Everyone in the gaming world is waiting with bated breath for Intel to finally release its Arc desktop GPUs. There have been discussions and hype trains about them for a long time now, and yet, there’s still nowhere to be seen. That is, they were MIA until this past weekend, when Intel brought one to an eSports tournament. Sadly, they weren’t actually powering any of the gaming systems. Instead, they were on display in glass cases. It was a missed opportunity to put a sticker on the case that said, “Break only in the event you need high frame rates.”
Intel brought the mysterious GPUs to the Intel Extreme Master pro gaming tour in Dallas, Texas, an ESL-sponsored gaming tournament that’s been sponsored by Intel since 2006. A Twitter user named @theBryceIsRt snapped several photos of the highly-anticipated GPUs. The most obvious feature is what looks like an eight-pin and six-pin power connector. This would align with earlier reports that Intel was looking to compete with cards like the RTX 3070 as opposed to flagship GPUs. If the latter were the case, we’d expect a dual eight-pin, or possibly the new ATX 3.0 sixteen-pin connector.
Another interesting tidbit of info is in the Twitter thread. One reply was written by the winner of Intel’s Xe HPG Scavenger Hunt, with a reported worth of $700. That would put it right in the RTX 3070 aftermarket pricing. While that GPU has an MSRP of $500, its actual street price is still higher. This Arc GPU is also relatively large and it’s not clear if this is Intel’s top-drawer flagship or not. Intel has noted its highest-end offering is the A770. It’s rumored that there might be a “limited” SKU one step above the A770, kind of like Intel’s i9-12900KS CPU, which is a binned part for overclocking. It could be called the Arc A780.
Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait a few more months before we see any real specs or pricing info. Intel recently announced it was delaying the launch of its desktop GPUs to “later this summer.” It will be launching the mobile variants first in Asia, with the desktop parts to follow. Both have taken longer than expected. In explaining the reasons for the delay, Intel says it’s encountering various issues, some of which are software-related. Those “software readiness” issues are clashing with global COVID-19 lockdowns and supply chain disruptions, causing the delays.