The large gaming graphics cards from Intel will soon be available in German stores. Tests show that their performance depends heavily on the game.
There will soon be a third manufacturer option for graphics cards for desktop PCs: After a delay of many months, the two fastest models from Intel’s first Arc generation will be available on October 20, 2022 – the A770 and A750. Some media have already received test samples in advance and published test reports that show one thing above all: anyone who buys an Arc graphics card at the start is a beta tester.
The bottom line is that the top model Arc A770 is on average about as fast as Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3060, but has twice as much memory in the Limited Edition with 16 GB of GDDR6 RAM. However, the performance varies significantly from game to game, which is primarily due to the driver. The latter has improved in recent months but remains a work in progress.
Fluctuating performance in games
There are positive examples like the action shooter “Doom Eternal”, the strategy game “Total War: Warhammer 3) and “Strange Brigade”, in which the Arc 770 is faster than the GeForce RTX 3060 and Radeon RX 6600 XT, sometimes even faster than the RTX 3070 and RX 6800. In addition, the ray tracing performance is convincing – the corresponding graphic effects do not allow the frame rate to drop as much as with AMD.
On the other hand, Intel’s top model in the first-person shooters “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” and “Rainbow Six Siege” competes with the entry-level cards of the competition. Interested parties should therefore take a close look at how the Arc GPUs perform in their own games.
In general, the Arc graphics cards run best with the DirectX 12 graphics API when the PCI Express feature Resizable Base Address Register (rBAR) is activated. The processor can write data blocks of any size to the graphics memory – such as reloading geometry data or textures. According to Intel, the memory controller in the GPUs does not cope well with the small data blocks of a maximum of 256 MB that are written to the graphics memory without rBAR.
In addition, the Arc models like high resolutions. In WQHD with 2560 × 1440 pixels, the A770 and A750 are better compared to the GeForce and Radeon graphics cards than in Full HD (1920 × 1080 pixels). In the latter resolution, the Arc 770 is often closer to the GeForce RTX 3050 and Radeon RX 6600.
The driver-side teething problems apart from the fluctuating performance range from graphic errors in games to crashes. Gamersnexus also reports problems with image output – the monitors sometimes remained black. With a low (idle) load, the electrical power consumption is far too high: Even with only one monitor connected, the Arc graphics cards require almost 50 watts – the competition uses 5 to 15 watts.
|Specifications Intel Arc graphics cards|
|graphic card||Arc A770 Limited||Arc A770||Arc A750 Limited|
|GPU||ACM-G10 (TSMC N6)||ACM-G10 (TSMC N6)||ACM-G10 (TSMC N6)|
|Xe Cores / Shader Cores||32 / 4096||32 / 4096||28 / 3584|
|Storage||16 GB GDDR6, 512 GB/s||8 GB GDDR6, 512 GB/s||8 GB GDDR6, 512 GB/s|
|TDP||225 watts||225 watts||225 watts|
Plagued by the exchange rate
Intel therefore wants to make its first works attractive through the price: the top model Arc A770 in the limited edition with 16 GB of RAM costs 349 US dollars. In Germany, the price will still be steep due to the unfavorable exchange rate – the equivalent of 349 US dollars is almost 425 euros including taxes.
Manufacturer cards of the GeForce RTX 3060 and Radeon RX 6600 XT or RX 6650 XT are already cheaper. With their drivers, which have been perfected for years, they also represent the better overall packages with less potential for concern. Intel’s Arc graphics cards are currently primarily something for hobbyists.