Intel cuts Arc A750 GPU’s price while boasting about driver optimizations
Enlarge / The Arc A750 is slower than the top-end A770, and it gets a $40 price cut to make it more attractive.
It’s been about four months since the launch of Intel’s long-awaited Arc graphics cards. If you rolled the dice and bought a flagship A770 or A750 in an effort to get a decent deal on a mid-range GPU after two years of artificially inflated prices, the news has been generally good. There were some weird glitches here and there, but Intel kept patching its buggy drivers, slowly improving Arc’s performance across a range of games.
The company is making a pair of announcements today. First, the Arc A750 (the third-fastest Arc card, behind the 16GB and 8GB versions of the A770) is getting an official price cut, from $289 to $249. Second, the company is releasing another driver update (version 22.214.171.12486), boasting of generalized performance improvements in older DirectX 9 games and more targeted improvements for newer titles compared to the October launch drivers. .
Enlarge / Intel is using the A750 for these performance comparisons, but the drivers will benefit all Arc GPUs from the modest A380 to the 16GB A770.
In our review, the Arc A750 was generally around 10-20% slower than the 16GB version of the A770, at least for games where the A750’s 8GB of memory wasn’t a bottleneck. strangulation. But in games where it performed well, it generally outperformed Nvidia’s RTX 3060, and Intel’s driver updates added a bit to the “games Arc plays well” list. A new RTX 3060 still typically costs between $350 and $400.
Driver improvements are mostly old news if you’re an Arc owner who’s installed new updates as they’re released. many DirectX 9 improvements, in particular, were previewed in a beta driver update in December. Intel appears to use both DirectX 12 and Vulkan to DirectX 9 translation layers, choosing different layers to optimize speeds for specific games.
Enlarge / Frame times in CS:GO also suggest that DirectX 9 optimizations will make games run smoother, with fewer visible glitches.
On average, Intel claims these older games will run 43% faster than the launch drivers. Gameplay should also generally be smoother and have fewer hitches, thanks to shorter and more consistent frame times.
According to Intel, improvements to new DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 games were smaller and less widespread. It’s hard to say how much faster they are, on average, because Intel’s charts sometimes veer toward hard-to-analyze metrics like “average FPS per dollar.” But the company’s focus on big multiplayer games (Fortnite, Valorant, DOTA 2, League of Legends) and major releases (Assassin’s Creed, Red Dead Redemption 2, Cyberpunk 2077) means most people probably play at least a few games that have benefited from Intel’s driver work so far.
Enlarge / The metric here is a little weird, but it demonstrates widespread Arc performance improvements over the four-month launch pilots.
In the months leading up to Arc’s launch, Intel went on a sort of preemptive apology tour, repeatedly explaining that Arc’s performance in new DirectX 12 and Vulkan games would be great, but performance in DirectX 11 and older games would be hit or miss.
It wasn’t the best base for Intel to start with, especially since Arc was also late to the party – it was designed to compete with the Nvidia RTX 3000 and AMD RX 6000 series, both of which are already in the works. replacement. Intel also missed the opportunity to jump in as the GPU shortage of 2021 and 2022 was still in full swing. But the explanations had the benefit of setting expectations, and most GPU reviews were at least mildly positive where they could have been mercilessly negative.
It’s hard to say if this effort translated into sales, although most signs point to a slow start. Arc has yet to blip in the Steam Hardware Survey data as of December 2022, and is still grouped with “other”. If we use customer reviews as an indicator of popularity, all Arc A770 and A750 GPUs, combined, have a total of 142 reviews on Newegg, while the RTX 3060 GPU listings collectively have several times that amount.