Everyone is talking about Intel Arc Graphics. Commentaries and reviews are mixed, with some concern expressed over delays in getting the product ‘out there’ where everyone excitedly awaits it. We took a look at all the hype and give a balanced view for readers to make up their own minds.
What Is Intel Arc Graphics?
Intel is the designer of the Arc, which is a graphics processing unit (GPU). GPUs can either be integrated or discrete. In this case, they are discrete, which simply means that they are separate from the central processing unit (CPU).
Intel Arc Graphics is aimed at the higher end of the gaming market. Intel Arc similarly includes its services and consumer graphics software. Its two main competitors are GeForce by Nvidia and Radeon by AMD.
The Arc Pro workstation GPU was released in August this year. New developments are focussing on the Battlemage, the future generation of Alchemist, as well as Druid and Celestial.
Intel, Nvidia, and AMD are the biggest developers who design graphics chips, a necessary component of every PC or laptop, which controls the graphics on your device. Whether integrated or discrete, the graphic chip is installed, and the model can make a huge difference to the quality of what the user sees on-screen. These differences are vitally important to the serious player of 3D games, the video editor, or someone carrying out 3D modelling.
Intel’s popularity is attributed to its GPU being integrated with each one of its CPUs. The speed your CPU provides determines its cost. Integrated graphics lack in this beyond simple 3D games and tasks. The G-Series Intel chips are a step up from this but are still relatively unknown.
Once you move above the £400 or lower prices for laptops, more laptops contain Intel GPUs than AMD GPUs. If you are prepared to spend more, which you will need to do if you plan on using your laptop for video and photo edits, then it is a choice between Intel’s Core processors and AMD’s Ryzen 3, 5, and 7 chips.
In its August blog, TechRadar looked into a YouTube report by Moore’s Law is Dead. This video expressed disappointment at Intel’s failure to launch its much-vaunted GPU a year or more after ‘talking it up’. Moore’s Law is Dead conversations with insiders at Intel revealed that the Arc Alchemist GPU contained a hardware flaw, which its driver fix was unable to rectify. Additionally, Battlemage may be implicated too. As noted by TechRadar, the promised launch of Arc Alchemist cards by the end of June 2022 had not materialised in the third quarter of the year, except for China and India. The CEO at Intel reported a global chip shortage and execution challenges at Intel as contributory.
While this all makes for interesting reading, the final proof of the pudding will be in the eating when this transpires.