A popular TechTuber released an explosive-if-true vlog over the weekend, claiming simply that “Intel Arc is over,” with a thumbnail showing an Arc graphics card sinking like the Titanic. Arc so far hasn’t cracked our list of the best graphics cards, but we’re only dealing with the lowest tier offering. Today, Raja Koduri, EVP and GM of the Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics (AXG) Group at Intel Corporation, responded to the idea that Intel would fold its Arc graphics card development activities with a shrug.
The video in question comes from Moore’s Law is Dead (MLID), titled “Intel’s Xe Odyssey is Over: Discrete Arc is Effectively Cancelled.” There are ‘sources’ for the speculation, and the difficulties Intel has faced with launching the Arc Alchemist graphics cards are well-known, but… let’s just say MLID doesn’t have the best track record. Let’s not forget his breakout video claiming RX 5700 XT would launch at $249 while delivering RTX 2080 performance either, a video that has long since been delisted.
The video contains a quartet of what are allegedly direct quotes from MLID sources, but it only needs a cursory glance over the lines to see that there is a degree of hedging going on. Words and phrases like “effectively” in the video title, ”isn’t a lot of optimism,” and “from what I am seeing.” However, source three and four look more definitive.
MLID ends his video by citing a report by Tom’s Hardware, where Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger says the company will likely exit more businesses while it attempts to focus efforts on core competencies. Intel recently began to wind down Optane memory, for example, but it has areas much further removed from core business than discrete graphics. Moreover, no hint has been given to the public or investors that Arc graphics cards might be on the chopping block.
Raja and the lost Arc?
Earlier today, Koduri was promoting the upcoming release of the Arc A770 graphics card with a photo from Intel’s Toronto validation labs. An enterprising Tweeter asked about the hot gossip regarding the demise of Arc and garnered quite a full answer.
we are 🤷♂️ about these rumors as well. They don’t help the team working hard to bring these to market, they don’t help the pc graphics community..one must wonder, who do they help?..we are still in first gen and yes we had more obstacles than planned to overcome, but we persisted…September 12, 2022
Raja says he’s unaware of how and why these rumors start circulating. He characterized the chitter-chatter as unhelpful for the PC graphics community, though he admitted that first gen Arc had put up more obstacles than expected “but we persisted.”
Koduri didn’t issue a categorical denial about discrete Arc graphics card developments winding down, but very possibly didn’t want to engage with any rumor spreaders with a direct rebuff. With all the hedging in the MLID Vlog, despite the arresting headline, we are tempted to classify the demise of Arc rumors as a tempest in a teapot for the time being.
All indications are that Intel will very shortly announce retail availability of its Arc A770, A750, and A580 desktop graphics cards, joining the Arc A380 that we already reviewed (using a sample acquired from China). Driver updates continue to come at a fast pace, and several issues that we encountered during testing have since been addressed (like our Acer XB280HK 4K display only running at 640×480 in Windows).
Pricing and performance will have a lot to do with how well Arc GPUs might be received. The ASRock Arc A380 Challenger (opens in new tab) remains backordered on Newegg, perhaps because of curious tech people wanting one for review, and no doubt helped by its aggressive pricing. We can’t rule out limited supply either, but if the higher performance Arc GPUs rate significantly higher on our GPU benchmarks hierarchy and come with similarly aggressive pricing coupled with improved drivers, it’s far too early to claim this ship has sailed.