We’re now at a point where Intel’s Arc Alchemist GPUs are becoming more available. As the weeks go by, more and more consumers are getting their hands on Intel’s first foray into the discrete graphics market since 1998. As time goes on, we should start to see compatibility with various applications improve. This is the case today, with Vulkan 1.3 now officially supported on Intel’s Arc Alchemist GPUs.
For those unaware, Vulkan is a cross-platform API for 3D applications. You can think of it like a software layer that helps game engines “talk” to the graphics card drivers. Some games allow you to choose Vulkan in the graphics settings, which is where you’re most likely to have recognized it. The API first appeared in 2016, and since January of this year, Vulkan 1.3 has been readily available. AMD and Nvidia rushed to push out driver updates as soon as this was the case. But for Intel, it’s taken a fair bit of time for compatibility to arrive.
This isn’t too surprising if you keep up with the rumors about Intel’s drivers behind the scenes. The company seemingly decided to delay its Arc Alchemist graphics card launch that was planned for earlier this year because the drivers weren’t ready yet. Intel’s delayed support for Vulkan 1.3 on Arc GPUs demonstrates an example of this assumption.
Intel may only release software updates for Arc once everything is stable and ready. After all, entering a market with established competitors that have been playing this game for decades is . Intel’s been around for a long time too, but when it comes to offering widespread support on modern graphics cards, the company has a lot to prove.
Vulkan 1.3 support comes to Intel Arc drivers
For a detailed look at which products currently support Vulkan’s latest version, be sure to check out the product page on Khronos Group’s website. At the moment, the A350M, A370M, A550M, A730M, and A770M all support Vulkan 1.3. There haven’t been any recent updates about Arc desktop cards.
That’s not much of a shock though, considering we don’t know exactly when Intel plans on releasing its desktop graphics cards. Intel’s Arc desktop cards could arrive anytime between the start of July and the end of August. It’s a strange marketing campaign to be sure, considering Intel recently demoed its graphics cards at an esports event, despite the overall lack of information about the Alchemist lineup. At least it seems that we’re on the final stretch leading up to more launch announcements. We’ll then see if Arc finds a place in the graphics market.