We’re just starting to see Intel’s Arc series of discrete graphics cards arrive for laptops, initially dropping in some shockingly expensive models from Asus and HP. But what about the desktop graphics cards? They’re highly anticipated by a market in desperate need of a shake-up. According to Intel CEO Patrick Gelsinger, they’ll be hitting the market in a couple of months at most. He told Intel shareholders that the Arc desktop GPUs are coming in the second quarter.
Gelsinger’s precise words, as spotted by PC Gamer, in response to a question about the company’s stated timeline of delivering four million discrete graphics cards in 2022:
And overall, AXG is on track. And we launched the mobile SKUs. We’ll have the desktop SKUs coming in Q2. And we’ll have more SKUs as we go through the year as well. We’ll be filling out the product line. A lot of work, right, in qualifying games. And if you’re a gamer, you know that there’s just a lot of individual optimization work on some of the key titles so that work is underway, working with our OEMs to populate their portfolios of products as well. So I’ll say you’re going to see more and more of that hitting the market, and we’ll be filling out — we have the 3 versions. We’ll have the 5, 7 and 9 versions of the year products coming out as we go build up that portfolio this year.
“AXG” is Intel’s Advanced Computing Systems and Graphics Group. It just sounds a lot cooler than “ACSGG.” Intel had previously indicated that the initial Arc discrete cards would arrive in the summer of this year.
His reference to 5, 7, and 9 versions of Arc roughly follow the conventions of Intel’s Core series of CPUs, notably skipping the lower i3 level. A rough guess would have those discrete desktop cards positioned to compete with the RTX 3070, 3080, and 3090 levels (RX 6700, 6800, and 6900 in AMD terms) as far as price goes. Note that Intel isn’t saying which card specifically will be out in the summer. It seems likely that a single “launch edition” will hit the market first, followed by a more complete lineup later this year.
Whether or not Intel can come out of the gate swinging, the initial batch of Arc cards are unlikely to be the last. We’re talking about billions of dollars invested in research, development, and a rollout to both manufacturer partners and retail sales. That’s a commitment that will require multiple years and generations to come to fruition. If you don’t feel like hopping on the Intel graphics bandwagon immediately, you’ll have the option to see how follow-up efforts stack up against the competition.