Intel’s Arc Alchemist GPUs, rumored to launch in March, will take on RTX 3060 and 3070

In context: The PC community has been waiting a long time for the launch of Intel’s first truly dedicated gaming GPUs, and now that day is just around the corner. With competition from AMD and Nvidia likely to come later that year, an early 2022 launch window for the first generation of Intel’s upcoming Arc GPUs (codenamed Alchemist) seems likely. But how will Alchemist GPUs compare to existing competition?

Thanks to new rumors reportedly posted on the ExpReview forums, we may finally have an answer to that question. ExpReview, for the ignorant, is a Chinese tech news site that focuses on PC hardware coverage, including reviews, benchmarks and leaks.

According to the website, Intel’s Alchemist architecture is set to launch with more models sometime in March 2022 – a January release was reportedly planned, but it had to be pushed back by a few months. In any case, Q1 is still on the table, apparently.

Intel’s planned offer includes three discrete desktop GPUs and five portable GPUs (mostly variants of the desktop cards).

The desktop series will house the Intel Xe HPG 512 EU, 384 EU and 128 EU.

It is rumored that 128 EU will be launched with 1024 ALUs, 6 GB VRAM, a 75W TGP and a 96-bit memory bus. Intel hopes that 128 EU will be able to accept Nvidia’s GTX 1650, but with RT support – something 1650 and 1650 Super both are missing. Understandably, given the performance hit that comes with turning on such features. Base clock speeds are likely to be limited to 2.5 GHz here.

The 512 EU is set to come with up to 16GB of VRAM, 4096 ALUs, a 256-bit memory bus, a 225W TGP, and rumors of clock speeds also maxing out at around 2.5GHz. The Blue Team positions this model as a competitor to Nvidia’s RTX 3070 and 3070 Ti.

384 The EU, on the other hand, will host the lower end 3060 and 3060 Ti with a 192-bit memory bus, up to 12GB of VRAM, a TGP of around 200W and 3072 ALUs.

The portable version of 128 EU drops VRAM to a paltry 4 GB and reduces power consumption to around 30W. The other low-end laptop chip, 96 EU, downgrades the ALU number to 768, while everything else is roughly the same.

Intel’s advanced Alchemist portable GPUs differ from their desktop counterparts primarily in power consumption, with lower TGP across the board (up to 150W for 512 EU and up to 120W for 384 EU). Mid-range 256 EU is a card for laptops with 2048 ALUs, 8 GB VRAM, a 128-bit bus and up to an 80W TGP.

As you can see, Intel is primarily targeting AMD and Nvidia’s current gen card with its first gaming GPU launch. As such, Blue Team fans will likely have to wait for the company’s next GPU architecture – codenamed “Battlemage” – on an Intel alternative to AMD’s RDNA3 and Nvidia’s Lovelace card.

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