Intel's ever wholesome CEO Pat Gelsinger sent out a tweet yesterday showing a picture of him gleefully holding a super finished-looking Intel Arc A770 graphics card, and boy does he look happy. The GPU, sent out by Raja Koduri (aka. Mr Intel GPU) marks a milestone for the company in finally having its much anticipated Arc graphics card lineup near shipping-ready, or the A770 is at least.
Got a surprise delivery on a rainy Sunday evening from @RajaXG – an Intel Arc A770. We are now getting first batch of A770 cards ready for retail …excited! pic.twitter.com/r75BASxLtFSeptember 19, 2022
"Got a surprise delivery on a rainy Sunday evening," Gelsinger says. He appears to have been so excited about receiving his very own Arc A770, he missed out an entire word: "We are now getting first batch of A770 cards ready for retail," he fumbles.
Omitting 'the' may have been for brevity, but I like to imagine him excitedly pawing at his phone screen to get the tweet up as soon as possible.
It's been quite the lead up to this moment. After a whole bunch of obstacles including speculation that it might have already been the end of the road for Intel Arc, we can understand the frantic tweet. Koduri's response to the speculation made it clear that the rumours were unfounded and as is everything appears to be going ahead as planned.
Well, as much as it can considering the number of Intel Arc delays we've seen. And after the A380's less-than-ideal reception, along with some potential Intel partners hesitating before the flagship drop, here's hoping this Intel Arc 7 GPU can make up for all the foibles.
Now that we've seen the sleek Arc A770 graphics card sitting snugly in Pat's hand, Intel GPU guru Tom Petersen's words are rolling around in my head: "Yeah, we're definitely competitive or better than Nvidia with ray tracing hardware," he claims, with Arc 7 said to be capable of ray tracing performance matching that of Nvidia's 20-series cards at the least.
Petersen also reckons the Arc A770 will be faster than or similar to the RTX 3060, at least when you switch on DX12. It shouldn't be long now before we have one in our hands to put one through its paces against these claims.
Apparently the Intel Arc A770 should be coming to market for less than $399 a pop, though should theoretically cost less than the RTX 3060 it's going up against at around $329. The RTX 40-series announcement is expected later today, but that likely won't have any competition for Intel in the more entry-level market just yet.
Still, if Intel's Arc 7 cards manage to live up to all the talk, it could see the company truly breaking into the competitive GPU market. That'll mean lots more choice for you when you come to buy a new graphics card. Though of course that all depends on whether you're able to get in there before they sell out on launch day.
I'm sure we all remember the Nvidia 30-series Launch fiasco, but hopefully we shouldn't be seeing as many crypto miners scouring for the Intel Arc launch, especially since proof-of-work is all but dead after the ethereum merge. Intel told us that it expects to have plenty of GPUs available, at least, but will be starting with only a "moderate supply" of graphics cards.