Intel Wants Gamers to Buy Arc Alchemist

Intel is planning to offer substantial software bundles to sweeten the appeal of its lukewarmly received Arc Alchemist graphics cards, according to leaks. While not an unusual tactic, the size of Intel's bundle offer raises the question: Is this part of long-term strategy or a fire sale?

You Get a Game!
The added $370 average value Intel is offering applies to laptops and (upcoming) desktops with both an Arc Alchemist GPU and non-entry level 12th gen Intel CPU.

  • ~$190 worth of games
    • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II ($69.99), Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed ($39.99), Gotham Knights ($59.99), & Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodhunt ($20)
  • Three of five professional programs
    • PowerDirector 365 ($69.99), D5 Render ($114), MAGIX Video Pro X14 ($60), Topaz Gigapixel AI ($99), & XSplit Premium Suite ($60)

For comparison, Nvidia is offering just one title with the purchase of its ultra-premium RTX 3080 or higher cards and systems, and AMD is including up to three games.

Call of Duty

Source: Activision-Blizzard

To Be or Not to Be

"We're not going anywhere on our discrete business. And our discrete business is the basic technology development that goes both into the data center and integrated GPUs." -Intel’s Tom Petersen.
Intel has spent billions to break into a now cooling market with uncompetitive and buggy products, just as Nvidia & AMD are about to launch a new generation of GPUs. The good news is Intel is at least acting like it wants to stick it out. 
  • Reinforcements: The company is promising that the top end of the Alchemist stack is arriving soon. If these cards perform adequately, it might partly salvage the reputation of Intel GPUs.
  • Moving On: Intel claims it's shifted most of its resources to development of the next generation, Battlemage.
  • Self-Awareness: Intel refreshingly has admitted its launch dates were overly optimistic, the weaknesses of Alchemist, and that launching the bottom of its product stack first backfired.
  • Professional Uses: The inclusion of creative software programs might appeal to professionals not turned off by poor gaming performance.
But on the other hand, Intel’s recent moves do not bode well
  • The company wrote off its floundering Optane memory business
  • CEO Pat Gelsinger recently hinted that the company will be exiting more segments to focus on core products

Featured image source: Intel