Intel Arc Alchemist graphics have officially launched inside of laptops today, with the first generation of Intel A-series GPUs powering ultrabooks and entry-level machines.
The initial Intel Arc Alchemist graphics available in the line-up is reserved for the Intel Arc 3 integrated GPU series, which is currently compromised of two models – the A350M (6 Xe cores, 6 ray tracing units, and 4GB GDDR6 memory) and the more powerful A370M (8 Xe cores, 8 ray units, and 4GB GDDR6 VRAM).
In line with the Intel Core processors, Arc follows the same naming conventions with the Arc 3, Arc 5, and Arc 7 graphics, mirroring that of the i3, i5, and i7 – as the numbers increase, so does the overall power potential. This means that the first of Intel Arc’s graphics to launch is aimed squarely at the entry-level market. This is reflected in the price of units, with a starting MSRP of $899, being consistent with what we normally see with RTX 3050 laptops.
If we take into account XeSS (Xe Super Sampling), which is Intel’s answer to Nvidia DLSS or AMD FSR, then we can discern that higher frame rates targeting 1080p are going to be utilizing the technology instead of native performance. This was touched upon briefly at the launch event with frame rate boosts seen in before-and-after accounts in popular titles, which will see XeSS support added in sooner rather than later according to the materials provided.
Intel’s provided benchmarks here show how the Arc A370M (the stronger of the two available at launch) is able to play titles such as Doom Eternal, Hitman 3, and Destiny 2 at medium settings in 1080p at or above 60 FPS. The direct comparison used on screen was how the new line of mobile processors stacks up against the Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics available on many Evo series chipsets, so this is certainly now more-than-playable.
While far from groundbreaking, the Intel Arc A-series 3 graphics are offering performance that appears to be comparable to budget video cards in a significantly more power-effective package than the RTX 3050 or RX 6500 XT.
The very first of the Intel Arc A-series 3 powered laptops to hit the market is the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro2, which utilizes both a 12th-gen Evo processor and Arc 3 graphics. We were also briefly shown various laptop models, mostly ultrabooks from major manufacturers, that are set to feature Arc 3 graphics configurations.
While fewer details were revealed in terms of specified hardware, we do have the names and a few promo shots to go off of. Such brands include Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and MSI. From this, we can discern that the majority of Intel Arc 3 devices will be ultrabooks and enterprising machines instead of cheap gaming laptops.
We can, therefore, surmise that Intel Arc 3 graphics machines are attempting to bring entry-level gaming performance to everyday machines, instead of the best gaming laptops, at competitive rates.
What else is expected from Intel Arc A-series 3 graphics?
Intel Arc A-series 3 graphics are the first in the line to utilize what the company calls ‘Deep Link’, which acts as intelligent power control scaling between Intel’s processor and graphics technology. This isn’t done from a purely gaming perspective, though. While increased frame rates are possible, such tech is also claimed to improve battery life as well as hardware encoding performance when rendering video on demand and during streaming.
Intel has claimed that Deep Link can result in up to 30% more performance with Dynamic Power Share, and up to 24% more computing power with XMX Hyper Compute. This is in comparison to Intel processors armed with integrated Xe graphics, but still a considerable improvement. Much has been made in the marketing materials about the AV1 encoding, too, so streams and recorded gameplay should appear sharper and clearer when broadcasting via the likes of Xsplit on Twitch and YouTube.
Did Intel announce more about the Arc desktop GPUs?
As a bit of a stinger to end on, Intel briefly teased a desktop Intel Arc Alchemist series graphics card in a CG render. While we cannot ascertain which model could be featured here, it would make sense for this representation to be that of an A350 or A370 GPU or equivalent.
Intel Arc Alchemist desktop graphics cards are set to launch in Q2 2022 (April, May, June) so we’ll be bringing you the latest on the company’s best graphics cards nearer to the time. Until then, here’s everything we know about Intel Arc Alchemist in discrete video card form.