Intel teases new Arc GPU features at Game Awards 2021

The buzz around Intel's new discrete GPU line intensifies with a new teaser.

intel alchemist
Image via Intel

Game Awards viewers got a fresh look at Intel’s new Arc graphics cards’ capabilities last night and won’t have much longer to wait if the release window holds.

Intel’s first big tease of the Arc discrete GPUs detailed the new cards as being able to hang with AMD and Nvidia. Several key capabilities were outlined in the teaser, including ray tracing, AI-enhanced upscaling, and accelerated game streaming. Ray tracing capability helps position the Arc line next to current AMD and Nvidia models, while AI-enhanced upscaling helps out by amping up game resolution in a similar way to Nvidia’s AI upscaling DLSS.

While Intel’s Arc graphics cards certainly looked the part in the teaser, the concern comes with the Q1 2022 release window. In an article by TechSpot’s Daniel Sims, the writer lays out YouTuber Moore’s Law Is Dead’s claim that desktop versions of the Arc GPUs have been delayed into Q2 2022, with laptop versions potentially maintaining a Q1 2022 release. The delays would put the desktop Arc releases behind Nvidia’s rumored releases set for mid-to-late January.

With the chip shortage relentlessly marching on, there’s fair concern over how supply chains can affect Intel Arc. But the excitement around Intel’s entry into discrete graphics cards is certainly warranted given the unreasonably high prices of graphics cards and all-around scarcity. And yet, despite the hype, the potential for a delay following a teaser with a set release window isn’t encouraging.