Early versions of Intel’s ARC Alchemist reference graphics cards have been depicted in the latest leak of Moore’s law is dead. The renders show us what Intel’s reference design will look like and some information on the launch of the desktop ARC line.
Intel ARC Alchemist Gaming Reference Graphics Cards Featured in Latest Renders
The Intel ARC Alchemist graphics card reference design for high-end variants has been depicted several times before. We saw a prototype leak conducted by MLID in April 2021 and Intel confirmed the design in its ARC marketing campaign in August. We also recently learned how Intel plans to brand its next line of gaming graphics cards, more about that here.
Moore’s Law is Dead decided to ask his friend to render an animation of the reference graphics card based on the information he knows from its sources. The resulting rendering is highly detailed and sheds light on almost every aspect of the benchmark graphics card, giving us a detailed look at what could be Intel’s first exclusive design for its first desktop discrete gaming card.
In the renders, we can see that the card is based on a high-end ARC Alchemist GPU, probably the DG2-512 (Xe-HPG) chip that will power the upper echelon of Alchemist graphics cards. The card comes in a dual-fan, dual-slot design. Each fan incorporates a 9-blade fan design and there also appears to be RGB embedded around the fans, giving it a nice touch of blue. The cooler deck has a circular pattern around the edges that adds a unique touch to the card. There is also the ‘Intel’ logo on the side accent plate which is made of acrylic and also incorporates RGB LEDs. The card balances a large aluminum finned heatsink and MLID signals the possibility of a vapor chamber-based cooling solution under the hood.
Intel ARC Alchemist Reference Gaming Graphics Card Renderings (Image Credits: MLID):
Apart from these, the card has a backplate that extends beyond the PCB. There are large vents on the back plate through which the second fan can vent air. The card is powered through an 8 + 6-pin connector configuration, while the display outputs include a single HDMI port and three DP ports. In renderings, we can only see the outside of the card, so we may have to wait for a PCB rendering for later. But despite that, the Intel benchmark and 1st Gen ARC Alchemist design looks great and MLID and his friend are credited with providing an early look at the design, once again!
Intel Xe-HPG 512 EU ARC Alchemist Graphics Card
The top variant of the Alchemist 512 EU has only one configuration listed so far and that uses the full array with 4096 cores, 256-bit bus interface, and up to 16GB of GDDR6 memory clocked at 16Gbps, although 18 cannot be ruled out. Gbps according to the rumor.
The Alchemist 512 EU chip is expected to measure around 396mm2, making it larger than the AMD RDNA 2 and NVIDIA Ampere offerings. The Alchemist -512 GPU will come in the BGA-2660 package which measures 37.5mm x 43mm. NVIDIA’s Ampere GA104 measures 392mm2, which means the Alchemist flagship chip is comparable in size, while the Navi 22 GPU measures 336mm2 or around 60mm2 less. This is not the final size of the chip, but it should be very close.
NVIDIA includes much larger tensioner cores and RT / FP32 cores in its chips, while AMD RDNA 2 chips include a single-beam accelerator unit per CU and Infinity Cache. Intel will also have dedicated hardware on board its Alchemist GPUs for Raytracing and AI-assisted supersampling technology.
The Xe-HPG Alchemist 512 EU chip is suggested to have clocks around 2.2 – 2.5 GHz, although we don’t know if these are the average clocks or the maximum boost clocks. Let’s assume it’s the maximum clock speed, and in that case the card would deliver up to 18.5 FP32 compute TFLOPs, which is 40% more than the RX 6700 XT but 9% lower than the NVIDIA RTX 3070.
In a speculative measure of performance, MLID states that TFLOPs are meaningless for comparison, as performance scales differently with respect to architecture, not FLOP performance. The gaming graphics card is expected to be faster than RX 6700 XT and RTX 3070 At this point, but with work in progress on the driver package, performance is expected to improve even more.
Also, Intel’s initial TDP target is claimed to have been 225-250W, but it has now been increased to around 275W. We can also look forward to a 300W variant with dual 8-pin connectors if Intel wants to take its watches even further. In any case, we can expect the final model to have an 8 + 6-pin connector configuration. There is also talk of a custom line that Intel’s AIB partners are working on. The first Intel ARC products will be released in the first quarter of 2022.
Intel ARC Alchemist vs NVIDIA GA104 and AMD Navi 22 GPUs
|GPU name||Alchemist DG-512||NVIDIA GA104||AMD Navi 22|
|Process node||TSMC 6nm||Samsung 8nm||7nm TSMC|
|The flagship product||ARCO (TBA)||GeForce RTX 3070 Ti||Radeon RX 6700 XT|
|FP32 cores||32 cores||48 Units SM||40 calculation units|
|FP32 Compute||~ 16 TFLOP||21.7 TFLOP||12.4 TFLOP|
|RT cores||32 RT units||48 RT cores (V2)||40 RA drives|
|Tensioner colors||512 XMX colors||192 tensioner cores (V3)||N / A|
|Tensor computing||~ 131 TFLOP FP16
~ 262 TOPs INT8
|87 TFLOPs FP16
174 INT8 TOPs
|25 TFLOP FP16
50 TOPs INT8
|L2 cache||TBA||4 MB||3 MB|
|Additional cache||16MB smart cache?||N / A||96MB Infinity Cache|
|Memory bus||256 bits||256 bits||192 bits|
|Memory capacity||16GB GDDR6||8GB GDDR6X||16GB GDDR6|
|Launching||Q1 2022||S2 2021||Q1 2021|