Intel, which will soon no longer count Apple among its customers, is in the process of creating a new market: dedicated graphics chips. After the Iris Xe Max which served as a warm-up tower at the end of 2020, the founder has just announced a whole range of dedicated GPUs.
Intended for laptops to begin with, these GPUs are divided into three categories: Arc 3, whose consumption ranges from 25 to 50 W; Arc 5, from 60 to 80 W; and Arc 7, from 80 to 150 W, in other words for large portables. The higher the range, the greater the number of Xe-cores (calculation blocks), the same applies to units dedicated to ray tracing, memory and bandwidth.
Arc GPUs take advantage of a new technology, Deep Link, which optimizes the dialogue with the CPU: the management of the thermal envelope should be more precise and the computer will be able to combine the power of the GPU integrated with the Alder Lake processor.
If Apple customers will never see the color of these Arc, Intel hopes to take market share from Nvidia and AMD. Only, the foundry does not specify what its new chips are worth compared to the competition. Its first graphics only compare the Arc 3 with the integrated Iris Xe, and inevitably, the dedicated GPU comes out on top.
“Our main goal is to provide a good experience. There will be benchmarks where we will be losers and others where we will be winners”said Roger Chandler, the head of graphics products at Intel, to The Verge. We have seen more encouraging speeches.
Intel will release desktop and workstation versions later this year. Do not expect Arc GPUs capable of competing with an RTX 3080 in the immediate future, the founder does not plan a very high-end graphics card before its third generation.
In the meantime, the Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro will be one of the first laptops to host an Arc 3 (optional). In the coming weeks and months, Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, MSI and others will also be offering computers with Intel dedicated GPUs starting at $899.