Intel Arc desktop GPUs could be about to arrive (but not the flagship)

Intel Arc Alchemist GPU
(Image credit: Intel)

Intel could have the first Arc Alchemist desktop graphics cards on shelves at the end of May, according to fresh rumors.

This comes from Wccftech which claims to have word from sources in Taiwan familiar with the latest chatter from Intel regarding the supply chain and incoming Arc GPU launch.

If this is true – and we should be very cautious around that, as ever – then the theory is that Intel has three Alchemist desktop cards coming out to begin with, two of which will launch initially, followed by a third model some ‘weeks’ later.

The flagship (A780) won’t be one of that trio, mind, with the first pair set to be the Arc A750 and A380 models – the peppier mid-range and budget offerings respectively – with the later arrival being the lower-end of the mid-range, the A580.

Apparently Intel hasn’t supplied firm launch dates for these products, but more vague timeframes, which are the end of May to early June for the debut of the A750 and A380 graphics cards, and July (tentatively) for the A580.

Analysis: Pricing to match Nvidia?

We already know that Intel has confirmed Arc desktop cards for Q2 of this year, which means they are going to arrive either in May or June, so that lines up with what we’ve heard here. Later in May would also make sense in terms of a Computex launch, perhaps…

What’s interesting is that we – and many others – were expecting a last-minute debut late in June, given the way Intel has played things so far (with the initial Arc launch for laptop GPUs coming right at the end of March when it was promised for Q1 – so just sneaking into that timeframe).

Of course, there’s no telling if we might still be waiting until late June despite this report, as even if it is true and these launch targets are Intel’s intention right now, presumably things could still slip. This is a launch Intel needs to get right first time, after all, and that includes not just nailing the hardware, but the software too (driver quality is going to be crucial).

As to how powerful these graphics cards might be, Wccftech reckons that the Arc A750 will be the equivalent of Nvidia’s RTX 3060, and pricing will fall roughly in line with that at a purported $350 in the US (actually, that’s a touch more than Team Green’s recommended price for the 3060).

The A580 will supposedly equate to the power of an RTX 3050, with the price pitched around $280, and the wallet-friendly A380 is set to be a match for the GTX 1650 with pricing to hit $150 or so, the tech site believes – large, large heaps of condiments should be applied here, naturally.

The best guess, then, would seem to be that price tags will fall roughly in line with Nvidia, which is at least better than the hints we’ve previously stumbled across regarding higher-end models that could purportedly even exceed Team Green’s pricing. In some ways, the hope of Intel going for the throat by undercutting the competition with its launch pricing seems to be fading, but we can’t count anything out yet based on just rumors.

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).