Intel’s Arc graphics card has been a huge disappointment since it hit the desktop — only launched in China, there are — but rumors that the Blue Team might have a trump card sparked a brief burst of excitement. Sadly, it’s not.
The trump card in question is multi-GPU support, which means it’s possible to have multiple graphics cards on the same PC and work together to boost the game’s performance levels – if Intel can do it This, it will be the main advantage against AMD and Nvidia. (The red team’s crossfire is dead, and the green team’s SLI works well, although it still plays on the high end in a stylish way).
News of Intel’s plans for such multi-GPU innovations — which were supposed to be shown at SIGGRAPH 2022, but didn’t make it — via TweakTown (opens in new tab), but then the tech website reported that after the revelation, Intel got in touch to clarify that Doka support was only happening in a very limited way.
Intel told TweakTown: “Intel showed a demo of Blender Cycles rendering with Intel Arc graphics at SIGGRAPH. Since Blender 3.3 supports Intel via oneAPI Multi-GPU rendering support for Arc and Intel Arc Pro graphics cards. Intel Arc graphics cards do not support multiple GPUs for gaming.”
This effectively negates the fact that PC gamers can use more The idea of benefiting from the accelerated frame rate of an Arc GPU.
Analysis: OK, not now – but maybe in the future?
We can see why people jump up and get excited so quickly. The entire desktop Arc launch has seen discrete GPUs limp out the door, and the bad news about drivers and stability is compounded by further concerns about whether the entire project will be canceled. The latter is something Intel strongly denies, mind you.
Anyway, we’re all very disappointed with the state of Arc Alchemist, so there’s a silver lining that something unexpected will inevitably be caught. Especially early on, Intel did talk about going the multi-GPU route in gaming, which, as we observed at the time, seemed like a viable way for Team Blue to meaningfully differentiate its desktop graphics cards from AMD and AMD. Nvidia.
Of course, just because that’s not happening with Alchemist doesn’t mean Intel isn’t thinking about implementing gaming in next-gen GPUs. If we do that, but of course the concern is that the driver side of the equation is already causing serious problems for Intel, with the multi-card implementation further complicating things – a notoriously tricky business as gamers already Knowing something like that from past SLI experience — doesn’t seem like a sensible idea.
Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) on a wide range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware , VPN, antivirus software, etc. He has spent most of the last 30 years writing tech articles and writing books in his spare time (his debut I Know What You Did for Dinner – Published by Hachette UK in 2013).