What Intel has to do to make its Arc gaming GPU a win


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Intel Arc will be the company’s first high-end gaming GPU. Will it succeed against the formidable competition from Nvidia and AMD? Start the debate with these fundamental ingredients for success that Intel should follow—starting with a good name. 

Get a better name

You need a good name to win, which Intel has already with the official branding of “Arc” for the GPU and software around its consumer GPUs.

That’s way better than Arc’s codename of “DG2 Xe-HPG,” which frankly looks like a cat ran across my keyboard. Arc is a whole lot easier to remember. Even better, it takes up only three characters, so there’s more room to argue on Twitter about it.

Fix the boring code names, too

With GPUs, you’re nothing without cool-sounding code names. With Alchemist (Xe-HPG), Battlemage, Celestial, and Druid, Intel is finally playing it right.

Intel has a sad history with names. Its CPUs, chipsets, and the like typically use some randomly chosen lake, river, or geographic spot located near the team that developed it. Believe it or not, they’re usually chosen to be intentionally bland and cryptic.

With GPUs, it’s chic to have a cool code name such as Navi, Polaris, Ampere, or Pascal. Intel takes it up one more notch with what looks like character classes from a game. Nothing says nerdy but also hip like “Druid” as a GPU code name, right? It’s certainly better than “Sacramento River” (that one’s still open, Intel).

Don’t worry about performance

Breaking into the graphics game has long been risky because of the relentless onslaught from Nvidia and AMD. Shipping a GPU that can’t match those two means you’re a loser from day one.

With Alchemist, the first Arc GPU, it’s been hinted that performance is about “20X” that of the original Intel Crystal Well graphics. By our estimations, that could put it in the range of a GeForce RTX 3070.

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