Intel Debuts Discrete Desktop GPUs

Intel has expanded its discrete graphics card offering into the low end of the desktop market. It also has two new models for the data center.
Bryon Moyer
Bryon Moyer

As it works its way into the discrete GPU market, Intel introduced its first Arc units targeting desktop PCs. Faster than their laptop counterparts, the Arc A380, A580, A750, and A770 graphics cards achieve competitive graphics performance for low-end desktops, although the offering lacks the more powerful family members that competitors have.

Intel introduced Arc, previously code-named Alchemist, and its underlying technology earlier this year. The initiative reflects a serious attempt at breaking into the discrete GPU market, currently dominated by AMD and Nvidia. Since then, the company has launched several laptop-oriented and workstation products. With desktops, it’s starting at the low end and will presumably fill in higher-end devices in the future.

With total throughput at 17.2 Tflop/s, the A770 is just over 25% faster than its laptop equivalent; card power is 50% higher at 225W, reflecting the more forgiving nature of the desktop form factor. Competitively, Arc performs in the same general range as low-end GPUs from AMD and Nvidia; power is also similar. It will be available beginning in October.

The company also recently introduced two data-center models, the Flex 140 and Flex 170. Although the devices don’t bear the Arc brand and use a different design, code-named Arctic Sound-M, they employ the same Xe-HPG architecture as Arc devices. Likely to handle video workloads, the larger unit performs similarly to the A770 with lower power; the smaller unit is half the size and around half the performance of the larger one.

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