Intel Arc Alchemist Desktop GPUs May Have Just Been Hit With Another Delay
Rumors of the desktop PC market's demise have been greatly exaggerated. Indeed, while laptops still outsell desktops, the majority of laptops sold don't have discrete graphics. Meanwhile, AMD's setting sales records with its Ryzen processors that overwhelmingly don't include an integrated graphics processor, putting heavy demand on an already-overloaded discrete GPU market.
For that reason, we've been waiting with bated breath for Intel's Arc Alchemist graphics cards for a long time. The influx of product from a third vendor, particularly one that intends to move a lot of graphics cards, could really help ease up pricing in a strained segment—although it seems like the market is already relaxing, if slowly.
Well, it looks like we might be waiting yet longer to see the debut of Intel's Alchemist GPUs on the desktop market. According to a report from good ol' Igor Wallossek, Intel's pushing its desktop Arc Alchemist cards back once again, this time toward late summer. Specifically, Igor says that the cards will arrive on the market sometime between the beginning of July and the end of August.
At this stage, given that the launch has been delayed several times, and given that there is Arc silicon on the market in laptops, it's very unlikely that anything to do with the hardware or manufacturing side is involved in the delay. Instead, as Igor surmises, it's almost assuredly to do with the driver software. GPU drivers are enormously complex and difficult to maintain; just ask AMD's Radeon group.
Of course, we don't know that. Alchemist could be amazing, and competitive with next-generation parts. That's pretty unlikely given what we know about it, though. At this stage, the best Intel can probably hope for is that it can release Alchemist in a functional and stable state, thus saving performance competitions for the next-gen. Hopefully we'll see for ourselves soon.