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Intel gets serious with its Arc Pro A-series GPUs

Intel A50 and A40 on an Arc background
(Image credit: Intel)
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In a surprising move given the state of the graphics market right now, Intel has unveiled its professional graphics card line-up (opens in new tab). Covering both mobile and workstations, the new Arc Pro GPUs are aimed squarely at professionals and will be looking to get the all-important certification from leading professional applications. 

There are two desktop products for workstations, with the Arc Pro A40 (opens in new tab) being a single slot card and the more powerful Arc Pro A50 (opens in new tab) being a dual-slot offering. The A30M (opens in new tab) is aimed at the mobile space and offers similar performance to the A40, albeit with less local memory. The specs for these new GPUs are as follows:

Intel Arc Pro A40Intel Arc Pro A50Intel Arc Pro A30M (Mobile)
Peak performance3.5TFLOPs4.8TFLOPs3.5TFLOPs
Xe-core8x Ray Trace Cores8x Ray Trace Cores8x Ray Trace Cores
Memory6GB GDDR66GB GDDR64GB GDDR5
Display outputs4x mini-DP 1.44x mini-DP 1.4Laptop specific
Power50W Peak Power75W Peak Power35–50W Peak Power

It's interesting that Intel is pushing the ray-tracing capabilities of these cards, although we don't actually know how these fair when compared to the Nvidia and AMD competition at this point. It also highlights the fact that its GPUs support AV1 hardware acceleration, which genuinely does look pretty sweet, but we need to see how this performs in person before getting too giddy about it.

The reason this is of interest to us PC gamers is that this is a serious move from Intel and one that isn't undertaken lightly—not only is getting the software accreditation for professional cards expensive, but it indicates that Intel is in this for the long haul. Given its Arc Alchemist GPUs are still currently only available in China, and the fact that it's clearly having issues with its legacy DX11 support (opens in new tab), you'd be forgiven for thinking that its new GPU launch wasn't exactly going to plan. This unveiling should reassure you that it's serious, even if it isn't directly related to the consumer GPUs we've been waiting for.

Well that and the fact that the successor to Alchemist, codenamed Battlemage, is already in the works. Plus, Intel has been ramping up info before the global release of its Arc Alchemist (opens in new tab) consumer GPUs recently. Its candid talks to camera have been refreshing, although at this point it'd be great if it just started shipping graphics cards.

There's no indication of pricing for these new "Pro" cards, or indeed when we'll be able to buy them, beyond a suitably vague "available starting later this year from leading mobile and desktop ecosystem partners." Not that you'd want to buy such GPUs for gaming, as those drive optimizations do mean far higher price tags.

Alan has been writing about PC tech since before 3D graphics cards existed, and still vividly recalls having to fight with MS-DOS just to get games to load. He fondly remembers the killer combo of a Matrox Millenium and 3dfx Voodoo, and seeing Lara Croft in 3D for the first time. He's very glad hardware has advanced as much as it has though, and is particularly happy when putting the latest M.2 NVMe SSDs, AMD processors, and laptops through their paces. He has a long-lasting Magic: The Gathering obsession but limits this to MTG Arena these days.