As reported by Videocardz, (opens in new tab) Intel has changed the prize pool setup for winners of last year's Xe-HPG Scavenger Hunt. Instead of providing only new Arc A770 and Arc A750 graphics cards as the prize, Intel has added an alternate prize pool, including a Core i7-12700K for Arc A770 grand prize winners and a Core i5-12600K for Arc A750 first prize winners. In addition, alternate Alder Lake CPU prizes match the value of the original Arc GPU prizes.
All winners have the option to keep their original GPU prize at the cost of waiting for the Arc A7-series GPU launch. However, each winner can switch the GPU prize for the alternate CPU prize instead and get their prize immediately. Winners will have until the late hours of August 19 (PDT) to make their decision. If not, the prize will automatically be switched to the alternative CPU prize and shipped immediately.
One sentence from the letter reads, "The overall total value of the alternate prize package, including hardware pricing and non-hardware pricing, will be the equivalent value to the original prize package." It implies that Arc A750 and Arc A770 could share the same MSRP as the Core i5-12600K and Core i7-12700K, respectively. For reference, the Core i5-12600K hit the retail shelves at $299, while the Core i7-12700K launched at $419. The speculated Arc pricing doesn't look out of line if we consider the benchmarks and leaks. Intel's benchmarks showed that the Arc A750's performance is in the same alley as the GeForce RTX 3060. Let's remember that Nvidia's Ampere-powered offering debuted at $329.
We've already seen the Arc A770 in action, and its performance seems to sit between a GeForce RTX 3060 Ti and GeForce RTX 3070. Unfortunately, there weren't enough benchmarks for us to pass judgment. However, the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti and GeForce RTX 3070 have MSRPs of $399 and $499, respectively, so the Arc A770 is right in the middle if Intel releases it at around the $400 mark.
The prize pool changes potentially represent major timing issues for Intel and its supposed 2022 Arc GPU launch worldwide. For example, the Xe HPG Scavenger Hunt was a GPU-specific scavenger hunt created to celebrate Intel's introduction into the discrete GPU market space. Unfortunately, it makes the alternative prize options feel very out of place and appears to be an emergency strategy on Intel's part.
Intel doesn't appear confident in its ability to deliver desktop Arc Alchemist GPUs this summer. But, we can't say we are surprised; Intel has suffered non-stop issues surrounding the Arc GPUs. A couple of the most problematic issues are the driver bugs and performance optimization issues with said drivers.
Technically, Intel has already released Arc A380 with units available in China. But a worldwide launch is still pending. Intel has backpedaled its release dates multiple times now, with dates transitioning from Q4 2021 to Q1 2022, and finally, a Q3 release.
But Q4 has already started this year, making the previous Q3 release window invalid. So at this rate, we don't know when Intel will release Arc Alchemist. But, with the constant bugs surrounding Arc and the new scavenger hunt prize pool changes, we could be looking at a 2023 release.
Unless they sort out the GPU driver issues, things don't seem too bright for Intel. So much wait/ado for a THIRD discrete gaming GPU competitor ? ! :(
But... If release was even a day later than was promised by the giveaway they would have to do the same thing for the contest winners. So there is a chance it is not a big deal.
As far as prices go I don't think this gives any useful info. If they substituted an option for a 12900KS it might be because they want dedicated fans happy not because they value the GPU at $700.
Yes, they are indeed late, but I'm skeptical because previously we have been expecting a late Q3 2022 release window, but after this prize announcement, I doubt the release date could be any closer.
It might slip in Q1 2023 Windows, unless Intel acts quickly. But let us think.....Why are they offering an alternative option to get a CPU instead of a GPU ? If they are indeed confident about their release date Window on ARC alchemist, then I'm not sure why this sudden prize pool decision was taken by the marketing department ?
I could be wrong on some points though.
And all this time I thought Q4 started 1 Oct...! :)
Hardware shortcomings giving drivers developers nightmares is certainly a possibility. Intel has had lots of experience with that with its Puma modem chipsets.