Intel’s Arc scavenger hunt gives us some insight into card pricing

In March 2021, Intel launched an online scavenger hunt to help raise awareness of its future GPUs, which we now know as the Arc series. It all started with a teaser video that directed users to a website and the coordinates of Goat Island, which is right next to Niagara Falls. I don’t know why Intel chose this particular place. It’s better than Hell, Michigan or Boring, Oregon, but I disagree.

The hunt is over and users have been notified of their prizes. We were able to get some information from the notification received by the Twitter user La Frite David (by rock paper shotgun). La Frite David posted a screenshot that lists the approximate retail value (ARV) of the prize package.

The prize includes an Intel Arc “Performance” graphics card, merchandise and three months of Xbox Game Pass for PC. The retail value of these products is listed at $700. Given that the Ultimate Tier Game Pass is $45 for three months, you can subtract $45, leaving $655. Take a little extra for the merchandise and we’re done. at an approximate value of $600 for the card itself.

A second winner, @TheMalcore posted your load too. This one lists an Arc “Premium” card, merchandise, and six months of Xbox Game Pass for PC, all valued at $900. Subtracting the extras indicates that this card is valued at around $750 to $800. note that Intel assigns these values. I assume the packaged merchandise is mostly standard fare.

These prices are on the expensive side. The GPU market is quickly returning to normal and you can find a stock RTX 3080 for not much more than the expected price of the premium-level Arc card. I’d be surprised if this card can match a 3080. Pricing is volatile, however. It seems like it’s changing by the day and if the Arc cards are still many weeks away from launch, the pricing is certainly not finalized yet.

We’ve built up a decent amount of information on Arc cards now. There are some details about XeSSIntel’s upscaling technology, the inclusion of AV1 encoding supportand the fact that the high-end card can include the three 8-pin power connectors. But the really important things, like how they perform in games and what the retail cards look like, remain unknown for now.

No less than three new GPU architectures will be released in the coming months. There is Nvidia’s Ada Lovelace and AMD’s RDNA 3while Intel’s Arc Alchemist lineup will likely launch first, sometime during the northern hemisphere summer.

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