It is no secret that the Intel Arc GPU lineup is off to a rocky start. From delays to rough performance outlooks, Arc Alchemist isn’t looking like the revolutionary product some people might have hoped for. Leaker Tom from Moore’s Law is Dead YouTube channel now claims that Intel is considering canceling Arc for desktop gaming altogether.
So why is Intel thinking about canning Arc? Per the leaker, there is “almost certainly a fundamental hardware flaw in the scheduler of Alchemist”. Supposedly, Intel can’t reach high frame rates above 90 FPS at low resolutions with a weak card. Tom thinks that Intel had hoped to resolve these issues by now but realized “probably around May or June” that drivers will never be truly fixed.
This is allegedly why Intel axed Arc Alchemist A780 and is now rushing to get the remaining cards to the market.
To substantiate this report, Tom presents a presentation slide given by Intel’s graphics group to other departments within the company a month ago about the launch date of the dedicated Arc products. Per the slide, OEMs and System Integrators were supposed to get their hands on Arc boards like the A380 and the A770 at the end of July followed by AIBs cards popping up on retailers in mid-August.
The Arc situation is reportedly so bad that AIB partners in the West don’t have any clue when the GPUs will launch. One AIB source exclaimed to Tom “to this day we don’t know what’s going on”, while another doesn’t know if the launch is even in this quarter.
Giving weight to the claims made by AIB sources, the leaker shows a slide mentioning “TBC”, as the date for on-shelf AIB Arc A380 or A750 boards.
Another slide mentions September as the time for an Arc “Story, not launch”. The leaker doesn’t know what that means and nor do we.
Tom thinks that the top executives aren’t too pleased with the situation, prompting talks of Arc cancellation.
“There are High-Level discussions going on regarding the cancellation of Dedicated Desktop Arc Cards. Datacenter stays for now, but the dedicated gaming card line will be canceled before Celestial even gets a chance”, suggested one of Tom’s sources.
However, another source couldn’t confirm the cancellation of Arc but revealed that “no good news is coming out of the Graphics Division at the mid-level”. The source also alleged that if Battlemage is canceled “marketing will still hype up Arc until that decision is actually made”.
Tom also talks of an Intel Arc mobile refresh in 2023, giving credibility to a recent report by RedGamingTech. Intel is supposedly launching the refresh after making some tweaks to the silicon to resolve outstanding issues.
Long story short, the leaker suggests that Intel thought that it could fix Arc issues through drivers by Q1 2022, enabling the company to paper launch the GPUs followed by the actual launch in Q2 2022. But Intel found out in H1 2022 that Arc Alchemist has an inherent hardware flaw that it could hopefully fix by early next year. Until then, the company intends to launch whatever it has produced until now as lower-end products while trying to fix Arc Alchemist issues and ready Battlemage.
Meanwhile, the top brass is presumably assessing the situation and may decide that the troubles are not worth it and cancel Arc for gaming completely.
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