Intel announced at CES 2022 this week that its first batch of Arc GPUs have shipped to OEMs, meaning we're one step closer to seeing Intel re-enter the volatile GPU market to compete against AMD and Nvidia.
The fact that OEM (original equipment manufacturer) partners like Acer, Asus, Dell, Gigabyte and Lenovo are getting their hands on Intel's GPU tech means we should be on schedule to see the first wave of Arc GPUs (codenamed Alchemist) hitting the market in the first quarter of 2022.
That was the roadmap Intel laid out last summer, when it first announced it would take on AMD and Nvidia with its new Arc GPUs. These will be the first consumer-grade GPUs Intel has released since the '90s, so it's exciting to see the company getting back into graphics — doubly so since the ongoing GPU shortage has made decent graphics cards incredibly hard to buy for uninflated prices.
In addition to confirming supply is en route to OEMs, Intel announced a slate of game companies (including 505 Games, Codemasters, PUBG Studios, Techland and Ubisoft) that have committed to supporting the advanced features of Intel Arc GPUs.
Most notably, Intel claims that Arc GPUs' XeSS (Xe Super Sampling) AI-driven upscaling tech — which seems set to rival Nvidia’s DLSS and AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution — will be integrated into a number of games, including an "exclusive integration" into Death Stranding Director's Cut. Developer Kojima Productions is also committed to optimizing the game for Intel's 12th Gen Intel Core CPUs, which debuted last year and will continue to roll out through 2022.
The other big Arc GPU feature Intel is touting is Deep Link, which delivers a performance boost when you pair an Intel Arc GPU with a compatible Intel Core CPU. The folks at Blackmagic Design have committed to optimizing their DaVinci Resolve video production software for Intel Deep Link, adding in a Deep Link Hyper Encode option which Intel claims uses "integrated and discrete graphics processors together to accelerate creation by simultaneously encoding the same video stream."
Of course, we'll have to wait until the first Arc GPUs hit store shelves to see how much of a difference features like XeSS and Deep Link make, and how well Intel's GPUs stack up against the best from Nvidia and AMD. For more coverage of what's happening at CES, check out our CES 2022 live blog!