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Intel publicly shows off Arc Alchemist GPU running Tomb Raider

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At an event for Intel investors on Thursday, the chipmaker showed off its Arc Alchemist graphics card for the first time. In a photo posted on Twitter by Intel senior VP Raja Koduri, we can see a desktop with Intel’s Alchemist GPU running Shadow of the Tomb Raider. The rendering is being helped by Xe SuperSampling (XeSS), Intel’s answer to Nvidia’s DLSS and AMD FSR AI supersampling and upscaling technologies.

The compact gaming rig housing the Arc Canyon graphics is the ‘Beast Canyon’ from custom PC builder SimplyNUC, according to our pals at Tom’s Hardware. NUC is known for making powerfully tiny PCs. However, I’d have to agree with Tom’s that it is strange that a game from 2018 was used to show off Intel’s new long-awaited GPU.

The three super sampling solutions (XeSS, DLSS, and FSR) all do roughly the same thing, rendering games at a lower resolution than they’re going to be displayed at, which can be done faster, and then blowing them up to the screen resolution using AI techniques to keep the image sharp. Last summer, a tech demo showed a XeSS rendering at 1080p and then upscaling it to 4K. What sets XeSS apart from DLSS and FSR is that the tech will work on any graphics card, not just Intel’s line of GPUs, so even Nvidia and AMD diehards have reason to be curious about Intel’s latest work in the graphics sector. 

Arc Beast Canyon Lara Croft XeSS pic.twitter.com/PesBjcW83SFebruary 17, 2022

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I would have loved to see Arc Alchemist handle something a little more graphical taxing like on its Alchemist sizzle reel than an almost four old game. However, the fact that any of Intel’s new GPUs are being shown off in an official capacity suggests that Intel is on track to hit its Q2 launch window later this year.

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A third player to compete against AMD and Nvidia is a welcome addition to the GPU race. Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger has got quite a mountain to climb, and it’ll be interesting to see how Intel handles the supply chain issues that have plagued its competitors.

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