Intel says it isn't abandoning Arc graphics cards, is working on the next generations

midian182

Posts: 8,332   +103
Staff member
In context: We all know that Intel's Arc Alchemist launch has not been as successful as the company hoped—and that's putting it mildly. The vast number of problems surrounding the discrete graphics cards have led some to believe Intel might cut its losses and abandon the entire project. Chipzilla insists that's not going to happen, and it's already working on the next generation of cards: Battlemage and Celestial.

Underwhelming performance, problems with DirectX11, and the need to enable Resizable Bar have been some of the issues reviewers have encountered with the only Arc desktop card released so far, the Arc 3 A380. Buggy drivers have proved to be the worst element, with Intel engineers spotting 43 issues alone just by watching a review of the card by Gamers Nexus.

Then there's the more powerful Arc A7 series that's supposedly as good as (and cheaper than) the RTX 3060, according to Intel, anyway. The company said they would arrive in summer, but the cards still aren't here with around three weeks of the season left.

Adding to Intel's worries are reports of some dealers, potential distributors, and manufacturers in the European area showing little to no interest in Arc cards. There were also claims that Intel's RMAs and returns are significantly worse than those of its competitors, and that one big board partner has completely stopped production of Arc due to quality concerns, which certainly sounds bad.

With Intel selling off or closing previous enterprises, including its NAND, aerial drone, and Optane businesses, some analysts believe its Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics Group (AXG) could be next to go. Such a scenario is not that hard to imagine, given the $507 million loss AXG recorded in the last quarter.

But Intel's Tom Petersen says not only is Arc sticking around but work on the brand's future cards is also well underway. "We're not going anywhere on our discrete business. And our discrete business is the basic technology development that goes both into the data center and integrated GPUs. I feel like there's a lot of FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) out there. I'd just like to be clear: we're not going anywhere," he told PC Gamer.

"The thing I happen to believe—Pat, and I, and Roger, and Lisa, and Ryan, everybody is aligned on the idea—that graphics is a critical technology to the client, is a critical technology to the data center, and we want to start competing in the mainstream area where our competitors are making a ton of money. So all three of those things are critically important for Intel."

Following Alchemist, Intel's next generation in the seemingly D&D-inspired Arc cards is Battlemage. Those are supposed to arrive in 2023 – 2024. Celestial is next, with a very vague 2024+ release, then Druid, which has no timeline. Petersen said most of the ASIC team is working on Battlemage, with a small portion on Celestial and an even smaller number still on Alchemist.

Petersen claims that later generations of powerful Arc cards will be competing with high-end offerings from Nvidia and AMD. Right now, it's concentrating on the more widespread lower-end. "Our plan is to start here. And then we add on top and then we add on top. And it's not a really hard strategy to understand because we're starting with the volume segment of the market, and then we'll grow into more high-performance segments over time."

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Neatfeatguy

Posts: 1,026   +1,889
It would have been stupid if they dropped it because of issues on the first run - be it availability, drivers, performance or something else.

Anyone that wants to criticize Intel for the poor launch (if you can even call it that) of Arc, those people are more than welcome to try and get a discrete GPU line off the ground and see how much better they can do. If they can do it better than Intel, then Intel should bow down and back out of the industry for dGPUs.

I welcome Intel for getting into the dGPU part of the business and I hope they can get things figured out and working. If it takes them a couple of generations to be as competitive to Nvidia or AMD, by all means, take the time to do it and get it right.

If Intel can prove us wrong and do well here, hopefully it'll force Nvidia and AMD to drop prices. Right now with mid-high end GPUs that I usually get, the current $700-800 is painful. I enjoyed the mid-high end cards in the past and not having to pay this much for them would be awesome if Intel can get in the game and help force prices to come back down to a more normal area.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,680   +2,659
Peterson spouted off codenames up to E. I didn't think they'd abandon the market any time soon.
Glad to hear they confirmed it for everyone. Just be patient guys. It's not your money on the line. Consumers will be okay no matter what happens.
 
Definitely great news that they will keep their discrete graphics division. In hindsight - maybe they should just have completely shipped 1st Gen Alchemist and go straight for 2nd Gen in 1-2 years.

When they get Alchemist sorted out, they will have suffered a lot of reputation damaged, and the money just is not in the market right now. Pricy components, pricy shipping, Pricy energy, low consumer spending, falling interest in crypto(thankfully!) are all factors that mean that overall sales of dGPUs is going to be lower in the foreseeable future. will Intel be able to squeeze in with the reputation that alchemist has - and the shortly upcoming release of new gen AMD and Nvidia cards? I think not.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 8,284   +7,656
I agree competition is a good thing, but the competition in the market is not easy for anyone.
If Intel can prove us wrong and do well here, hopefully it'll force Nvidia and AMD to drop prices. Right now with mid-high end GPUs that I usually get, the current $700-800 is painful. I enjoyed the mid-high end cards in the past and not having to pay this much for them would be awesome if Intel can get in the game and help force prices to come back down to a more normal area.
Intel also has plenty of opportunity to stick its foot even deeper down its own throat. After all, they are experts at doing that, IMO.

The PC market is already seeing pricing corrections simply because, IMO, the market is depressed at this point. AMD has announced 7950X launch pricing that is $100 lower than the 5950X from the previous generation. My guess is that is because of market conditions, and it may also be a wise competitive move after Intel has announced that their solution to currently poor market conditions is raising prices. Go figure! :rolleyes: That's Intel. 🤣

Sorry if you do not like my opinion, but Intel raising prices in response to a depressed market just does not make sense to my little mind; it is, however, consistent with what I see as past Intel hubris.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 8,284   +7,656
How about they just release this generation's lineup before hyping the 2nd one. You eventually have to have a viable mid range product on the market vs. slides and marketing hype.
As I see it, this is SOP for Intel.
 

rmcrys

Posts: 297   +239
Anyone that wants to criticize Intel for the poor launch [...] those people are more than welcome to try and get a discrete GPU line off the ground and see how much better they can do.

Intel has made GPUs since over a decade now. The step from a iGPU to a dGPU is VERY small, as you may take directly an Xe core, multiply the amount of units, bandwidth/ cache and even the controller just needs a small adaptation. Only the game between GPU and CPU has to be adapted as they don't communicate directly anymore.

You are confusing a CPU company with zero gpu on the wallet with a company that has several.
 

letsgoiowa

Posts: 101   +187
Hey Rob, quick correction for the summary: it's "discrete" not "discreet." Correct spelling is used in the quotes from Intel. Discrete = separate, discreet = stealthy, covert.
 

human7

Posts: 131   +103
Whether these cards stay or go, I'm happy to see the codenames for these generations follow an easy to remember (alphabetical) progression. Their CPU division should borrow from this idea. I'm tired of all the lakes, and I have no idea which one is which without looking it up.
 

passwordistaco

Posts: 413   +951
Intel has made GPUs since over a decade now. The step from a iGPU to a dGPU is VERY small, as you may take directly an Xe core, multiply the amount of units, bandwidth/ cache and even the controller just needs a small adaptation. Only the game between GPU and CPU has to be adapted as they don't communicate directly anymore.

That's what Intel thought going into this.

"Pat, and I, and Roger, and Lisa, and Ryan, everybody"

Who is not mentioned by name there?
 

Mr Majestyk

Posts: 1,460   +1,365
How about they just release this generation's lineup before hyping the 2nd one. You eventually have to have a viable mid range product on the market vs. slides and marketing hype.
They have a serious hardware level issue with the scheduler that cannot be fixed by software. They have a warehouse full of cards made in March that they thought would be sorted out long ago and it can't. This is why Arc is MIA. They can junk the lot or ship them knowing that performance will suck at lower resolutions. I hope they are working hard on Battlemage, but Raja's in deep sh!t. We need more players and I hope Intel don't give up, but will Raja survive to run this group?
 

fps4ever

Posts: 1,102   +1,795
They have a serious hardware level issue with the scheduler that cannot be fixed by software. They have a warehouse full of cards made in March that they thought would be sorted out long ago and it can't. This is why Arc is MIA. They can junk the lot or ship them knowing that performance will suck at lower resolutions. I hope they are working hard on Battlemage, but Raja's in deep sh!t. We need more players and I hope Intel don't give up, but will Raja survive to run this group?

I heard that as well but nobody wants to talk about it. One of them is that minimum fps is capped around 90 fps or something like that. Don't quote me on that as I saw it in one of the ARC 750-770 youtube pre-reviews.
 
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rmcrys

Posts: 297   +239
They have a serious hardware level issue with the scheduler that cannot be fixed by software.
Intel's approach:
- we release cards with some issues and we'll make money AND alpha testing with buyers as well. The same approach with the software. Oh and yes, they even use the CPU from the costumer to make and send those reports to Intel... nice.

- then with the second gen, the same as with the first but just saying that they "improved a lot with their hard work at Intel". More Money and beta testing through costumers. More flaws flaws flaws.

- then with the third gen "we (now) make (some) direct competition, result of our hard work". Even more money due to the hype (that now Intel is somewhat in the game) and actual competition. Poor s...ers that bought the first two generations and lived and died with so many hardware and software issues. Hey but at least they paid so that INTEL now makes some competition.


It already seems like electricity companies and are getting government and client's money to invest in green tech but that electricity is sold to other countries to make the company rich but not the costumers who paid that tech in first place!!!