Incredibly, there's potentially good news in the very first week of 2022 for gamers and PC enthusiasts. Perhaps overshadowing the news that Ethereum is now less profitable than ever, taking 20 months to recover outlay on mining hardware, are the rumblings around Intel's Arc A380 and GeForce RTX 4090. This is only regarded as potential good news because these really are just rumours and leaks.
Arc A380 GPU News
Familiar face around the rumour mill, momomo_us, posted a tweet simply reading "Intel Arc A380 Graphics (1024SP 128C 2.45GHz, 1MB L2, 4.8GB)", after finding a listing for the GPU on SiSoftware's official benchmark ranker. Breaking this down, the entry-level desktop GPU from Intel features 128 execution units (EUs) with an average clock speed of 2.45 GHz. Intel have kept quiet about this upcoming graphics card, but if these benchmarks carry any weight, the A380 has 4.8GB of VRAM, which caused confusion and multiple discussions in the IT world about how that is achieved.
This put the GPU neck-and-neck with the RTX 3050 Ti mobile and GeForce GTX 16050 Ti Super graphics cards, but in the real world this could all change. The card is based on the DG2-128EU GPU and Xe-HPG architecture, and is one of two entry level graphics cards we're expecting from the Blue Team.
The timing of this controversy and hubbub could not be better, as the CES press announcement loomed, and gamers wait with baited breath over the potential low barrier to entry with Intel's inaugural GPUs.
Intel at CES 2022
At the CES 2022 press announcement last night, we heard the plans for the new KS-series processors, which would have "5.5GHz single-core turbo right out of the box," and could achieve higher still with multi-core thanks to optimisation and performance cores. We saw unparalleled Hitman 3 gameplay during the announcement, showing off the KS-series as a gaming processor, with promises of shipment by the end of Q1.
“We’re on pace to have our fastest enthusiast desktop ramp of all time, and it’s no surprise we created the 12th Gen core family of processors with the superior performance to unlock the experiences that matter most to people from gaming to creating, communication, collaboration and more,” said general manager of the Client Computing Group, Gregory Bryant.
Intel showcased over twenty new devices powered by the new 12th Gen Intel Core H-series, which will have up to 14 cores and 5GHz performance; we also saw more Hitman 3 benchmarks, citing a 49% better frame rate performance over AMD's nearest mobile CPU rival - “And we have Riftbreaker at 27% higher FPS, Mountain Blade and Banner Lord at 23%, and Total War: Three Kingdoms at 47%.” said Bryant. With these gaming connotations, all ears and eyes were awaiting Intel Arc news. Intel announced that they were now shipping discreet Intel Arc GPU to manufacturers, with a slim Alienware X17 laptop as the poster-child. “Together with our partners, we will launch more than 50 mobile and desktop designs all using Arc.”.
With the announcement of more than fifty new mobile and desktop customer designs, including all the usual suspects of Acer, ASUS, Dell, Gigabyte, Haier, HP, Samsung, MSI and NEC, the uptake on the new GPU is exactly what we expected.
CES 2022 + Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 News
Nvidia, of course, beat Intel to the punch at CES 2022, taking stage over two hours earlier with their special address. We heard the amazing news that the company will release the long-rumoured RTX 3090 Ti, along with revealing the January 27th release of the RTX 3050 GPU for desktops and RTX 3070 Ti & RTX 3080 Ti processors being made available for mobile gaming laptops. As if this wasn't enough for gamers, Nvidia also dropped the news that there would be ten new games that would include RTX, including Hitman III and Dying Light 2.
This comes off the back of yet more rumours and pre-launch guesswork that the RTX 4090 will be running rings around the RTX 3090 and RX 6900. YouTuber, iVadim, took a long look at the data we've seen in leaks for Nvidia's flagship graphics card, with plenty of subject matter for the RTX 4000 series being leaked from various trustworthy sources. "I decided to put it all together into one easily digestible piece and share some of my insights as well." the description reads, prefacing the analysis video:
In the extremely hungry Doom Eternal in 4K ultra, the average framerates for the RTX 4090 is potentially a screaming 400 FPS, which 81.82% more than the RTX 3090 which tops out at 220 FPS. More importantly, with competition extremely high in 2022 against AMD, the RTX 4090 is estimated to be 106.19% better than the 6900 XT which manages a very appreciable 194 FPS.
So, all in all, this year is shaping up to be an incredible one for gamers, as predicted. It seems it could be the year that gamer's wallets recover from a serious 2021 hangover, too, with GPU mining looking dicey for the mid and long term. Our recent article on GPU price drops covers this in a little more detail.