In March, Intel finally revealed to the world their first discrete graphics chips, which were meant to come out in Q1 2022. Intel left it to the last second, to announce the chips, and even then, they stayed relatively conservative with exactly what they announced. Intel showed off several models of their laptop Arc Alchemist CPUs, in addition to a brief teaser on when their desktop offerings will be coming. During the show, Intel stated that two models of Intel Arc dedicated GPUs, the A350M, and A370M would be shipping in systems from that day forward. That was not the case.
The rest of the stack, such as the Intel A550M, A730M, and A770M were all pipped for a more general ‘early summer’ release date. But, it appears that even the A350M and A370M have not landed at all, with any retailers, and no users currently have the Intel Arc chips in their hands, despite stating otherwise just a week ago that they were launching in several devices, across several manufacturers.
Intel Arc in Q1 was a myth
After CES 2022 when Intel announced its intention to release Arc GPUs in Q1 2022, media and consumers alike were waiting to see just what Intel might have in store for people, but it seems that the company waited until right at the last second to announce the chips, which they boldly claimed were launching that same day. However, this has not been the case for many users around the world, meaning that you should take their release dates with a pinch of salt, which does not bode well for the ‘early summer’ date of the other cards in the stack that Intel has managed to pull together.
While responding to a query from a user, Intel stated that Arc laptops would be launching in Q2 2022.
However, they quickly went to damage control that statement by saying that they had the ‘incorrect information’ while responding, and that instead that the Intel Arc 3 chips would be ‘available now in Korea and will scale to other regions.’ They further went on to say that ‘Additional OEMs in other regions will have systems in the coming weeks’. We’re not sure what Intel defines as Q1 and Q2, or a day-and-date launch, but it certainly isn’t the case for many who were looking to get their hands on a laptop any time soon.
Techpowerup went on to state that several models of card that should be available now are available for purchase, but that shipment dates are being pushed further towards mid-June, which is also certainly not what they stated it would be launching for users. Details are still light on the true performance of the machines in real-world testing, so we’re not too sure as to when we might actually expect to get our hands on one. One thing is for certain, Intel was nakedly lying while stating that systems that included Arc would be available immediately after launch.
If this were true, then local distributors would have stock, and according to their latest statements on Twitter, that does not appear to be the case at all. Therefore you can ascertain that Intel might not have all of its chips in a row for when it comes to actually shipping them out. Hopefully, this changes as more of their releases, slated for ‘early summer’ do not in fact become ‘late summer’.
To be fair, Intel is no stranger to launching hardware, and when working with external partners, promising a release date for anything can be a little bit hairy, which is why Intel was wise to only five out a timeframe instead of anything further regarding its GPUs. It’s not a great look, but hopefully, this is not the case when they finally launch a discrete graphics card solution, as that would be an extreme disappointment for many holding out for the hope of getting an Intel GPU, after so much of their saber-rattling when it came to the performance of their graphics cards.
Consumers lose out when companies make vague promises
In their efforts to market their products and generate the all-important hype to make a product sell, manufacturers might oversell on their capabilities, or capacity to actually deliver on performance. Sometimes, it’s just ambitious release dates to fulfill promises that they most likely knew that they were going to be unable to keep. Yet, they still need to have some timeframe to fall back on in order to fulfill their previous promises.
Yes, it’s been an incredibly tough year for many people who were looking to get themselves a new graphics card, but as these supply issues begin to lessen, with reportedly less demand on the market for the cards, it’s possible that Intel might have been too little too late with their GPU offering anyway, as AMD and Nvidia strive to release the likes of Lovelace and RDNA3, both of which are pipped to be extremely powerful.
We have yet to see what performance we might be able to eke out on the Intel discrete GPU chips, but it might be wise to not entirely trust the release date that they specified beforehand, as it might just be a soft launch instead, as the launch for the A350M and A370M. We hope that this doesn’t become a trend, as it could mean that people might have to wait a significant amount of time before being able to accurately test these GPUs before they’re available for order. Especially when there are benchmarks floating around that the cards might not be quite as powerful as we expect.
So, for those of you in Korea, or who are looking to get your hands on the newest Intel Arc Alchemist chips, you might want to hold off on purchasing one until reviews are more widely available, so you know exactly what you are buying after an independent reviewer has put the chip through its paces, as we will be sure to do when we finally get our hands on them.