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Intel Arc: desktop graphics cards will only arrive at the end of the summer, they will face the GeForce RTX 40


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Intel has reconsidered its roadmap regarding the staggering of its graphics card releases gaming Arc A-Series. The company says the Arc 5 and Arc 7 for desktop aren’t expected until late summer, at best.

The release of the first generation of Intel Arc A-Series graphics cards takes turns of a saga, with its disappointments, its imbroglios and its multiple twists. Initially promised during the first quarter of 2022 by the Intel teams, the series will finally only have the right 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 during the third quarter. Finally, the case thickens a little.

Before going into details, let us first recall that Intel has planned the production of 4 million GPUs for 2022. This is not much, the current production of dedicated GPUs combining AMD and Nvidia chips being between 50 and 70 million units per year. So, obviously, Intel is not in a position to flood the market, especially if it has to satisfy both laptop manufacturers, third-party card manufacturers and desktop integrators.

The retail market will wait until the end of the summer

Intel, however, wanted to thin the fog that surrounds the availability of its different versions of Arc graphics cards. First, the firm indicates that laptops equipped with Arc 3 graphics cards are now ready for worldwide delivery. We should therefore see the first references arriving shortly in France. For the Arc 5 and Arc 7 mobile versions, there is always mention of the beginning of summer and this, on a global level.

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MarketArc 3 mobileArc 5 & Arc 7 mobileArc 3 desktopArc 5 & Arc 7 desktop
China/Korea (OEM)Currently availableBeginning of summerSecond trimesterCurrent/late summer
China (retail)//After OEMsAfter OEMs
World (OEM)in deliveringBeginning of summerThird trimesterCurrent/late summer
World (detail)//After OEMsAfter OEMs

There remains the thorny question of desktop versions, those that can be purchased in specialized stores in order to install them in fixed computers. Intel had originally specified that these models would be offered in the second quarter. Again, this is a half-truth. Indeed, this deadline only counts for entry-level models (Arc 3) and only on the Chinese OEM market, which is fond of entry-level graphics cards, it is true. Initially, the cards will therefore only be integrated into complete machines sold by manufacturers of fixed computers (the OEMs). OEM partners in the rest of the world will be served 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 talk of availability to Intel’s OEM partners for integration into full PCs.

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

A delay that reshuffles the cards against the competition

Intel Arc A-Series

If Intel now offers a slightly more detailed roadmap, it is not yet very precise. And if the firm is careful not to use the term delay, it must be admitted that it seems unable to meet the deadlines it had set almost a year ago. This lag and this spreading of availability can have their source in production difficulties – the Covid not helping, it is true –, but also in a lack of maturity of the software part (the drivers in particular). This is also a point that the company does not deny, Lisa Pearce – in charge of the software part – indicating in a blog post that delays have been made in development.

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Still, the months go by and if the Intel Arc A-Series graphics cards were initially to position themselves against the GeForce RTX 30 and other Radeon RX 6000, it will ultimately be completely different. Indeed, everything suggests that Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 40 could show the end of the circuit board at 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 true 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. Because let’s remember, the best version of Intel (Arc 7) is cut to fight against the GeForce RTX 3070 and Radeon RX 6800. However, the GeForce RTX 40 and Radeon RX 7000 promise to be particularly swift, thus raising fears of a Arc 7 which will, at best, be positioned against competing mid-range models. All that will then remain for Intel is the possibility of fighting over pricing, an area that is still very complicated to manage for AMD and Nvidia. There is, in our opinion, 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 gaming is somewhat painful. Not that the products are not technologically interesting – the first tests of Arc 3 mobiles are also encouraging –, but rather in what is similar to an uncontrolled and partially missed release schedule. Hopefully, however, Intel will be able to pick up the pace for its next generations, so as to definitely reinvigorate the market.

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