Intel lining up major partners to produce its Arc Alchemist graphics cards

Intel Arc Alchemist
(Image credit: Intel / Hot Hardware (Marco Chiappetta))

Ready your rigs! Some major after-market motherboard makers are lining up to produce graphics cards using Intel Arc Alchemist early next year, either designing new products themselves or working with Intel's reference card design for the chip giant's long-anticipated competition to AMD and Nvidia.

As the premier CPU chip maker in the world, Intel has long-standing ties with companies like Asus, MSI, Gigabyte, and many others who make the motherboards that house the chip giant's processors. These are the same companies that also produce most of the world's graphics cards, whether they're powered by AMD or Nvidia GPUs ... or anything else for that matter. 

So these brands are a natural fit to make their own versions of Intel's soon to be released discrete graphics card. According to VideoCardz, this may be what's happening behind the scenes, based on an interview Intel's Raja Koduri gave to Chinese media.

What isn't clear from the interview though is whether Asus, Gigabyte, and MSI are helping Intel produce Intel's own reference version of its Arc Alchemist graphics card, or if they will be making their own versions of the card the way they do with AMD and Nvidia.

Analysis: Intel Arc Alchemist graphics cards could make a big splash

It's unclear whether Intel Arc Alchemist will go toe-to-toe with the Nvidia RTX 3090 and AMD RX 6900 XT any time soon, but we do expect it to compete confidently in the midrange and almost definitely in the budget range of the scale. 

We don't know a whole lot about the specs of the Arc Alchemist at all, frankly, or even how many different cards Intel plans on releasing, but the Intel Xe-HPG architecture that Arc is based on has a core count of 4,096 - lower than the 5,688 cores in the RTX 3070 but also higher than the AMD RX 6700 XT's 2,560. This puts Arc Alchemist almost exactly between the two rival midrange cards.

And Intel's Arc Alchemist will have AI-powered resolution upscaling and other similar features, putting it more in line with Nvidia's Deep Learning Super Sampling than AMD's FidelityFX Super Resolution, since the latter isn't driven by machine learning technology while the former is.

This is Intel's first real attempt at a discrete graphics card, so don't expect it to score perfect 10s just like that. Nvidia will remain the leader on the graphics processing front. But this lineup will certainly make a splash when it lands, and AMD just might get soaked in the process.

John Loeffler
Components Editor

John (He/Him) is the Components Editor here at TechRadar and he is also a programmer, gamer, activist, and Brooklyn College alum currently living in Brooklyn, NY. 

Named by the CTA as a CES 2020 Media Trailblazer for his science and technology reporting, John specializes in all areas of computer science, including industry news, hardware reviews, PC gaming, as well as general science writing and the social impact of the tech industry.

You can find him online on Threads @johnloeffler.

Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 (just like everyone else).