The release of Intel's Arc Alchemist desktop graphics cards could be postponed, according to a new report published by Igor Wallossek on his Igor's Lab (opens in new tab) tech site. Multiple sources have contacted Wallossek, and all agree that these desktop GPUs will be late, but how late isn't clearly defined, with the release window now expected to fall between the beginning of July to the end of August.
Intel's official position concerning the release of its Arc Alchemist desktop graphics cards is that they will start to roll out in Q2 2022. However, we are now firmly into Q2, and Q3 begins at the beginning of July. So a hard launch at the beginning of July would be a little late, but the end of August is quite a severe delay.
Yesterday, we reported that Intel missed its self-imposed deadline to deliver an Arc GPU driver update. It could be a symptom of the hardware release delays to come. In the body of his news post, Wallossek seems to indicate that some of his sources are "preferred testers." Suppose the wider tech community has noticed a delay in Intel's software update delivery schedule. In that case, the professional testing community will be highly frustrated about such delays, which may have something to do with this report.
Igor's Lab reckons that software and driver problems are behind the touted launch/release delays. Wallossek reckons the Intel Arc desktop hardware, firmware, final clock speeds, and so on are all now finalized. Again this info seems to come from insider testers.
Intel has many hoops to jump through with its first serious series of discrete graphics cards. So it is natural to wonder whether the delayed cards will have all their advanced features available, like XeSS, when they eventually launch. Remember, AMD seemed to stumble over the introduction of FSR, but now it has that feature in the rear view mirror; it has been able to successfully tune and refine this feature (and FSR2) alongside others in its updates.
Igor shares some other interesting observations about the Arc Alchemist desktop launch delay. He indicates that Intel's delay or leaked specs of the upcoming hardware may have helped Nvidia decide to cancel the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti 16GB. He also reckons the Intel Arc Alchemist desktop graphics card launch may be a muted one due to the absence of big board partners, lack of retailer price guarantees, and RMA considerations.
As with any non-official news release, please take the above with a pinch of salt or two. Another relatively fresh rumor is that Intel will launch desktop Arc cards at Computex (which starts on May 24). That could be a 'paper launch,' and both rumors be correct, but things will become more apparent in the next few weeks.