Are Intel Arc graphics cards dead on arrival?

midian182

Posts: 8,134   +95
Staff member
In context: Intel was always going to struggle with the launch of its Arc discreet graphics cards in the face of stiff competition, a rough economy, and mediocre, often buggy performance. But the company was likely unprepared for the level of apathy that has reportedly caused even its partners to shun the Arc cards.

Igor Wallossek of Igor's Lab writes that he has spoken to some dealers, potential distributors, and manufacturers in the European area about Intel's Arc cards, and there was little interest to be found. It's claimed that, unlike Nvidia and AMD, Intel either could not or would not give any price guarantees, and its policies relating to RMAs and returns were significantly worse than those of its competitors.

Wallossek notes that Intel appears to be focusing on system integrators and OEM customers for its Alchemist cards and making the retail market much less of a priority (or not a priority at all). There are also claims that one of the big board partners has completely stopped production of Intel's cards due to quality concerns, which certainly sounds worrying.

Our own Steve Walton recently looked at the entry-level Arc 3 A380, the only card in the series released so far—and it's only available in China. The card is expected to cost somewhere between $120 to $130, making it one of the cheapest new GPUs out there, but the results do suggest a 'get what you pay for' scenario. And that's being generous: the 5-year-old RX 570 that was originally $170 outperforms it.

Moreover, the Arc 3 A380 still requires a lot more support when it comes to drivers, and performance takes a nosedive without Resizable Bar, though Intel should be able to address these issues.

Arc's problems have been exacerbated by Intel's recent financial report that revealed its Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics Group (AXG) recorded a $507 million operating loss during the previous quarter, the result of weakening demand for PCs and components. A lot of the money is tied up in "inventory reserves and roadmap investments," Intel explained.

CEO Pat Gelsinger revealed that the company would not meet its internal target of selling four million Arc GPUs this year. He also talked about the driver issues that so many reviewers have complained about. "We thought that we would be able to leverage the integrated graphics software stack, and it was wholly inadequate for the performance levels, gaming compatibility, et cetera, that we needed," Gelsinger said.

Some in the industry say that Intel is even considering throwing in the towel and shutting down the entire Alchemist project due to its expense and apparent lack of interest, joining Optane in the tech graveyard.

A complete cancelation is an extreme scenario. Things should improve by the time the Arc cards get their full launch, but it's certainly not looking good for Chipzilla. At least the AV1 hardware encoder in the Arc A380 has been beating Nvidia's and AMD's H.264 encoders in initial real-world tests, so there's that.

Permalink to story.

 

terzaerian

Posts: 1,468   +2,141
Really I just feel bad for the engineers that worked on it. If this is any indication:

"We thought that we would be able to leverage the integrated graphics software stack, and it was wholly inadequate for the performance levels, gaming compatibility, et cetera, that we needed," Gelsinger said.

It sounds like they were basically told "just do the thing" and left to their own devices to otherwise make it work; basically upper management expecting miracles without otherwise providing any support or real interest in it, then acting surprised when the end product is half-baked.
 

FuryX

Posts: 15   +22
1st Gen highly complicated products like CPU,GPU,OS etc . they're never usable for the consumer in the 1st gen its literally a prototype to test waters.it might take years just to stabilize and work properly.

I am not buying a intel GPU unless its had like 5 Years of iterations with enough software and driver support.

right now to call this a "Paperweight" is an insult to paperwight.
 

thew118

Posts: 12   +9
Really I just feel bad for the engineers that worked on it. If this is any indication:

"’We thought that we would be able to leverage the integrated graphics software stack, and it was wholly inadequate for the performance levels, gaming compatibility, et cetera, that we needed,’ Gelsinger said.”

It sounds like they were basically told "just do the thing" and left to their own devices to otherwise make it work; basically upper management expecting miracles without otherwise providing any support or real interest in it, then acting surprised when the end product is half-baked.

Agreed. In the early days, Intel’s vast graphics software experience was such a selling point for Alchemist’s potential, so it’s quite a gut punch to hear that from Gelsinger now.
 

McMurdeR

Posts: 565   +730
To me this sounds like an execution issue. It should have been understood from the outset that the gaming products would live or die by the quality of the drivers on a per game basis. Everyone on planet earth who uses PC graphics cards knew it.

I'd be surprised if they throw in the towel altogether. It's too big a market to ignore, and there is surely a product that can be produced with all the r&d that's been done. They might even get away with using the architecture to focus on the computational GPU market for a couple of years - it's far less driver dependent, and that's where the real money is anyway.
 

defaultluser

Posts: 472   +365
Oddly, some still consider the RX 6500 XT launch ‚the worst GPU release since I can remember, and I've been doing this job for over two decades‘.


that's because it at-least justified itself with the half-power 6400. AMD has a long history of making massive cuts ti performance/watt when you jump up to the factory-overclocked full card
 

VitalyT

Posts: 6,348   +7,060
No, it was dead before arrival. LOL.

I guess nobody at Intel had the guts to kill this abomination in uterus.
 

Kam7r

Posts: 74   +146
And months before I said that those gpus would be the I-740 fiasco all over again ... it seems I was right on this one ( this don't happen often lol )
 

mcclurken

Posts: 20   +44
TechSpot Elite
I expected a slow start for Intel GPUs but so far this whole thing is just embarrassing. The optics are, in my own opinion, far worse than just sucky gpu products. Intel is really looking like a failed organization, unable to execute anything up to and including compelling spin. I also think that's going too far, it can't be THAT bad. But seems like every day there's another nail in the Intel Sucks coffin. Still, I bought a decent number of Intel shares for cheap because I fully expect all the fabs in Taiwan to go offline for at least USA at some point in time soon. Easy to make that bet when the stock is so cheap and the stock is so cheap because Intel looks like they're TRYING to suck right now. Dumping the GPU business would be terrible and it would take many years to claw back reputation. Especially since it would be the 2nd time they said they'd change the gpu world and failed.

The industry is better served with a competent Intel but I do still reserve some glee that the years of stock buybacks and putting the screws to customers instead of investing in engineering and building customer trust/rapport is biting them super hard. I help them up with one hand and flip them off with the other lol.
 

Kam7r

Posts: 74   +146
I expected a slow start for Intel GPUs but so far this whole thing is just embarrassing. The optics are, in my own opinion, far worse than just sucky gpu products. Intel is really looking like a failed organization, unable to execute anything up to and including compelling spin. I also think that's going too far, it can't be THAT bad. But seems like every day there's another nail in the Intel Sucks coffin. Still, I bought a decent number of Intel shares for cheap because I fully expect all the fabs in Taiwan to go offline for at least USA at some point in time soon. Easy to make that bet when the stock is so cheap and the stock is so cheap because Intel looks like they're TRYING to suck right now. Dumping the GPU business would be terrible and it would take many years to claw back reputation. Especially since it would be the 2nd time they said they'd change the gpu world and failed.

The industry is better served with a competent Intel but I do still reserve some glee that the years of stock buybacks and putting the screws to customers instead of investing in engineering and building customer trust/rapport is biting them super hard. I help them up with one hand and flip them off with the other lol.
it's actually the 3rd time , if you count the I-740, the larrabee vaporware and this
 

takaozo

Posts: 203   +290
All that money and time spent on making a GPU, the reputation damage is not going away any time soon. I imagine Raja is put offline by this time, since no public apparition for few months now. I dont feel sorry for Intel nor for Raja.

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trparky

Posts: 1,117   +1,264
Hey Intel, how's Raja working out for you? There's a reason why AMD let him go and now you're finding out why.
 

Mr Majestyk

Posts: 1,345   +1,228
The take away from the 1080p gaming tests is what a POS the RX6400 is even using PCI-E 4.

Moore's Law is Dead is saying Intel heads are deciding whether to cancel Arc altogether at least for desktop. This has been a total fluster cuck for Intel and Raja should be worried.