Arc will arrive “sooner than you think” according to Intel fellow Tom Petersen. In a move to reassure the masses of Intel’s confidence in its upcoming GPUs, the Arc graphics team demoed the gaming performance of the A750 desktop graphics card in several modern titles. This coincides with a recent guest appearance of Tom Petersen and Ryan Shrout on the Gamers Nexus YouTube channel to discuss Arc in more detail.
The Intel video demonstration was straightforward and to the point. Ryan Shrout fired up the Cyberpunk 2077 benchmark in 1440p on high settings to show that it managed a stable 60 fps experience. The Arc 7 A750 graphics slightly outpaced the performance of an Nvidia RTX 3060, which Shrout then backed up with additional examples from F1 2021, Control, Borderlands 3, and Fortnite.
For context, the A750 falls into the Arc 7 category, somewhat as we’d imagine the Core i7 series for CPUs. However, this does get a little murky with there being an A780 model as well. We’ll just have to wait and see how the product segmentation pans out in terms of pricing and performance.
Driving it home
It’s no coincidence these games happen to be popular benchmark titles, and it’s about time we saw some basic head-to-head matchups in more relevant titles. With that said, it’s an impressive showing for Intel’s debut into discrete graphics for gaming.
Yet despite this decent showing, Intel was quick to provide a disclaimer about Arc’s gaming performance. “The performance of Intel Arc won’t look like this in all games, but this demonstration was a great view of what Arc is capable of with the right game enablement and software engineering. We have an entire team of engineers working to make it happen,” said Shrout.
We’ve heard Intel engineers have been hard at work for some time now to achieve driver parody with competitors AMD and Intel, and the results seem to be paying off. However, Intel also admits it has plenty of work to go and that we should expect to find inconsistent results in a fair number of games. The overall strategy is to ensure the best possible performance in modern and popular titles before working backwards to widen game driver support.
Humble… for now?
It was quite obvious from the demonstration that Intel understands its current position in the graphics market. Arc Alchemist graphics card should launch in late summer at the earliest, and will trade blows with competitor models. The caveat is that there are only a few more months to go before AMD and Nvidia begin to launch next generation graphics cards that will frankly blow Arc performance out of the water.
Regardless, Petersen is quite proud of what Intel’s Arc graphics team has managed to accomplish in its debut effort, and rightly so given the complexity of GPUs and software support. From what we gather, Intel’s focus is on improving driver support and building on the Arc Xe architecture for future generations of products that will be far more competitive.
Intel’s repeatedly stated that it’s committed to graphics for the long term, so Arc sounds like it’s largely about laying the groundwork. With this in mind, we’ll have to see what pricing looks like. Intel may decide to sell Arc for cheap, just to get it into people’s hands and minds.
The $129-139 USD MSRP of the A380 is an indicator of that, which undercuts AMD’s $159 USD RX 6400 and Nvidia’s $169 USD GTX 1630 graphics cards by a decent amount while delivering respectable performance in the games where drivers are polished.
Still, you should just go with the established AMD or Nvidia options if you’re unwilling to gamble with Intel Arc gaming performance and driver stability when it’s fresh out of the gate. We hope to know for ourselves soon enough and look forward to exploring everything about the A750 and other desktop graphics card models as well as Intel’s supporting Arc graphics software come launch.