intel arc logo

Credit: Intel
  • Intel Arc is the newly announced brand name for the Intel’s upcoming high-end graphics chips.
  • With the code name Alchemist, the first such chips are due to ship in PC desktops and laptops during the first quarter of 2022.
  • Intel Arc GPUs will go up against Nvidia’s GeForce and AMD’s Radeon products.
  • Intel also released a trailer showing games running on pre-production Arc GPUs.

For years Intel has been teasing us with its intentions to compete with Nvidia and AMD in the high-end PC graphics chip business. Today the company revealed a few more pieces to the puzzle.

The chip maker announced its high-end GPUs will use the Intel Arc brand name. It also announced the codenames for several generations of its Arc chips. Previously known as DG2, the first generation Intel Arc chips officially are codenamed Alchemist. Future Arc chips will be known by the code names Battlemage, Celestial, and Druid.

We still don’t have a lot of crucial info yet on Arc, such as frame rates in games, its power usage, and the pricing. Thankfully, we know a little. The first-gen Arc chips will use Intel’s Xe HPG microarchitecture. According to PC Gamer, rumors of its hardware specs claim it is targeting the performance of Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3070 GPU.

Intel has confirmed that the first-generation Arc chips will support features like “hardware-based ray tracing and artificial intelligence-driven super sampling.” The chips will also fully support Microsoft’s DirectX 12 Ultimate API.

Read more: Nvidia vs. AMD – Which GPU is better?

The first chips will be available sometime in the first quarter of 2022 in PC desktops and notebooks.

Yes, it can run Crysis

The company also released a trailer showing some current PC games running on pre-production Intel Arc Alchemist GPUs. The trailer shows brief glimpses of footage from Forza Horizon 4, PUBG, Metro Exodus, and several others. It even shows footage from the Crysis Remastered Trilogy, answering whether Intel Arc chips can indeed run Crysis (an early PC gaming meme).

Intel says we can expect more info on Arc and Alchemist later in 2021. It’s pretty obvious Intel wants to be the high-end solution for gamers and creatives, but we will have to wait and see how it compares to Nvidia’s GeForce and AMD’s Radeon graphics solutions.

Read more: GPU vs. CPU – What’s the difference?