Intel finally put a date on its Arc Alchemist graphics cards during its Innovation 2022 event. The flagship A770 is releasing on October 12, but that’s not the most interesting part of the announcement. The card is only $330, and Intel says that’s a very intentional price point.
Before announcing the release date, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger had a clear message on high GPU prices: “You should be frustrated.” The executive showed how the cost of GPUs has risen significantly over the past few years, and said the A770 looks to break that trend. “[GPUs] have just gotten super expensive, and we don’t think they need to,” Gelsinger added.
It’s an interesting comment on the heels of Nvidia’s RTX 4090 launch. Nvidia raised prices this generation, making already expensive graphics cards even more expensive. When questioned about the price hikes, Nvidia said that falling GPU prices were “a story of the past.” Nvidia cited the death of Moore’s Law as a justification for higher prices, but Intel had a response for that: “Moore’s Law is alive and well.”
Intel says that review samples are on the way to reviewers now, so we’ll finally get a sense of how the A770 performs in the real world. Arc Alchemist has been infamously delayed several times, but it seems Intel is finally ready to release the cards. Several prelaunch reviews showed issues with the drivers, but Intel seems to have ironed them out at this point.
Although the release date has continued to slip, Intel has been sending out regular updates on the upcoming range. Just a few weeks ago, Intel disclosed official Arc Alchemist specs, and executives have gone on the record about regrets with the rocky rollout.
Intel didn’t touch on performance during its keynote, but several prerelease previews have shown that the flagship A770 should perform around the level of an Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti. It’s not true flagship performance, but Intel hopes to earn back some favor with its XeSS tool, which promises to boost frame rates with AI upscaling.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the most powerful GPUs available today, but Intel’s keynote was a reminder that mainstream graphics cards are what make a difference. We’ll have to wait until we have a chance to test the cards, but Intel’s aggressive pricing could be a solid strategy to beat out Nvidia this generation.
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