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🎂 Good morning! I forgot to mention it was my dog's birthday yesterday! Time flies!
August 17, 2021
Intel Arc
intel arc logo
Intel

Intel Arc is the newly announced brand name for Intel’s upcoming high-end graphics chips. Arc is fine and all, as it competes with Nvidia’s Geforce line and AMD Radeon’s GPUs for a lucrative slice of the discrete GPU market.

What’s more fun than Arc are the code names Intel will use for its generations of Arc GPUs: Previously known as DG2, the first generation Intel Arc chips are officially codenamed Alchemist. 

  • Future Arc chips will be known by the code names Battlemage, Celestial, and Druid, which is fun.
  • And that’s also a hint from Intel that it is committed to the market.

Intel’s GPUs may actually be solid:

  • First, Intel’s not starting at zero or a complete first-generation approach — it’s had integrated GPUs for an eternity, and its 11th-gen cores have been able to play decent high-level games without a discrete GPU.
  • There’s also software expertise, with Intel releasing drivers for games with performance boosts, just as AMD and Nvidia have done for some time.
  • Intel’s Xe-HPG microarchitecture will be used to power Intel’s high-end performance graphics chips for gamers and cryptominers.
  • They’ll also support features like “hardware-based ray tracing and artificial intelligence-driven super sampling,” to compete with Nvidia’s DLSS and AMD’s FidelityFX upscaling. The chips will also fully support Microsoft’s DirectX 12, all the fancy features included.
  • You may have seen a DG2 name floating around for this in the past: That was a tentative name given it was a follow-up in some ways from something Intel released only to system builders, called the DG1.
  • The Alchemist launch will be a series of graphics cards, likely split between desktop performance and low-power draw mobility options, RAM configurations, and cores. In short, no spec sheets are available yet.
  • Intel also released a trailer showing some current PC games running on pre-production Intel Arc Alchemist GPUs.

The problem:

  • Gamers and PC builders need those GPUs now. It’s still hard to find even far less-mighty cards on the market, let alone anything like an Nvidia RTX 3090 or AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT.
  • And if you want to game on PS5 or Xbox Series X, you’ll struggle to find one of those too.
  • With reports Intel is relying on TSMC’s 7nm process, it seems like it is constrained on supply, and Intel said it’ll be a “first quarter of 2022” release.
  • I doubt Q1 2022 will see an end to the cycle of shortages, but having more from Intel now might’ve helped…
Roundup

🥳 Hooray! Samsung is removing those pesky ads from native apps (Android Authority).

🔋 Google Pixel 5a leak reveals the largest-ever Pixel battery (Android Authority).

🤔 Leak dishes out key specs of the Samsung Galaxy S22, S22 Plus, and S22 Ultra (Android Authority).

👍 The Samsung Eco 2 OLED display helps the Galaxy Z Fold 3 use less power (Android Authority).

👎 Qualcomm built its ideal smartphone and you can buy it for $1,499, but our reviewers say you probably shouldn’t: it’s fast, but its camera is feeble, and my goodness … $1,499?? (Android Authority).

🔜 ZTE’s gigantic Axon 30 will launch globally on September 9 (Android Authority).

🔐 Sorry but the T-Mobile data breach is one you can’t ignore (Wired).

💌 Tinder will soon make voluntary ID Verification available, globally (TechCrunch).

🔎 Tesla’s Autopilot is under federal investigation by the NHTSA following 11 crashes since 2018 where a Tesla using Autopilot crashed into stopped first responders’ vehicles (Engadget).

🎮 Call of Duty: Vanguard announced, with more to be revealed in Warzone on August 19 (The Verge).

🏡 “I thought Lawn Mower Simulator would be way more relaxing(Kotaku).

💭 Anonymous chat app Yik Yak is back from the dead, for some reason — it was pretty problematic for anonymity leading to online bullying and such. Four years later, the developers are aware and trying to limit that … let’s see (Engadget).

💉 Finally, a shot to prevent Lyme Disease could be on its way (Outside).

Chart Tuesday

Rent prices are soaring across the United States, jumping by 9.2% during the first six months of 2021, or around 2-3x faster than typical, pre-pandemic years.

rent prices soaring

Cheers,

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor

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