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Back in 2021, Intel ran a marketing campaign for its upcoming Arc graphics cards. It involved a scavenger hunt, and the prize was that you’d get an Arc GPU before they officially launched. Intel offered 300 of the GPUs, and winners were eventually selected. Of the 300 winners, 100 would receive the grand prize, and 200 would get the first-place prize. The company had stated the grand prize was worth $900, and the first prize was valued at $700. Now in late 2022, Intel is seemingly not able to cough up the GPUs. Instead, it’s offering winners an Alder Lake CPU instead. This gives us some visibility into Intel’s launch timeline, as well as expected prices for Arc GPUs.
News of Intel’s tardiness comes from Videocardz, which posted an email Intel sent to a prize winner. Apparently, the grand prize was an Arc A770, and the first prize was an A750. Intel has shown off its A750 quite a bit recently, but the 16GB A770 has never seen the light of day. In the email Intel offers winners a choice: take an Alder Lake CPU now, or keep waiting for an Arc GPU. The grand prize winners were able to take home a Core i7-12700K. The first prize winners were offered a Core i5-12600K. Looking on Amazon, the 12700K is priced at $384, marked down from about $500. The 12600k is priced at $342, but currently just $278.
If we translate that, we can surmise the A750 will cost around $300, and the A770 will be around $400. Those prices are exactly in alignment with the leaked prices from a few weeks ago. Both GPUs were listed as existing in the $300 to $399 price tier. So far Intel has only shown the A750 competing favorably against the RTX 3060. While that used to be an impossible-to-find GPU, it’s now readily available for a bit over $400. That’s also a far cry from the $700 and $900 promised originally, but that was a year ago when the GPU shortage was in full effect. Intel has promised to kill AMD and Nvidia on its pricing-to-performance ratio, so it will likely be aggressive when it comes to pricing. It will need to be, however, as it tries to gain market share in an entrenched industry.
Finally, we can also extrapolate that Arc may be behind schedule a wee bit. Shocking, we know. After all, it began the scavenger hunt in March of 2021. Back in those heady days Intel likely figured it would have already launched Arc by now. After all, it said at CES 2022 that it would launch in Q1. It eventually scrubbed all that info from its website, which seemed like a bad sign at the time. Looking back now, it was obviously too tall of an order. Here we are in August and there are still no Arc GPUs to be found unless you live in Asia.
Still, the Arc launch might indeed be soon. The email from Intel says prize winners have until Aug. 19 to make their choice. If they choose the CPU option, Intel can’t guarantee it will arrive before Arc GPUs launch. It notes in bold letters the launch is “very close,” which sounds like September. If that happens, it will theoretically abide by Intel’s “later this summer” launch window for Arc. Just a few weeks ago, Intel stated the launch was “now in sight.” Summer is almost over, so it’s looking like it’s finally time for Intel to show its hand.