Intel Arc Alchemist GPU specs will be a bit different than those from Nvidia and AMD. A lot of the time, when judging and comparing graphics cards, you would likely check out the card’s base clock speed. But with Intel’s GPU lineup, things won’t be apples to apples compared to other brands. This was discussed in a recent live stream on the HotHardware YouTube channel. Intel fellow Tom Petersen joined the stream to discuss Arc Alchemist’s clock speeds in further detail.
The first thing to note about all of this is that the operating clock speeds of these GPUs can reach far higher than what’s listed as of now. Take a look at the released specs for Arc Alchemist mobile GPUs, and you’ll see that Intel refers to its clock measurement as the “Graphics Clock.” This measurement is a general estimate for the clock speeds of different GPUs that are under moderate workload stress, thermally constrained, and limited to minimal power consumption. It’s a figure that represents the guaranteed minimum operating clock speed of the GPU, even in the worst conditions.
The Arc Alchemist GPUs work in an interesting way in comparison to others on the market. Essentially, these GPUs boost clock speeds whenever possible and only when it’s safe to do so. If there’s headroom for the GPU to boost its clock higher, then it will do that automatically. This behavior sounds similar to how Intel designs its CPUs to work.
Keeping it real?
What this means is that the Intel Arc Graphics Clock is more like an average minimum clock speed. Since Intel derives these numbers from harsh test conditions with limited power allotment, it thinks the Graphics Clock is a good real world performance spec. This means users can expect better clock speeds in most scenarios.
In the live stream, Petersen goes on to say that “these clocks are not really comparable across vendors.” This naturally makes comparisons between different companies much harder, since Intel is working under a slightly different definition here. It means that users won’t see an exact clock specification. However, Petersen did add that Arc GPUs can boost well above 2GHz.
In a way, what Intel is doing makes a lot of sense. It should make it easier for buyers to accept the minimum performance of a GPU at face value. But it comes at the cost of making things more confusing when comparing these GPUs to others on the market. And it wouldn’t be too surprising to see this stir a lot of confusion among consumers.
We’ll have to wait for the release of the desktop Arc Alchemist cards from Intel in order to see how the clock speeds fully work. As always, independent reviews such as our own will be the best way to gauge the true specs of these GPUs and the overall gaming performance. Since these graphics cards should release sometime in the summer, we shouldn’t have to wait too much longer.