Intel is expected to become a welcome third player in the desktop discrete graphics card market with an appealing range of models in 2022. Sitting at the entry level, Intel has already confirmed the range will be propped up by an Arc Alchemist product with 128EUs. On laptop, leaks and rumours signal that the entry-level Arc GPU will come alongside 4GB of VRAM on a 64-bit bus. At the weekend, popular PC tech YouTuber Moore’s Law is Dead (MLID) revealed that his sources indicate the desktop counterpart will be somewhat different.
Lifting the desktop DG2-128 above its laptop counterpart will be a couple of minor but meaningful tweaks. Of course, there is the possibility that the desktop part can pull more power, especially if the Intel AIB partner decides to fit an 8-pin power connector, for example. Part of the appeal of the 128EU card might be its 75W, no power-cable-needed design, though.
It is in the memory quota/bus where Intel will create the largest divide between mobile/desktop 128EU GPU with this model. MLID indicates that he has seen Intel Arc graphics cards for desktop sporting up to 6GB of GDDR6 VRAM which runs at up to 16Gbps, on a 96-bit bus. So, to recap, that is more and faster VRAM, on a wider bus, for a considerable shot in the arm to bandwidth.
The above memory configuration with the 128EU GPU means that desktop PC users can expect a level of performance equal, or possibly superior to, the Nvidia GTX 1650 Super (which is quite a lot better than the plain GTX 1650 or GTX 1650 Ti), reckons MLID.
Moving along to pricing and availability, MLID asserts that Intel could sell its 128EU graphics card to PC DIYers for US$179, and he hopes it will be so, as ‘new boy’ Intel will be eager to please with an initial salvo of products. Availability looks set to slip to Q2 for desktop cards, with Intel launching on laptop first, many tech commentators have indicated.