It all seemed a little quiet from Intel on its upcoming Arc Alchemist GPUs on desktop, which did make me worry for the company's touted Q2 release window. However, during the company's latest financial call, CEO Pat Gelsinger confirmed that discrete graphics cards are definitely coming in Q2.
“AXG [Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics Group] is on track. And we launched the mobile SKUs. We'll have the desktop SKUs coming in Q2. And we'll have more SKUs as we go through the year as well. We'll be filling out the product line,” Gelsinger says.
It's currently rumoured that Intel will have roughly eight different discrete graphics cards in its Alchemist lineup, though these may not all launch at the same time. In fact, it's probably pretty unlikely we'll see all of them arrive in the summer. It's potentially not the hardware side of things that will be causing the most headaches at Intel, however. Software is tricky, and creating driver packages that are stable and optimal for modern games is a big part of the puzzle that Intel will want, if not need, to get right.
“If you're a gamer, you know that there's just a lot of individual optimization work on some of the key titles so that work is underway, working with our OEMs to populate their portfolios of products as well,” Gelsinger continues.
The mobile Intel Arc GPUs are already available in some capacity, though they are only now gradually making their way to the market. It might be some time before us PC gamers really feel like Intel's arrived in the graphics market in earnest, and even longer even to feel like it's ready to offer genuine competition to Nvidia and AMD.
Intel is sure to make a big fuss about Alchemist's launch on desktop, however, so make sure to mark that on your calendars when the time comes.