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Intel’s mysterious gaming bus might hold a U.S. launch for Arc Alchemist

Intel has just revealed that it will be bringing a gaming bus to LANfest, set to take place on September 30 in Colorado. The bus will arrive fully decked out with Intel hardware, including what seem to be the desktop versions of Intel Arc.

Given the delayed release of Intel Arc, this might be the first time we get to see the GPUs in action outside of China. Will Intel surprise us with an earlier release date?

Intel's mobile gaming cafe.

According to the Intel Insiders Discord server, Intel is planning to bring a massive gaming truck to LANfest. Although the interior of the truck is not yet ready, the exterior is already wrapped in Intel Arc branding and signature colors. The inside is still a work in progress, but Intel is planning to equip it with up to 30 gaming desktops for visitors to try out. These are said to be based on NUC 12 Extreme (Dragon Canyon,) with Intel Alder Lake CPUs and discrete graphics cards. The exact specifications are yet to have been shared. Aside from Intel’s own hardware, AOC will be providing the gaming monitors, SteelSeries will supply the peripherals, and BackForce — the gaming chairs.

Perhaps inadvertently, Intel has also teased a yet-unreleased design for Arc Alchemist. Shown inside the gaming truck, the design looks different than the ones we have been presented with thus far. VideoCardz shared a blown-up image of the render which you can also see on the screens inside the bus.

While the actual release of Intel Arc has gone far from smoothly so far, Intel does seem to have a bunch of cool marketing ideas to drive up the hype. Almost a year ago, Intel teased the release of its first discrete gaming graphics card in a dazzling light show made up of 1,000 drones. What followed was a series of delays that continues to this day.

As things stand now, we still don’t really know when to expect Intel Arc in its desktop form on the global market. The Intel Arc A380 was recently quietly released in China alongside a custom version manufactured by Gunnir. We know that other versions are still to follow, and those too will first be released in China before being launched worldwide. Moreover, the desktop versions of Intel Arc will first only be available through pre-built PCs — who knows when the DIY versions will hit the shelves.

Intel Arc Alchemist gaming bus.

The fact that Intel plans to bring a whole gaming bus to LANfest in Colorado is certainly a good sign. It would be a great opportunity to actually begin selling the hardware to interested customers. Whether that’s what Intel plans to do or not remains to be seen, but it gives us a good idea of what to expect in terms of the launch strategy for Intel Arc. It doesn’t seem impossible that we won’t see the full desktop lineup available for sale before the gaming bus makes its rounds at LANfest.

On the one hand, at this point, it’s good that Intel is taking its time. This could result in driver optimizations that might improve the not-so-impressive gaming performance of the GPUs. On the other hand, with AMD’s upcoming RDNA 3 launch and Nvidia’s RTX 40-series, Intel is really running out of time to make much of an impression with Arc Alchemist.

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