Intel Arc Gameplay Sizzle Reel Reveals Key Compelling Features On Big Name Game Titles

intel arc alchemist
Intel has made its intentions clear with discrete PC graphics for mobile and desktop systems, and it is looking to battle AMD and NVIDIA head-on in this space. The company’s first-generation effort was developed under the GPU architecture codename Alchemist and will be marketed under the Arc brand name for the graphics cards themselves.

While Intel didn’t give us any specifics on the hardware that will debut early next year – although we may find out some details tomorrow – the company did give us a nice look at PC games running on pre-production Alchemist silicon, along with a few key features that will enable the experience. For starters, Variable-Rate Shading (VRS) is included in Arc's bag of tricks but there was more that Intel disclosed as well.

Intel showed just a brief clip of AI-accelerated video enhancement technology straight out of CSI, which upscales lower res 480p video to 4K resolution on the video processing front. Of course, support for hardware real-time ray tracing is a must these days to compete with Radeon and GeForce cards, and Alchemist will deliver here as well. However, the performance hit when enabling real-time ray tracing with current-generation hardware is significant, and we’ll be eager to see how Intel can handle the demands of supporting the scene-enhancing feature. And as we mentioned previously, Intel's version of AI accelerated super sampling or super resolution is also on deck, along with Mesh Shading. Check out the video demos below... 

Here are some of the games that were showcased running on Alchemist hardware:

  • Forza Horizon 4
  • PUBG
  • Psychonauts 2
  • Mount & Blade Bannerlord
  • The Rift Breaker
  • Crysis Remastered
  • Metro Exodus
  • Subnautica Below Zero
  • Days Gone
  • Chivalry II
  • Crysis Remastered Trilogy

So far, we like what we’re seeing with Arc and look forward to Intel’s scalable GPU architecture, which will scale from entry-level gaming cards to flagship offerings in 2022 and beyond. In addition, Alchemist will find its way into both desktop and laptop systems in the near future. A leaked product briefing for the Intel NUC 12 Enthusiast SFF PC confirms that discrete options will be available with 8GB, 12GB, or 16GB of GDDR6 memory, which is competitive with Radeon and GeForce offerings.

We recently saw an entry-level Alchemist card with 128 execution units (1,024 effective cores) making the rounds clocked at 2.2GHz with 4GB of GDDR6 memory on a 64-bit bus. However, we expect to see discrete offerings with 256 EU and 512 EU configurations. Unfortunately, we haven’t heard any news at this time about Alchemist-based Arc graphics cards that will be potent enough to take on the likes of the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti or the Radeon RX 6900 XT. If such a card is in the pipeline, perhaps Intel wants to keep this graphics beast close to the vest, for now.

Stay tuned for more from Intel Architecture Day where hopefully we'll learn more...