It’s better late than never, but boy is Intel late. Back in August, Intel announced that they’re working on high-performance GPUs under the name Arc Series, which were meant to compete against industry giants Nvidia and AMD. Now, they’ve released more details about their upcoming GPUs in a rather underwhelming way, since the first ones available will be the most low-performing of the bunch.
More specifically, the first two Arc A-Series offerings — the A350M and the A370M — are under the Arc 3 category that’s designed to fit into thin and light laptops. The first laptop to use an Arc 3 will be a Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro, which is currently up for preorder. Beyond Samsung, Roger Chandler, Intel’s vice president and general manager of graphics and gaming products said that Intel’s Arc Series would be built into laptops from Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, MSI and other laptop makers.
Fancy features — While the Arc 3 GPUs are mostly meant to be squeezed into ultrathin laptops, Intel’s more powerful alternatives are meant for high-performance gaming and content creation. Either way, all Arc A-series GPUs are built on Intel’s X High Performance Graphics microarchitecture, called X-HPG. The architecture allows for more computing capability and makes the Arc GPUs the first in the industry to support hardware-accelerated AV1 encoding and decoding.
The Arc GPUs also have a feature called Xe Super Sampling that uses AI-enhanced upscaling to make playing a game in 4K resolution feel like it’s running in a native 1080p. Intel said this feature will launch in the summer and be supported in more than 20 games.
The most exclusive feature with Arc GPUs is Deep Link Technology that allows the CPU and GPU to work together since they are both built by Intel. The technology can send more power to either the CPU or GPU as needed to increase overall performance.
Going up against giants — The Arc announcement was focused around notebooks, but Chandler said that Intel is working on products for desktop and workstations in the next quarter and summer. As for the more powerful Arc 5 and 7 GPUs, they’re also expected for this summer.
But Intel may only be able to enjoy a short window of attention, since the competition has been working on their next-gen GPUs as well. Nvidia is rumored to release its 40 series graphics cards that’s built on its next-gen Lovelace architecture later this year. The competition in the market is ultimately good for the consumer, but it does feel like Intel will have an uphill battle ahead of them.