Intel’s progress with Battlemage is rumored to be sluggish – and 2nd-gen Arc GPUs may not arrive until 2025

Progress with Intel’s Battlemage graphics cards might be looking a bit shaky, going off a new update from a YouTube leaker.

This is Moore’s Law is Dead (MLID), a regular source of leaks from the GPU world (and CPUs, plus consoles too), who has a new video out which digs into a few topics. One of which is the 2nd-generation Arc GPUs, and we’re told by a source at Intel that the last time there were updates on the Battlemage test boards was April 2023.

Yes, that’s very nearly a year ago now, which is obviously a worrying hint that Intel is moving sluggishly on realizing Battlemage. Equally obviously, though, we need to be cautious around a single rumor.

MLID’s source goes on to add another nugget of info drawn from some internal Intel documents, namely that the final validation for Battlemage is scheduled for Q4 2024 – at the earliest.

In short, we’ll be ‘very lucky’ to see next-gen Arc GPUs come out this year, and it may not even be that early in 2025 that they arrive – the validation process can take up to a few months (one to three months, generally). If Battlemage graphics cards even arrive at all, MLID notes at the end of the rumor dump, on a more pessimistic note.

Analysis: Dispelling the doom

We shouldn’t get carried away with the doom and gloom, of course – this is just a rumor, and a complete cancelation for Battlemage surely won’t happen. Will it? Well, okay, it isn’t beyond the realms of possibility, but what we’ve heard elsewhere on the grapevine isn’t pointing towards this kind of scenario. Yet.

That said, a few weeks back MLID aired the rumor (again, add seasoning) that Battlemage for laptops has been canned. But dropping the whole Arc line is another matter entirely, and of course, the leaker isn’t telling us that this is something he’s heard – just that it could be a (hopefully very remote) possibility.

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Intel is certainly holding firm in terms of talking up Battlemage recently. But then, Team Blue would obviously be papering over any cracks appearing behind the scenes, when presenting the 2nd-generation of Arc to the public, naturally.

However, even with Intel’s latest update (at CES 2024 last month), it sounded like Battlemage is likely to be pushed to early 2025, rather than arriving this year. And that very much does seem a real possibility, which is slightly disappointing.

Mainly because there are some decently lofty expectations for how Intel will perform with Battlemage – especially given how Alchemist has been consistently improved, with impressive gains delivered via new drivers over and over. Levels of anticipation are suitably elevated, even if Intel’s next-gen range does end up as lower-end GPUs only, as rumors have been claiming for a while now.

Indeed, we could most use a more compelling rival to the GPU duopoly at the budget end of the market, which has been too long neglected really (certainly by Nvidia).

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