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Highly anticipated: It's been nearly a year since Intel revealed Arc as the official branding for their upcoming graphics lineup. Since then, gamers and hardware enthusiasts have anxiously awaited a sneak peek at an actual sample of Intel's graphics solution. Intel rewarded attendees of this weekend's Intel Extreme Master (IEM) Pro gaming tournament for their patience with an up-close and personal view of the Arc Alchemist GPU in action.
The Arc "Special Edition" GPU on display at IEM gave attendees a preview of the upcoming Alchemist 700-series lineup. It did not specify if the board was based on their flagship A770 or A780 model intended to compete directly with Nvidia's 3070 and 3080 lineups.
The announcement was made via Twitter by Bryce_GfxDriverGuru, one of Intel's official Arc Community Advocates. The card is purported to feature 32 Intel Xe cores, 16GB of DDR6 RAM, and five outputs (four DisplayPort and one HDMI). However, information on potential prices and availability was still nowhere to be found.
The road to this point in Intel's desktop GPU journey has been anything but a smooth one. In 2021 the company announced that it would postpone desktop graphics until 2022. Last month it was delayed further, with the company citing factory lockdown and software issues as the primary causes. The delays continue to steal Intel's thunder in its ability to disrupt the GPU market's current two-party system.
Graphics card prices and availability have both improved over the last several weeks. In addition to improved market conditions, both companies have already begun building momentum around their next-generation graphics solutions. With its Arc GPUs targeting the current generations of red and green hardware, Intel will undoubtedly face an uphill battle to claim a seat at the desktop GPU table.