After years of leaks, teases, and rumors, we finally have some official details about Intel’s Xe discrete graphics cards. Intel formally unveiled its new ARC brand and even showed off some gameplay of popular games running on one of the pre-production graphics cards.
Previously known as DG2, the new ARC brand is meant to be the official name of the Intel graphics cards, perhaps similar to how “Core” represents its CPUs. More importantly, Intel also confirmed when we can expect ARC products to hit shelves. The current plan is to launch sometime during Q1 of 2022, which means the end of March at the latest.
Considering the current state of the market, Intel may not drag its feet either, as any products with decently competitive performance to Nvidia or AMD graphics cards are sure to sell as long as they are on shelves. Intel ARC products will be available for laptops, small form factor PCs, and desktop variants. Expect variations of the ARC products to be available from global partners as well. We assume the major AIBs will have similar offerings to some of the existing popular designs for Nvidia and AMD products.
This is just the beginning
In addition to launching the ARC branding, Intel also clarified that there are four planned generations of graphics cards in the works. The DG2 codename specifically applies to the first of said generations, codenamed “Alchemist,” which is much cooler sounding according to Intel. Alchemist will be followed by Battlemage, Celestial, and Druid generations. The company didn’t provide any additional details or timeframes, but it is a good sign of confidence about the years ahead.
So how about those games? Intel sampled 10 different popular games alongside a suite of rendering features that includes advanced effects like AI Accelerated Super Sampling, AI accelerated 4K upscaling (perhaps similar to DLSS/FSR), mesh shading, Variable Rate Shading, real-time ray tracing, and more. Intel ARC will also feature full DirectX 12 Ultimate support. Today’s showcase was just a curated demo by Intel, but it again shows a strong sign of confidence and commitment to matching its competition.
We still don’t know what the official hardware specs for the Alchemist lineup will offer, but you can check out our coverage about previous leaks to learn more. We also suggest heading over to see the gameplay footage for ARC on Intel’s website, which is oddly the only place you can currently see the videos at.