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Intel Arc Alchemist graphics cards may be delayed until March

Intel’s first line of discrete gaming graphics cards, dubbed Arc Alchemist, is right around the corner — but the launch may not be as close as initially thought.

While rumors first pointed to Intel releasing the new GPUs in January 2022, a new report suggests a launch in March. In addition, new information emerged about what Intel’s initial lineup may offer.

Concept art of an Intel DG2 graphics card.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Intel may not have shared much about the specifications of the cards, but its marketing materials indicate that it’s planning to release two chips in the Arc Alchemist GPU line. However, leaked drivers show that Intel may have up to 32 different cards in the new lineup. How many of those will actually be released upon launch date remains to be seen, but a new report from IT home indicates that there may not be many to begin with.

According to IT Home, Intel may start out by launching just two DG2 gaming desktop graphics cards. It also seems that Intel may not be looking to compete with the best graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD and will instead target the mid-range sector of the market.

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While that may be true, Intel seems to be planning to release two graphics cards that will rival some of Nvidia’s RTX 30-series GPUs. The lineup reportedly includes a card with 512 execution units (EUs) and 16GB of GDDR6 memory as well as a model with 384 EUs and 12GB of GDDR6 memory. These two cards may be comparable to Nvidia’s RTX 3070 (Ti) and RTX 3060 (Ti) in terms of performance.

It’s unclear whether Intel is planning to release cards powerful enough to rival the performance of high-end GPUs like Nvidia’s RTX 3080 Ti or RTX 3090. However, when it comes to gaming enthusiasts interested in 4K gaming, Intel won’t claim any market share without attempting to tackle Nvidia’s and AMD’s best GPUs.

A render of an Intel Arc Alchemist graphics card.
Image credit: Wccftech Image used with permission by copyright holder

Although Intel hasn’t revealed the official release date of the new graphics cards, many expected to see them in early January. However, if the report from IT Home is correct, Intel may be trying to avoid direct competition with Nvidia. Delaying the release by two months also gives Intel more time to ensure that the cards will offer seamless performance from the get-go.

Nvidia is rumored to release three new graphics cards in January and considering that Intel is only just entering the discrete GPU market, this will be a tough competitor to beat. Unfortunately, delaying the release of the new GPUs for Intel can also mean reduced interest when they do hit the market in March, provided that Nvidia’s new products are well-received. On the other hand, in times of the ongoing GPU shortage, there is no such thing as too many graphics cards — so the suspected delay may not have any adverse effects on Intel after all.

Intel is likely to announce the official release date of the DG2 Arc Alchemist cards during CES 2022 this January.

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Monica J. White
Monica is a UK-based freelance writer and self-proclaimed geek. A firm believer in the "PC building is just like expensive…
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