Intel's Battlemage GPUs, which should debut next year, might be beefier graphics cards than the rumor mill has led us to believe.
If you recall, some speculation on the GPU grapevine has led us to believe that Intel is reining in its ambitions with the firm's second-gen graphics cards. We've even heard some talk in recent times that Team Blue may only produce budget GPUs with Battlemage (the equivalent of the A300 series for Alchemist).
Fresh info from the rumor mill, as provided by well-known hardware leaker Harukaze5719 on X (formerly Twitter), suggests otherwise - or at least that Battlemage might be peppier than expected.
The story here is that as Tom's Hardware spotted (via PC Gamer), some test tools Intel provides to card makers, namely BGA2727-BMG-X3-6CH and BGA2362-BMG-X2 interposers, hint at the chip size for Battlemage.
The biggest interposer, presumably for the top-end Battlemage graphics card, is a little bit larger (around 2.5%) than the Arc Alchemist equivalent.
That suggests we may get a die size similar to Alchemist - maybe even a touch larger - for the flagship, and that wouldn't be a low-end effort, obviously. And we also have to take into account the architectural advances for Battlemage, and the fact it's built on a smaller process, means Intel will get a good deal more performance mileage out of a similar sized GPU.
While it'd be foolish to read too much into speculation based on a leak about an interposer used in Battlemage testing - add plenty of seasoning here, naturally - this is nonetheless something positive aired about Intel's 2nd-gen GPUs, which is a nice change, frankly.
That said, we're still very much of the opinion that the lower-end GPU sector is the most important spot for Intel to attack the current duopoly. But still, having a solid mid-range contender - maybe something that could compete convincingly with the RTX 4070, or even better it, dare we hope - would be very welcome, too.
Meanwhile, Intel is certainly banging the drum about its competitivity against NVIDIA, and with the release of its latest graphics driver, has drawn a comparison between the Arc A750 and NVIDIA's RTX 3060.
According to Intel's own benchmarking on Madden NFL 24, the A750 considerably outdoes the RTX 3060 in terms of performance per dollar - which is the most important consideration when buying a GPU (at least away from the high-end where the financial outlay may well be of lesser concern).
Between price cuts on Arc GPUs and ramping up performance levels for various games with each driver release, there's no arguing that Intel's Alchemist graphics cards are becoming increasingly compelling as time goes on. Let's hope Battlemage takes that baton and really runs with it.