Intel has stated there will be no hardware or software limiters in their new Arc GPUs to stop crypto miners; though designed for gamers.
The statement came in a recent interview with Gadget360, and is sure to dash the hopes that Intel’s new GPU’s will finally get us out of the GPU shortage. VP and GM of Client Graphics Products and Solutions Roger Chandler explained that the new Arc GPUs and the new graphics cards (codenamed “Alchemist”) was not focused on stopping miners.
“This is a tough one to answer, but what I will say is that we are designing Intel Arc and the Alchemist family of products as gamer-first and creator-first. All the optimisations, the features, everything we’re doing, is really to make sure we can solve problems and deliver value to gamers and creators. As far as like software lockouts and things of that nature, we’re not designing this product or building any features at this point that specifically target miners. As far as actions we’re taking to avoid or lock them out, it’s a product that will be in the market and people will be able to buy it. It’s not a priority for us.”
Like AMD, Intel will not be doing any sort of limiting on the software end. This might be an issue, since the architect for this GPU, Raja Koduari, is known for designing great compute GPUs.
Compute power is roughly how good GPUs can be at doing calculations. Those calculations can be done for anything from folding proteins for medical research, to use on oil rigs, AI or cryptography. This is also used for crypto mining.
It can be a lot to ask of the company who’s first consumer-dedicated GPU has not even been released yet to add locks like this. Since their software team is very likely swamped, and doesn’t have the kind of expertise AMD and Nvidia have had with things like game ready drivers, and all of the other issues that would be present.
It should be noted Intel has made integrated graphics that were very underpowered, and were not expected to have fantastic driver level optimizations to play the latest games on the highest settings.
Based on prior releases, there may be a bit of an adjustment period for Intel during their launch and first month or two with these cards. Spending time worrying about locking out crypto miners would be a less important issue than having games perform well with your graphics cards. After all, if your graphics card is much slower than the competition, will gamers even be willing to buy it to begin with?
Koduri was also asked if there would be a sufficient supply of new Intel ARC GPUs at launch. “I’ll always be very cautious,” Koduri answered, “when the demand is so high and when the market is so hard. I can always use more supply. So I’m not going to say I have enough supply in this high-demand market, I think every one of my competitors will say the same thing right now.”
In the current incredibly high demand market, it seems like no one really has enough supply. At this point, any GPU news is probably good news.
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