Intel Arc: desktop graphics cards will not arrive until the end of the summer, they will face GeForce RTX 40

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Intel has reconsidered its roadmap in terms of the dizzying of their graphics card releases game Arc A series. The company says that Arc 5 and Arc 7 for desktops are not expected until late summer at best.

Intel Arc A Series

The release of the first generation of Intel Arc A-Series graphics card shifts to a saga with its disappointments, its imbroglios and its many twists. Originally promised during the first quarter of 2022 by the Intel teams, the series will finally only be entitled to a paper launch of its entry-level mobile versions (Arc 3). Since then, availability has been limited to integration into a single laptop, branded Samsung and sold exclusively in South Korea. The mid-range and high-end models (Arc 5 and Arc 7) were expected, as were the desktop versions in the third quarter. Eventually, the case thickens a bit.

Before we go into details, let’s first remember that Intel has planned the production of 4 million GPUs for 2022. It is not much, as the current production of dedicated GPUs that combine AMD and Nvidia chips, is between 50 and 70 million units per year. So obviously Intel is not in a position to flood the market, especially if it is to satisfy both laptop manufacturers, third-party card manufacturers and desktop integrators.

The retail market is waiting until the end of the summer

However, Intel wanted to dilute the fog surrounding the availability of their various versions of Arc graphics cards. First, the company states that laptops equipped with Arc 3 graphics cards are now ready for worldwide delivery. We should therefore see that the first references come to France soon. For the Arc 5 and Arc 7 mobile versions, there is always mention of the beginning of the summer and this on a global level.

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Market Arc 3 mobile Arc 5 & Arc 7 mobile Arc 3 desktop Arc 5 & Arc 7 desktop
China / Korea (OEM) Currently available The beginning of summer Second trimester Current / late summer
China (detail) / / After OEMs After OEMs
World (OEM) in delivering The beginning of summer Third trimester Current / late summer
World (details) / / After OEMs After OEMs

There is still the difficult question of desktop versions, the ones that can be purchased in specialty stores to install them on fixed computers. Intel had originally specified that these models would be offered in the second quarter. Again, this is half true. This deadline actually only applies to entry-level models (Arc 3) and only in the Chinese OEM market, which is happy with entry-level graphics cards, that’s true. Initially, therefore, the cards will only be integrated into complete machines sold by manufacturers of fixed computers (the OEMs). OEM partners in the rest of the world will be serviced in a second phase, during the third quarter and still exclusively on Arc 3 models.

The next step will take place later in the summer according to Intel, so probably around September. This period will coincide with the availability of mid-range and high-end desktop graphics cards (Arc 5 and Arc 7). And again, there is the availability of Intel’s OEM partners for integration into complete PCs.

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The general public is obviously not forgotten, but will have to be even more patient. Intel thus states that the delivery of retail graphics cards will be carried out systematically after the OEMs have been served. In other words, do not expect to see the Arc 3 desktop appear in retail before the end of summer and Arc 5 and Arc 7 before the start of fall.

A delay that shuffles the cards against the competitors

Intel Arc A Series

If Intel now offers a slightly more detailed roadmap, it is not yet very accurate. And if the company is careful not to use the term delay, it must be admitted that it is apparently unable to meet the deadlines it had set almost a year ago. This delay and this spread of availability can have their source in production difficulties – it’s true that Covid does not help – but also in the immaturity of the software part (especially the drivers). This is also a point that the company does not reject, Lisa Pearce – responsible for the software part – states in a blog post that there have been delays in development.

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Still, the months go by, and if the Intel Arc A-Series graphics cards were originally to position themselves against the GeForce RTX 30 and other Radeon RX 6000s, it would eventually be completely different. In fact, all indications are that Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 40 could show the end of the circuit board for a period similar to that of Arc 5 and Arc 7, between the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. The same would be the case for the Radeon RX 7000s.

Will Intel be able to rub shoulders with these new AMD and Nvidia generations? Unfortunately, the matter seems very complicated. For let’s remember, the best version of Intel (Arc 7) is cut to fight GeForce RTX 3070 and Radeon RX 6800. However, GeForce RTX 40 and Radeon RX 7000 promise to be particularly fast, which increases the fear of an Arc 7 as at best will be placed opposite competing mid-range models. All that will then be left for Intel is the ability to fight for prices, an area that is still very complicated to manage for AMD and Nvidia. In our opinion, there is a card to play on the core range by offering solutions with an attractive price / quality ratio.

To conclude, it is clear that Intel’s return to the graphics card segment game is somewhat painful. Not that the products are not technologically interesting – the first tests of Arc 3 mobiles are also encouraging – but rather in something resembling an uncontrolled and partially overlooked release schedule. Hopefully, however, Intel will be able to increase the pace for its next generations, to definitely breathe new life into the market.

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