Intel Arc GPUs are not well optimized for DirectX 11 games and older

Intel has teamed up with YouTube channel Linus Tech Tips to show the first demo of its upcoming Arc A770 desktop graphics card. This shows that the video cards are not well optimized for older graphics APIs, such as DirectX 11 and older.

Tom Peterson of Intel explains in a video from Linus Tech Tips that the company has three ‘performance levels’ internally for Arc. The first level includes games that use modern APIs like DirectX 12 and are well optimized for Arc. According to the company, this includes games such as Cyberpunk 2077, F1 2021 and Fortnite. The second level includes games that also run on modern APIs, but are less optimized for Arc.

The third level contains games that use older graphics APIs, such as DirectX 11 and older. In those titles, Arc video cards underperform. That would be because DirectX 12 is a lot more low-level than previous versions. DirectX 11 and earlier versions contain additional ‘driver baggage’ between the game and the GPU hardware, which requires additional driver optimizations. Many popular games still use DirectX 11 or older.

The company also shares few concrete frame rates in the video, but the video from Linus Tech Tips does show a comparison between DirectX 11 and 12 in Shadow of the Tomb Raider. In DX12, that game achieves a frame rate of around 80 fps; in DX11 that is halved. This happened on a test system with an Intel Core i9-12900KS and 32GB of DDR5-4800 memory. The GPU also reached 180fps in F1 2021 at 1440p with ‘high-ish’ settings and Linus Tech Tips estimated that the video card reached between 50 and 60fps in Cyberpunk 2077 at the same resolution and graphics preset, although no concrete figures are available.

The specific specifications of the Arc A770 are not confirmed in the video. During an overclocking session, it can be seen that the video card reaches speeds of up to 2.5GHz after an overclock and has a power consumption of around 190W. The latter could be increased to 285W via the overclocking menu in the drivers.

Intel’s Arc A5 and A7 video cards are scheduled for ‘later this summer’ after postponement, but it is not known when the A770 video card will be released. The suggested retail price has not yet been announced. Intel does indicate that it bases the prices for its video cards on the performance of the lowest-ranked third performance level, which should mean that the video cards should perform well in games with modern APIs relative to their suggested retail price. According to an earlier rumor from Wccftech, the Arc A770 will cost ‘less than $400’.

Earlier this week, the first reviews appeared of Intel’s lower-end Arc A380 desktop graphics card, which is currently only available in China and has disappointed many reviewers in terms of performance and stability. Regarding the latter, several games could not be played due to problems with the drivers. With resizable bar enabled, that video card could compete with Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1650.