Intel confirms that there is no mining limiter for Arc Alchemist cards, cannot guarantee availability

In context: There’s still a lot we don’t know about Alchemist, the first of Intel’s upcoming Arc graphics cards. One of the many questions gamers have been asking themselves is whether the company will follow Nvidia’s lead and include some form of mining limiter, making GPUs less attractive to crypto miners. And now we know the answer: no, it won’t.

Gadgets 360 recently participated in a panel discussion with Raja Koduri of Intel, senior vice president and general manager of computer systems and accelerated graphics, and Roger Chandler, vice president and general manager of customer graphics products and solutions. The discussion revolved around the launch of Arc and what people can expect from Alchemist, Team Blue’s first generation of discrete GPUs based on its Xe-HPG architecture.

The post asked the pair if Alchemist would have any hardware or software locks to discourage mining, similar to what Nvidia uses in its Lite Hash Rate (LHR) cards. The answer will likely disappoint gamers hoping Intel would prioritize them.

“It’s a tough question to answer,” Chandler said. “When it comes to software locks and things of that nature, we don’t design this product or build any features at this point that specifically target minors. As for the actions we take to avoid or lock them down. , it’s a product that will be in the market and people will be able to buy it, and that’s not a priority for us.

Raja Koduri added that “We’re not putting in any extra work, yes.”

Cryptocurrency mining remains one of the many factors plaguing a graphics card market that has seen prices fall back to 83% from MSRP. By not adding a limiter, Intel risks drawing the ire of gamers in the same way AMD has been castigated for appearing not to care about the community. But with Intel admitting that it will take time for Arc to reach the same level of popularity as its competitors, the company probably doesn’t want to narrow its potential market.

Another issue facing anyone who wants a new graphics card is availability. When it comes to Alchemist, Koduri has been careful not to make any promises Intel won’t be able to keep. “I will always be very careful, when the demand is so high and the market is so tough. I can always use more supply. So I am not going to say that I have enough supply in this high demand market. . I think each of my competitors will say the same thing right now, ”he said.

Other areas of the interview include hints of a distinct pro-graphics arcline. Chandler also spoke about Intel’s XeSS upscaling technology. He said the company is working with dozens and dozens of game studios to support a “healthy collection” of games when Alchemist arrives, with more launches over time. He also added that XeSS will be backward compatible with 12 generation Intel Xe graphics solutions, including Tiger Lake and DG1 platforms.

A number of questions were answered with “we can’t discuss the details yet,” but be sure to check out the full article on Gadgets 360.

Alchemist is expected to land in early 2022, although recent rumors suggest it has been delayed until the second quarter of the year, with laptop versions arriving before desktops. We also saw some concept images for Arc code names that are very close to D&D: Alchemist, Battlemage, Celestial, and Druid.

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