What is Intel Arc?
Intel Arc 3, 5, and 7 discrete mobile GPUs from Intel will take against AMD and NVIDIA.
Intel today unveiled its Arc A-series discrete GPUs for laptops, notably the Arc 3 models, which are now shipping in new 12th Gen Windows laptops. There are also new Intel Xe graphics in the upcoming 12th Gen mobile CPUs, which could provide a nice turf fight with NVIDIA and AMD.
The A-series processors fall into three categories, with Arc 3 geared towards Evo/Ultrabooks and entry-level laptops for “improved gameplay.” Traditional gaming and creation laptops are targeted by Arc 5 (“advanced gaming”) and Arc 7 (“high-performance gaming”).
Regarding Intel Arc 3 specifications, there are two variants to be aware of: A350M and A370M. Both have 4GB GDDR6 memory and a 64-bit memory bus width. The A370M features 8 Xe-cores and 8 ray-tracing units (instead of 6 and 6 in the A350M) with a clock rate of 1,550 MHz (versus 1,150 MHz). The A370m draws 35-50 watts compared to the A35025-35 M’s watts.
The Intel Arc 7 A770M has 32 Xe-cores, 32 ray tracing units, 16GB of memory, a 256-bit memory bus, and can require 120-150 watts of power.
NVIDIA’s next 64-bit RTX 2050 laptop GPU runs at 1,477 MHz and uses 30 to 45 watts. There will also be an entry-level GeForce MX570 and MX550 available soon. Intel’s Arc 3 CPUs should be able to compete on price and performance with these GPUs.
Intel compares its performance to its own. The Arc A370M achieves 60-78 fps in games like Hitman 3 (62), Destiny 2 (66), The Witcher (68), Doom Eternal (63), and Wolfenstein: Youngblood (63). (78 FPS). No corners were cut because all games were set on medium or high defaults. Comparatively, the 12th Gen Core i7-integrated 1280P’s Xe graphics deliver closer to 30-40 FPS.
Intel placed the Core i7-12800H CPU with Arc 3 against the Core i7-1280P with Iris Xe, so it’s not a true one-to-one comparison.
On tasks like Handbrake, DaVinci Resolve, and Adobe Premiere Pro, the A370M (Core i7-12800H) outperforms the Iris Xe (Core i7-1280H) by 1.3x to 2.4x.
In addition to adaptive sync (sync the display refresh rate), speed sync (speed up the current frame, no tearing) and smooth sync (sync the display refresh rate) (blurs distracting screen tears with a dithering filter).
Intel is also revealing enhancements for its Arc A-series CPUs for gamers and makers (video and media editing).
Intel XeSS, like NVIDIA’s DLSS (deep learning super sampling) and AMD FSR (FidelityFX Super Resolution), employs technologies to upscale games to a higher resolution with better details.
It upscaling a future game called Dolmen from 1080P to 4K with greater clarity and detail from the XeSS applied version.
Like AMD SmartShift, Intel Deep Link may pull more resources for specified workloads. Intel’s Dynamic Power Share enables the CPU drain more power while the GPU is underused, and the reverse is true.
Deep Link also has Hyper Encode, which can use all available media encode engines on the CPU (iGPU) and dGPU. Similarly, Intel Hyper Compute with XMX “accelerates creativity” by using all available compute engines or AI accelerators on an Intel platform, such as Topaz Labs AI-powered picture and video editing tools.
The Alliance for Open Media (AOMedia), which comprises Microsoft, Arm, Apple, Netflix, Samsung, NVIDIA, and Amazon, has created AOMedia Video 1. Intel’s Arc A-series GPUs natively support the tech. Intel says this is the first AV1 hardware decoding and encoding GPU.
Compared to H.264 (50%) and HEVC (20%), AV1 is royalty-free, open-source, and ensures improved quality for gaming and video streaming in the future. Tools like FFMPEG, DaVinci Resolve, XSplit and Handbrake already support AV1.
The new 15-inch Galaxy Book2 Pro is the first laptop with Intel’s Arc 3 graphics (not the 360 models). However, more laptops from Lenovo, HP, Dell, Acer, ASUS, and MSI are on the way. The most inexpensive is $899.
In our upcoming reviews, we’ll put Intel Arc 3 (and 5 and 7 later this summer) to the test. Interesting to see how Intel’s first discrete GPU compares with NVIDIA and AMD. On paper, Intel appears to be receiving a lot right away.
The Intel Arc graphics add-in cards are also arriving this summer for “desktop aficionados.”
While Intel Arc 3 chips are available today, Arc 5 and Arc 7 chips are not expected until later this summer.