Saturday, June 22, 2024

Intel may fire the first shots in the next-gen GPU war

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Intel Arc A770 GPU installed in a test bench.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

The GPU market is about to start heating up in just a few short months, and that’s not just due to AMD and Nvidia. According to a new report, Intel plans to release its highly anticipated, next-gen Arc Battlemage graphics cards sooner than many have expected, and the GPUs might drop at just the perfect time to steal some sales away from AMD and Nvidia.

The tantalizing news comes from a report by ComputerBase. The publication claims that during Embedded World 2024, an event that took place in Germany, Intel’s partners implied that Arc Battlemage GPUs might launch before this year’s Black Friday. Realistically, this implies that Intel would have to hit the market in early November at the latest, giving its partners and retailers enough time to make the products readily available during the Black Friday shopping craze.

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This is a much more optimistic estimate than what Intel’s Tom Petersen shared earlier this year. The implication was that late 2024 was possible, but in January, Petersen wasn’t ready to promise that time frame. Intel remains hush about the GPUs, but the rumors certainly sound promising.

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According to Tom’s Hardware and various leaks, Intel is working on two Battlemage GPUs: the G10 and the G21. The G10 is meant to be the flagship, targeting the midrange sector, while the G21 is probably going to end up being something like the Arc A380, meaning a very entry-level graphics card.

Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Even if Intel makes that early November deadline and releases Battlemage graphics cards in time for Black Friday, it’ll be met with fierce competition. The details are unclear right now, as all three GPU makers haven’t shared them, but we’re expecting to see some AMD RDNA 4 and Nvidia RTX 50-series GPUs also make an appearance in the final quarter of the year. Rumor has it that Nvidia will launch the RTX 5090 and the RTX 5080 this year. AMD GPUs might hit the market before both Nvidia and Intel, although no one really knows for sure now.

Intel’s Battlemage will arrive in the same awkward spot as its predecessor — it’ll likely be behind both AMD and Nvidia in performance. However, it might also have an edge among the newer releases. While it’ll be no match for the RTX 5090 or even AMD’s RX 8800 XT (rumored, mind you), it should come at a much more affordable price point.

Launching around Black Friday might just be the perfect time for Intel to compete against AMD and Nvidia if it continues to target performance per dollar. We’ll have to wait and see until at least one of the manufacturers gives us an official update on release dates, but so far, it looks like the fourth quarter of 2024 will be an exciting time for GPU enthusiasts.

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