Maingear Commits To Carrying Arc Graphics Cards As Intel Talks Up Battlemage GPUs

intel arc graphics card break out
If your heart doesn't set a-flutter when you hear "Intel Arc," well, that's understandable. The extant parts based on Intel's Alchemist architecture are squarely mid-range or entry-level GPUs, and they suffered significant issues on launch that left many gamers unimpressed. Intel's been working hard to turn those fortunes around, though, and that's the key takeaway from a new interview with Tom "TAP" Petersen.

You're probably tired of hearing this from Intel, as this isn't the first or second time the company has done the rounds with the press to get the word out about its continual driver refinement efforts. As Tom points out, though, Intel has been the only GPU company to put out game-specific drivers for a few recent big titles, including Hogwarts Legacy and Atomic Heart. Unsurprisingly, Arc GPUs punch above their weight in those titles.

intel arc multi year roadmap

As part of the interview, Tom also talked a little about the next generation of Intel Arc, codenamed Battlemage. He was understandably unwilling to give any specific details on the hardware itself, but his comments were pretty illuminating anyway. According to TAP, the "bulk" of AXG is working on Battlemage, and "progress is accelerating and moving along quite quickly." Apparently, Battlemage will include some "cool new technologies," although TAP declined to elaborate on that remark.

He did say that, as part of the development of Battlemage, Intel "fixed some ... architecture bugs." It was rumored well before the launch of Alchemist that the GPUs missed Intel's performance targets due to major silicon bugs, and more recently, it has been rumored that Battlemage is heavily based on Alchemist. One leaker went so far as to say that Battlemage is essentially a "fixed" Alchemist. That's clearly not exactly the case, based on TAP's statements, but it will be interesting to see if Battlemage can more consistently approach its peak performance.

livestream chat
Live chat snippet from the livestream.

During The Full Nerd livestream, a number of notable personages showed up in the chat, including fellow journalist TechTechPotato, the official Falcon Northwest channel, and Wallace Santos, CEO of Maingear. During the talk about the updates to current-generation Arc parts, Wallace casually dropped the news that Maingear will begin offering Arc GPUs in its pre-built gaming systems soon.

An Arc A770 certainly isn't going to hold a candle to the GeForce RTX 4080 that was the MG-1 desktop we reviewed, but Maingear sells a whole range of products for potential purchasers at various price tiers. An Arc A750 or A770 is still quite a bit of graphics horsepower, capable of handling even ray-traced games with aplomb. Given the low price points—A750s at retail are going for just $249 now—that could make for some impressive price-to-performance.

redgamingtech intel arc roadmap
Supposed leaked Intel Arc roadmap. Source: RedGamingTech

Going back a bit to Battlemage, while TAP didn't comment on dates, the last leaked roadmap we saw puts the next-gen GPUs down for "early enabling" at the beginning of next year, with a proper release in Q2 of '24. In the meantime, we'll supposedly see Arc A500-series GPUs any day now, along with an Alchemist refresh in the latter half.