when Intel told us in March that the first Arc 3 laptops were shipping “today,” we assumed they were, well, ready. It turns out, however, that like every other thing we’ve been dying to try in the past two years, Arc is delayed.
As detailed in a blog post written by Lisa Pierce, the vice president for Intel’s Visual Compute Group, Intel has hit various snags in the deployment of its first discrete graphics card in more than two decades. From mobile GPUs to desktop cards, Intel’s Arc products are behind schedule.
Intel initially released mobile Arc 3 cards to Samsung for its Galaxy Book2 Pro laptop. We hoped to get one in for testing, but the device, it turns out, was only available in South Korea and is only now expanding globally. Intel had hoped to supply more laptop makers with Arc, but blames “software readiness delays” and—we’ve heard this before—pandemic lockdowns for causing supply chain problems. The chipmaker says new models from other manufacturers will become more widely available starting this month.
Intel reiterates that while its cards are only now shipping in the quantities needed, Lenovo, Acer, HP, and Asus have already signed up to use the entry-level A350M and A370M GPUs. We don’t know when to expect Arc-powered systems, only that Intel will help get them to the market “ASAP.” If there’s a silver lining, it’s that Intel’s more powerful discrete GPUs, Arc 5 and Arc 7, will start to become available in the early summer—or, so it says. The company has yet to give us the full picture on these cards, but as mid-and-high-level components, we’re hoping they compete against the best from Nvidia and AMD.
The desktop situation isn’t much better. Intel hasn’t said much about the desktop counterparts to the mobile cards that were detailed earlier this year. We now know they face similar delays, and will only be available through system builders and OEMs with specific configurations. This is meant to simplify the release, and reduce the “vast set of combinations” of memory, motherboards, and CPUs Intel’s GPU would need to support.
Using this approach, Intel will ship its first entry-level Arc A-series desktop products in Q2 in China, where there is strong demand and close proximity to components. Retail sales will follow shortly thereafter. We also don’t have specifics on when these cards will arrive stateside, only that a global rollout is the next step. Intel’s closest thing to a timeline is a promise that higher-end Arc A5 and Arc A7 desktop cards would start shipping worldwide with OEMs and system integrators “later this summer,” followed by individual component sales.