In the past few months, Intel has talked quite a lot about its upcoming discrete graphics cards for desktop PCs, without actually showing them in person--at least until now. At its Intel Extreme Masters pro gaming tournament in Texas today, the company demonstrated its Arc Alchemist 700-series board, powered by the ACM-G10 GPU. Only time (and lots of our testing) will tell if this card or one of its variants earns a spot on our best graphics cards for gaming list.
Specifically, the card that Intel showcased at IEM is called the Intel Arc Limited Edition. It was photographed and Tweeted by Bryce_GfxDriverGuru, an Intel Arc Community Advocate, so consider the demonstration official. Intel demonstrated a rendering of its Arc Limited Edition graphics board back in March, and has revealed some important details about the product.
First up, we know that the board is based on the 'big' Arc Alchemist GPU known as the ACM-G10, and it features up to 32 Xe cores (or 4096 stream processors, if you wish). Secondly, we also know that the graphics processor is paired with 16GB of GDDR6 memory. Thirdly, the board has four DisplayPorts and one HDMI port.
One of the mysteries about the Arc Limited Edition product is whether it is powered by the Arc Alchemist A770 or the A780 GPU model. The latter is obviously the fastest of the two, but whether is used on the Limited Edition model is something that even our the folks at VideoCardz, who tend to keep their ears close to the ground, do not seem to know.
As the name of the board suggests, the Intel Arc Limited Edition will be sold under the Intel brand and in limited quantities. The board uses a dual-slot, dual-fan cooling system and has eight-pin and a six-pin auxiliary PCIe power connectors that can deliver up to 225W of power in total (in addition to the up to 75W delivered using a PCIe x16 slot itself), so it clearly the card is not as hot and power-hungry as flagship solutions from AMD and Nvidia.
Intel has not announced recommended prices of its Arc Alchemist A700-series desktop graphics cards yet. But if its flagship A770/A780 models are set to compete against Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3070 or RTX 3080 boards, they'll need to be priced competitively. And with the price of existing graphics cards falling fast month over month, the longer Intel waits to ship its cards, the lower that price will likely have to be if it hopes to grab a serious chunk of the gaming GPU market.