Despite literally years of delays, unclear messages and analysts advise Intel to abandon the caseCEO Pat Gelsinger stood before the assembled masses at the latest Intel Innovation event and excitedly announced that the discrete Arc cards are finally ready for a proper global launch, with the A770 card coming out on October 12th. in an even more shocking turn of events, it actually looks… okay?
Maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised. Intel, despite ances will not leave the Arc and has big plans to push into the GPU market, going head-to-head with Nvidia and its CPU rival, AMD. I’ve been critical of Intel’s lackluster GPU efforts in the past, but only because it made me feel like a frustrated parent; I’m desperate wanted Arc to be good.
The Intel Arc A770 will be the most powerful card in the initial wave of Arc GPUs, some of which have already been seen in laptops in Asia. We’ll also be getting a new Intel NUC PC equipped with the A770M Mobile GPU. No news yet on the lower-spec A750, or any even cheap A300 or A500 cards, but we do have a very reasonable price tag for the Arc A770: just $329.
Considering the A770 is expected to (roughly) outsell Nvidia at $399 RTX 3060 Ti, it’s a very good value that will surely appeal to gamers on a budget. It also has twice the video memory of this card with 16GB of GDDR6. Intel tempered expectations by saying that performance is only for DirectX 12 games, and older titles may initially struggle a bit while Intel gets around to optimizing the Arc driver.
Moore’s Law: Dead or Alive?
It looks like Gelsinger couldn’t resist digging into Nvidia during his keynote. When Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang recently declared that “Moore’s Law is dead” (no, not the YouTube channel), he was actually saying that GPU development is approaching a stagnation point and that we can expect GPU prices to remain high for the foreseeable future.
Pat disagrees. “We will continue to uphold Moore’s Law,” he declared, doubling down on the fact that gamers “should be frustrated” by “complaints about high prices.” This was an obvious reference to Nvidia, whose new superpower RTX 4090 will have a quite a ridiculous price tag.
Since the Arc cards will come with ray-tracing capabilities, AV1 encoding, and Nvidia’s own take on DLSS integration technology (called XeSS), the $329 MSRP seems to make the A770 a de facto better option over the RTX 3060 Ti — assuming that Intel can deliver on its current promises.
It’s still not easy to find an RTX 3060 Ti at MSRP, with many models currently selling for upwards of $449, even though prices continue to fall. AMD also doesn’t currently have a viable counter to Intel’s new wallet-friendly GPU, with the $379 Radeon RX 6600 XT simply not up for direct comparisons. Here, Intel has a serious chance to slide into the budget gaming space and gain a foothold in the discrete GPU market.
Of course, this is a first generation release for Intel; we already know that both Nvidia and AMD are gearing up to release their next-generation GPUs, and Intel has cheekily put the A770 release date in line with the RTX 4090. When we see the available RTX 4060 Intel may not enjoy its budget dominance for long in the near future. Still, it’s fantastic to see the Arc finally reach its release and I hope the A770 impresses when we get it.