Intel’s Arc scavenger hunt gives us some hints about the cards’ pricing


Way back in March of 2021, Intel launched an online scavenger hunt to help build awareness around its future GPUs, which we now know as the Arc series. It all began with a teaser video which directed users towards a website and the coordinates of Goat Island, which is right next to Niagara Falls. I'm not sure why Intel chose that particular place. It's better than Hell, Michigan or Boring, Oregon, but I digress.

The hunt has now ended and users have been advised of their prizes. We're able to glean some info from the notification received by Twitter user La Frite David (via Rock Paper Shotgun). La Frite David posted a screenshot that lists the approximate retail value (ARV) of the prize bundle.

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The prize includes a “Performance” Intel Arc graphics card, merchandise, and three months of Xbox Game Pass for PC. The retail value of these products is listed at US$700. Given that the Ultimate tier Game Pass costs $45 for three months, you can subtract $45, leaving $655. Take off a bit more for the merchandise and we come to an approximate figure of $600 for the card itself.

A second winner, @TheMalcore posted their haul too. This one lists a “Premium” Arc card, merchandise, and six months of Xbox Game Pass for PC, all valued at US$900 . Subtracting the extras indicates this card is valued at around $750 to $800. It's important to note that Intel is the one assigning these values. I assume the bundled merchandise is mostly standard fare.

These prices are on the expensive side. The GPU market is quickly returning to normal and you can find an RTX 3080 in stock for not much more than the expected price of the premium tier Arc card. I'd be surprised if this card can match a 3080. Pricing is volatile, though. It's seemingly changing by the day and if Arc cards are still many weeks away from launch, pricing is surely not yet finalized.

We've built up a decent amount of information on Arc cards now. There's a few details on XeSS, Intel's upscaling technology, the inclusion of AV1 encoding support, and the fact that the high-end card may include the three 8-pin power connectors. But the really important stuff, like how they perform in games and what the retail cards look like, remains unknown for now. 

No less than three brand new GPU architectures will be landing in the coming months. There's Nvidia's Ada Lovelace and AMD's RDNA 3, while Intel's Arc Alchemist range is likely to launch first, sometime during the northern hemisphere summer.