It’s safe to say that Intel’s entry into the discrete graphics market, potentially busting decades of Nvidia-AMD duopoly, is highly anticipated. But if you live outside of China, you’ll be anticipating it for a bit longer. A new blog post from Intel drops the shocking news that the new Arc desktop GPUs will launch first in China with a worldwide rollout to follow. This will allow the company to technically hold to its “Q2” timeframe, but the rest of us will be waiting until summer (or later) to get our hands on the new hardware.
The news comes in a question-and-answer blog post on Intel’s community portal, spotted by VideoCardz.com. Vice President for the Visual Compute Group Lisa Pearce explains that, targeting the entry-level discrete graphics market, Arc GPUs will be made available to China-based OEMs and system builders at the end of the second quarter. Standard retail sales will follow, but again, limited to China only. The A3 entry-level cards (presumably comparable to something like a GeForce XX50) will be on offer to start.
According to the blog post, higher-end Arc A5 and A7 cards will begin rolling out “later this summer” to OEMs and system builders worldwide. Only after that will the first Arc GPUs be sold directly to consumers outside of China. Charitably, that means it could be August — or later — before we see Intel cards on store shelves to compete with Nvidia and AMD.