, Rasterization, and HiZ.

However, Intel had to scale it further to see the true potential from these cores and Render Slices. Thus their flagship GPU holds eight Render Slices. That means4096 ALUs.

Intel XeSS Upscaling

Those Matrix Engines perform a role similar to NVIDIA’s Tensor Cores which use to accelerate AI-related workloads. Because of this DLSS 2.0 is so successful at supersampling.

Intel’s XeSS upscaling can utilize XMX to provide just similar upscaling to DLSS. But, until we see real third-party comparisons, we can’t really say.

Until then, here’s an upscaled 4K demo powered by Intel Arc GPU.

As seen in the demo above, XeSS rendered at 4K looks identical and sometimes even better than 4K native while providing up to 2x the FPS. At least, that’s what Intel claims.

With the A350M and A370M releases, Intel will provide XeSS support for a dozen games including Hitman 3, Chivalry II, Ghostwire Tokyo, Death Stranding, Anvil, Dolmen, Tomb Raider, and more.

Intel Deep Link, AV1 Encoding And Arc Control

Another interesting new feature from Intel is the full support for AV1 encoding and decoding. That’s something that neither Nvidia nor AMD have, so that’s a big plus for content creators.

Combine the speed of AV1 encoding which is already faster than standard HEVC encoding with Intel’s new Deep Link technology that helps the CPU and GPU share power/resources which leads to even faster encoding performance.

Paired with these new features will be Intel’s new Arc Control software which can be used for recording, updating drivers, tweaking game settings, and more. A role similar to GeForce Experience and AMD’s Radeon Software.

Why You Should Be Cautiously Optimistic About Intel Xe

Intel’s decision to hire Vineet Goel as the lead for the Intel Xe IP also boosts our optimism for the future of these GPUs. Why? Goel was the senior director of GPU architecture at AMD for a few years and later the corporate vice president for GPU architecture.

Hiring an expert that has had a significant impact on AMD’s RX 5000 and RX 6000 GPUs means he should be able to bring some severe contributions to Intel’s Xe, instilling us with even greater hope for Intel’s new generations of GPUs.

We might not be witnessing a full-on three-way war between Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA, but something exciting is brewing. As gamers and tech enthusiasts, we can’t wait to see it.

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Branko Gapo

Keeping up with the incredibly fast evolution of computer technology is impossible. That is why Branko will be using his knowledge on this matter to share news and information on all the latest essential technological innovations and advancements.

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