New Intel Arc specs reveal an advantage over AMD and Nvidia

YouTube channel Hardware Unboxed was able to find new information about Intel Arc Alchemist GPUs that could potentially give them an edge over AMD and Nvidia. This information was not shared by Intel during the GPU’s March 30 release announcement.

According to the findings, it seems that Intel Arc has a higher number of transistors than some Nvidia and AMD GPUs.

A view of Intel Arc Alchemist chip against a blurred blue background.

Intel has shared some information about the Arc Alchemist GPUs, released yesterday, but some details are missing, such as the number of transistors on the card and the size of the chip. However, Hardware Unboxed obtained both missing pieces and was able to confirm that they were true. This gives us a little more insight into the Arc graphics cards and their expected performance.

Intel’s laptop GPUs are split into two varieties: the ACM-G10 and the ACM-G11. Previously dubbed DG2-512EU, the G10 is the flagship chip Intel will offer, but it won’t be launched until later this year, or as Intel put it, “early summer.”

According to HardwareUnboxed, the Intel ACM-G10 is a 406mm² chip with 21.7 billion transistors. VideoCardz compared these numbers to those of the AMD Navi 22 GPU and the Nvidia GA104 GPU, both of which are Intel’s competitors for this graphics card. In both cases, Intel wins in terms of number of transistors and chip size: Navi 22 measures 336 mm² and has 17.2 billion transistors, while Nvidia GA104 has a chip size of 392 mm² with 17.4 billion transistors. This means that the Intel ACM-G10 GPU has a higher transistor density than its competitors, beating Nvidia by 20% and AMD by 6%.

The ACM-G11 GPU is smaller, measures 157 mm² and comes with 7.2 billion transistors. In comparison, the AMD Navi 24 GPU has a die size of 107mm² and 5.4 billion transistors, while the Nvidia GA107 has about 200mm², but this has never been officially confirmed.

A screenshot shows specifications for Intel Arc Alchemist mobile graphics cards.

It is important to note that not all of these graphics cards are manufactured with the same process nodes. The ACM-G10 was made using TSMC’s N6 process, the AMD Navi 22 uses the N7 process, and the Nvidia GA104 used an entirely different foundry, which was made using Samsung’s 8nm process. It is therefore not so easy to compare these figures.

On paper, the large desktop version of Intel Arc Alchemist should compete with AMD Radeon RX 6700 and Nvidia RTX 3070. The information from Intel and discovered by Hardware Unboxed shows that this could be plausible. However, we won’t know for sure until the Intel GPU is benchmarked at release. It was also rumored that Intel would release a midpoint between its budget and flagship GPU, one with 384 execution units (EUs), but it hasn’t been mentioned by Intel recently.

Today’s news is encouraging for Intel’s first line of discrete graphics cards, especially as Intel enters a market dominated by two giants for years. The breakthrough of Intel Arc will not be easy. Given the ongoing GPU shortage and the fact that Intel plans to ship 4 million Arc GPUs this year alone, the company can still win many customers if it offers better pricing and availability than Nvidia and AMD.

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