Battlemage GPUs sighted: Intel could have a pair of next-gen graphics cards to shake up the budget market

An Acer Predator BiFrost Arc A770 OC on a gray deskmat
(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Intel might have a pair of Battlemage GPUs ready to tempt gamers away from AMD or Nvidia at the lower-end of the market, a new leak would have us believe.

Going by shipping manifests uncovered by hardware leaker Harukaze5719 on X, Battlemage X2 and X3 graphics cards are incoming.

These will have 32 Xe2 cores and 28 Xe2 cores respectively, so as noted, that means these are lower-tier graphics cards.

To give you some perspective, the current flagship for Alchemist, the Arc A770, has 32 Xe cores – but remember that with a new generation, Intel will have implemented architectural improvements for a considerable performance boost. Furthermore, the rate of knots at which Arc graphics drivers are being improved is also a positive sign for future frame rates.

As Tom’s Hardware, which highlighted the above post on X, observes, another recent leak spotted that the 32 Xe2 core GPU is present on an official Intel designer tools web page. So, the evidence is mounting for the existence of this model, apparently coupled with a slightly more modest lower-end GPU as per this fresh leak.

Analysis: Low-end magic is all good in our spell books

What about a more powerful Battlemage GPU? Well, as you may recall, there was an ‘enthusiast class’ model with 56 Xe2 Cores rumored (referred to as G10), but we heard some time ago that this was likely canceled. This new rumor, and lack of mention of such a beefier, more mid-range GPU (well, it’d be middle of the pack in next-gen terms, certainly), means hopes around such a graphics card have pretty much evaporated.

That’s not to say it still couldn’t happen – there was one hint of its existence dropped more recently, and it could still turn up perhaps further down the line than the initial Battlemage launches – but we don’t hold out much hope at this point. Intel seems to be focusing on the budget end of the GPU market with its 2nd-gen boards, and in all honesty, we don’t think that’s a bad idea - far from it.

If Team Blue can produce a pair of relatively performant graphics cards that are nicely priced to make them a challenging proposition in value terms for AMD and Nvidia to deal with, that’s all we could ask for in many ways.

The budget end of the market has been long neglected really – especially by Nvidia – so if Intel is going to stir up the GPU world somewhere, it’s no bad thing for it to be at the low end. This is, after all, where a lot of PC gamers, those on stricter budgets, are looking to buy.

Whatever Battlemage turns out to be, we almost certainly won’t see the next-gen GPUs until 2025, as the rumor mill has been saying for some time now.

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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).