While NVIDIA and AMD have been the dominant players in the graphics department, Intel is preparing to make its mark with the launch of its Arc A-Series graphics cards. We’re still awaiting the launch, but Intel is now sharing specifications for the A-Series cards after sprinkling out details over the previous months. There are three main performance tiers of cards: Arc 3, which is aimed at “enhanced gaming;” Arc 5, aimed at “advanced gaming;” and Arc 7, aimed at “high performance gaming.” You could think of this as the i3, i5, and i7 marketing Intel uses for its consumer CPU lineups. Keep reading below the fold to learn more about these upcoming cards.
We will start out with the high end of the Arc A-Series lineup: the A770 and A750 GPUs. At the top end, the A770, you will receive 32 Xe-cores with the A750 being a slight step down to 28 Xe-cores. The same is true when it comes to Ray Tracing Units. Yes, Intel’s Arc GPUs will be capable of ray tracing. Not just limited to these two cards, you will have access to the AI-powered upscaling of games with XeSS, and the XMX engines will provide the AI horsepower with 512 on the A770 and 448 on the A750. The graphics clocks here are fairly similar between the cards with the A770 at 2,100MHz and 2,050MHz on the A750. Every card will use GDDR6 VRAM as well with the two A7 cards here having an 8GB model. There could be third-party models of the A770 with 16GB, but Intel will offer a limited-edition model that will have a confirmed 16GB of VRAM.
Stepping down now to the Arc A580 and A380 cards now, the Xe-cores drop down to 24 and 8, respectively, with the Ray Tracing Unit count mirroring the core count. The A580 will also drop the XMX engine count down to 384 with the A380 down to 128. VRAM is also lowered to 8GB on the A580 and at the low of 6GB on the A380. Here’s where things get a little strange, in my opinion. The graphics clock on the A380 is at 2,000MHz and down at 1,700MHz on the A580. Now, why does the A580, which is one performance tier higher than the A380, have a lower clock speed? I have no answer for you right now.
Regardless of which card you end up going with, when you can get one (that is still unknown), you will have access to HDR and variable refresh rate gaming, the AI upscaling mentioned previously, ray tracing, Arc Control, and dedicated AV1 encoding hardware. As Intel continues to release more information regarding its first lineup of desktop graphics cards, we can only assume the launch date is coming near, though you can order a third-party A380 by ASRock now.
While I am excited for a new player to enter the desktop graphics card scene, I am hesitant given all the reports of driver and hardware problems with the A-series cards. Intel has also released some 48 benchmarks showing how it stacks up against the competition, though they should be taken with a grain of salt until reviewers are able to get their hands on the cards. Intel’s Arc graphics cards will have their place in the market, but where that will land is to be determined at this point.
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