Intel Arc

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Intel Arc
Release dateMarch 30, 2022; 22 months ago (March 30, 2022)[1]
Manufactured byTSMC
Designed byIntel
Marketed byIntel
Codenames
  • Alchemist
  • Battlemage
  • Celestial
  • Druid
ArchitectureIntel Xe
CoresUp to 4,506
TransistorsUp to 21.7 billion
Fabrication processTSMC N6
Cards
Entry-levelArc 3
Mid-rangeArc 5
High-endArc 7
API support
DirectX
OpenCLOpenCL 3.0[a]
OpenGLOpenGL 4.6
VulkanVulkan 1.3
History
Predecessori740
Support status
Supported

Intel Arc is a brand of graphics processing units designed by Intel. These are discrete GPUs mostly marketed for the high-margin PC gaming market. The brand also covers Intel's consumer graphics software and services.

Intel Arc competes with Nvidia's GeForce and AMD's Radeon lines.[2] The Arc-A series for laptops was launched on March 30, 2022, with the A750 and A770 both released in Q3'22.[3][4][5] Intel missed their initial Q2 2022 release target, with most discrete Arc GPUs not launching until October 2022.[6]

Intel officially launched the Arc Pro workstation GPUs on August 8, 2022.[7][8]

Etymology[edit]

According to Intel, the brand is named after the concept of story arcs found in video games.[9] Each generation of Arc is named after each letter of the Latin alphabet in ascending order. They begin with A, then B, then C, and so on. The first generation is named Alchemist, while Battlemage, Celestial and Druid are the respective names for the second, third and fourth Arc generations.[10]

Graphics processor generations[edit]

Alchemist[edit]

An Intel Arc A770 16 GB, the highest end desktop GPU from Intel's first generation Alchemist GPUs, with a Rubik's Cube for scale

Developed under the previous codename "DG2", the first generation of Intel Arc GPUs (codenamed "Alchemist") released on March 30, 2022.[1][11] It will come in both add-on desktop card and laptop form factors. TSMC manufactures the die, using their N6 process.[12]

Alchemist uses the Intel Xe GPU architecture, or more specifically, the Xe-HPG variant. Alchemist supports hardware-based ray tracing, XeSS or supersampling based on neural networks (similar to Nvidia's DLSS), and DirectX 12 Ultimate.[1][13] Also supported is DisplayPort 2.0 and overclocking. AV1 fixed-function hardware encoder is included in Alchemist GPUs as part of the Intel Quick Sync Video core.[14]

Intel confirmed ASTC support has been removed from hardware starting with Alchemist and future Intel Arc GPU microarchitectures will also not support it.[15]

Intel Arc Alchemist does not support SR-IOV.[16] Intel Arc Alchemist does not support Direct3D 9 natively, instead falling back on the D3D9On12 wrapper which translates Direct3D 9 calls to their Direct3D 12 equivalents.[17][18]

Intel Arc support OpenCL 3.0[a] for example, this GPU can work in the grid World Community Grid.[19]

  1. ^ a b In OpenCL 3.0, OpenCL 1.2 functionality has become a mandatory baseline, while all OpenCL 2.x and OpenCL 3.0 features were made optional.

Display connections: DisplayPort 2.0 (40 Gbit/s bandwidth) and HDMI 2.1

Desktop[edit]

Branding and Model[20] Launch MSRP
(USD)
Code name Process Transistors (billion) Die size
(mm2)
Core config [a] L2 cache Clock rate
(MHz)[b]
Fillrate Memory Processing power (TFLOPS) TDP Bus
interface
Pixel
(GP/s)
Texture
(GT/s)
Type Size (GB) Bandwidth
(GB/s)
Bus width Clock
(MT/s)
Half
precision

(base)
Single
precision

(base)
Double
precision

(base)
Arc 3 A310 Sep 28, 2022 $110 ACM-G11
(DG2-128)
TSMC
N6
7.2 157 768:32:16:6
(192:96:2)
4 MB 2000
2000
32 64 GDDR6 4 GB 124 64-bit 15500 6.144 3.072 0.768 75 W PCIe 4.0 x8
A380 Jun 14, 2022 $139 1024:64:32:8
(256:128:2)
2000
2050
64
65.6
128
131.2
6 GB 186 96-bit 8.192
8.3968
4.096
4.1984
1.024
1.0496
Arc 5 A580 Oct 10, 2023 $179 ACM-G10
(DG2-512)
21.7 406 3072:192:96:24
(768:384:6)
8 MB 1700
1700
163.2 326.4 8 GB 512 256-bit 16000 20.890 10.445 2.611 175 W PCIe 4.0 x16
Arc 7 A750 Oct 14, 2022 $289 3584:192:112:28
(896:448:7)
12 MB 2050
2400
229.6
268.8
393.6
460.8
29.3888
34.4064
14.6944
17.2032
3.6736
4.3008
225 W
A770 8GB $329 4096:256:128:32
(1024:512:8)
16 MB 2100
2400
268.8
307.2
537.6
614.4
34.4064
39.3216
17.2032
19.6608
4.3008
4.9152
A770 16GB $349 16 GB 560 17500
  1. ^ Shading cores (ALU): texture mapping units (TMU): render output units (ROP): ray tracing units
       (tensor cores (XMX): execution units: render slices)
  2. ^ Boost values (if available) are stated below the base value in italic.

Mobile[edit]

Branding and Model[21] Launch Code name Process Transistors (billion) Die size
(mm2)
Core config[a][b] L2
cache
Core clock
(MHz)[c]
Fillrate[d] Memory Processing power (TFLOPS) TDP Bus
interface
Pixel
(GP/s)
Texture
(GT/s)
Type Size Bandwidth
(GB/s)
Bus width Clock
(MT/s)
Half
precision
Single
precision
Double
precision
Arc 3 A350M Mar 30, 2022 ACM-G11
(DG2-128)
TSMC
N6
7.2 157 768:48:24:6
(96:96:2)
4 MB 1150
2200
27.6
52.8
55.2
105.6
GDDR6 4 GB 112 64-bit 14000 3.5328
6.7584
1.7664
3.3792
0.4416
0.8448
25–35 W PCIe 4.0 ×8
A370M 1024:64:32:8
(128:128:2)
1550
2050
49.6
65.6
99.2
131.2
6.3488
8.3968
3.1744
4.1984
0.7936
1.0496
35–50 W
Arc 5 A530M Q3 2023 ACM-G12
(DG2-256)
1536:96:48:12
(192:192:3)
8 MB 1300 4 GB
8 GB
224 128-bit 65–95 W
A550M Q2 2022 ACM-G10
(DG2-512)
21.7 406 2048:128:64:16
(256:256:4)
900
1700
57.6
108.8
115.2
217.6
8 GB 7.3728
13.9264
3.6864
6.9632
0.9216
1.7408
60–80 W
A570M Q3 2023 ACM-G12
(DG2-256)
1300 75–95 W
Arc 7 A730M Q2 2022 ACM-G10
(DG2-512)
21.7 406 3072:192:96:24
(384:384:6)
12 MB 1100
2050
105.6
196.8
211.2
393.6
12 GB 336 192-bit 13.5168
25.1904
6.7584
12.5952
1.6896
3.1488
80–120 W PCIe 4.0 ×16
A770M 4096:256:128:32
(512:512:8)
16 MB 1650
2050
211.2
262.4
422.4
524.8
16 GB 512 256-bit 16000 27.0336
33.5872
13.5168
16.7936
3.3792
4.1984
120–150 W
  1. ^ Shading cores (ALU): texture mapping units (TMU): render output units (ROP): ray tracing units
       (tensor cores (XMX): execution units: render slices)
  2. ^ Texture fillrate is calculated as the number of texture mapping units (TMUs) multiplied by the base (or boost) core clock speed.
  3. ^ Boost values (if available) are stated below the base value in italic.
  4. ^ Pixel fillrate is calculated as the lowest of three numbers: number of ROPs multiplied by the base core clock speed, number of rasterizers multiplied by the number of fragments they can generate per rasterizer multiplied by the base core clock speed, and the number of streaming multiprocessors multiplied by the number of fragments per clock that they can output multiplied by the base clock rate.

Workstation[edit]

Branding and Model[22] Launch Code name Process Transistors (billion) Die size
(mm2)
Core config[a] L2
cache
Core clock
(MHz)[b]
Fillrate[c][d] Memory Processing power (TFLOPS) TDP Bus
interface
Pixel
(GP/s)
Texture
(GT/s)
Type Size Bandwidth
(GB/s)
Bus width Clock
(MT/s)
Half
precision
Single
precision
Double
precision
Arc Pro A30M
(Mobile)
Aug 8, 2022 ACM-G11
(DG2-128)
TSMC
N6
7.2 157 1024:64:32:8
(128:128:2)
4 MB 1550 GDDR6 4 GB 112 64-bit 14000
4.20[22]
50 W PCIe 4.0 x8
A40 6 GB 192 96-bit 16000
5.02[22]
A50 2050 75 W
A60M
(Mobile)
June 6, 2023 ACM-G12
(DG2-256)
2048:128:64:16
(256:256:4)
1300 8 GB 256 128-bit
9.42[22]
95 W PCIe 4.0 x16
A60 12 GB 384 192-bit
10.04[22]
130 W
  1. ^ Shading cores (ALU): texture mapping units (TMU): render output units (ROP): ray tracing units
       (tensor cores (XMX): execution Units: render slices)
  2. ^ Boost values (if available) are stated below the base value in italic.
  3. ^ Pixel fillrate is calculated as the lowest of three numbers: number of ROPs multiplied by the base core clock speed, number of rasterizers multiplied by the number of fragments they can generate per rasterizer multiplied by the base core clock speed, and the number of streaming multiprocessors multiplied by the number of fragments per clock that they can output multiplied by the base clock rate.
  4. ^ Texture fillrate is calculated as the number of texture mapping units (TMUs) multiplied by the base (or boost) core clock speed.

Future generations[edit]

Intel also revealed future generations of Intel Arc GPUs under development:[23][5] Battlemage (based on Xe2), Celestial (based on Xe3), and Druid. Battlemage will succeed Alchemist.

Intel revealed that Meteor Lake and later generations of CPU SoCs will use an Intel Arc Tile GPU.[24][25]

Intel XeSS[edit]

Intel XeSS is a real-time deep learning image upsampling technology developed primarily for use in video games as a competitor to Nvidia's DLSS and AMD's FSR technologies. Additionally, XeSS is not restricted to Intel Arc graphics cards. It does utilize XMX instructions exclusive to Intel Arc graphics cards, but will fall back to utilizing DP4a instructions on competing GPUs that have support for DP4a instructions. XeSS is trained with 64 samples per pixel as opposed to Nvidia DLSS's 16 samples per pixel (16K reference images).[26][27]

Quality presets[edit]

Standard XeSS presets[28]
Quality preset[a] Scale factor[b] Render scale[c]
Ultra Quality 1.30× 77.0%
Quality 1.50× 66.7%
Balanced 1.70× 58.8%
Performance 2.00× 50.0%
Ultra Performance 3.00× 33.3%
  1. ^ The algorithm does not necessarily need to be implemented using these presets; it is possible for the implementer to define custom input and output resolutions.
  2. ^ The linear scale factor used for upsampling the input resolution to the output resolution. For example, a scene rendered at 540p with a 2.00× scale factor would have an output resolution of 1080p.
  3. ^ The linear render scale, compared to the output resolution, that the technology uses to render scenes internally before upsampling. For example, a 1080p scene with a 50% render scale would have an internal resolution of 540p.

Issues[edit]

Drivers[edit]

Performance on Intel Arc GPUs has suffered from poor driver support, particularly at launch. An investigation by Gamers Nexus discovered 43 known driver issues with Arc GPUs, prompting a response and acknowledgement of the issues from Intel.[29][30][31] Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger also blamed driver problems as a reason for Arc's delayed launch.[32]

A beta driver from October 2022 accidentally reduced the memory clock by 9% on the Arc A770 from 2187 MHz to 2000 MHz, resulting in a 17% reduction in memory bandwidth.[33] This particular issue was later fixed.[34]

Intel provides an open source driver for Linux too.[35]

DirectX 9 compatibility[edit]

As of the Alchemist generation, Intel Arc only includes direct hardware support for the DirectX 11 & 12 and Vulkan graphics APIs, with the older DirectX 9 & 10 and OpenGL APIs being supported via a real-time compatibility layer built into Intel's graphics driver.[36] As a result, Alchemist GPUs perform noticeably worse than competing Nvidia and AMD GPUs in software that can only use these older APIs, including multiple DirectX 9-based esports games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends and StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty.[37] There is also a performance gap between DirectX 11 and DirectX 12.

A December 2022 driver update improved Arc compatibility and performance with DirectX 9-based games.[38] According to Intel, the driver update made Arc GPUs up to 1.8x faster in DirectX 9 games.[39] A February 2023 driver update further improved Intel Arc's performance on DirectX 9-based games.[40]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Intel will launch its Arc GPUs on March 30". www.pcworld.com. Retrieved December 25, 2023.
  2. ^ Warren, Tom (August 16, 2021). "Intel enters the PC gaming GPU battle with Arc". The Verge. Archived from the original on August 29, 2021. Retrieved August 29, 2021.
  3. ^ "Intel® Arc™ A750 Graphics - Product Specifications". Intel. Retrieved July 24, 2023.
  4. ^ Gartenberg, Chaim (March 30, 2022). "Intel's first Arc GPUs are now available for laptops". The Verge. Archived from the original on April 2, 2022. Retrieved April 2, 2022.
  5. ^ a b "Intel Introduces New High-Performance Graphics Brand: Intel Arc". Intel. Archived from the original on March 16, 2022. Retrieved August 29, 2021.
  6. ^ Szewczyk, Chris (May 9, 2022). "Intel Arc desktop cards face more delays". PC Gamer. Retrieved October 6, 2022.
  7. ^ "Intel Unveils Arc Pro GPU Products". Intel. August 8, 2022. Archived from the original on August 20, 2022. Retrieved September 15, 2022.
  8. ^ "Intel® Arc™ Pro A-Series Graphics for Workstations". Intel. Archived from the original on August 20, 2022. Retrieved September 15, 2022.
  9. ^ Ung, Gordon (August 19, 2021). "Intel's Arc gaming GPU: Price, specs and availability". PCWorld. Archived from the original on August 29, 2021. Retrieved August 29, 2021.
  10. ^ "Intel Introduces New High-Performance Graphics Brand: Intel Arc". Intel Newsroom. August 16, 2021. Retrieved October 5, 2022.
  11. ^ Rutherford, Sam (August 16, 2021). "Intel Names New Brand of GPUs That Will Hit Shelves Next Year". Gizmodo. Archived from the original on January 3, 2022. Retrieved August 29, 2021.
  12. ^ Cunningham, Andrew (August 20, 2021). "Intel provides more details on its Arc GPUs, which will be made by TSMC". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on August 29, 2021. Retrieved August 29, 2021.
  13. ^ "Intel® Arc™ A-series Graphics Gaming API Guide". Intel. Archived from the original on July 20, 2022. Retrieved September 15, 2022.
  14. ^ Szewczyk, Chris (April 4, 2022). "Intel Arc GPUs will support AV1 encode and decode". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on July 6, 2022. Retrieved September 15, 2022.
  15. ^ "intel: ASTC support was removed on Gfx12.5 (!13206) · Merge requests · Mesa / mesa · GitLab". GitLab. October 5, 2021. Archived from the original on October 7, 2021. Retrieved October 7, 2021.
  16. ^ "Graphics Virtualization Technologies Support for Each Intel Graphics Family". Intel. Archived from the original on August 9, 2022. Retrieved September 15, 2022.
  17. ^ "Which Intel® Graphics Products Support DirectX 9* (DX9)?". Intel. Archived from the original on August 27, 2022. Retrieved September 15, 2022.
  18. ^ Killian, Zak (August 15, 2022). "Intel Xe And Arc Graphics Lack DX9 Support Forcing DX12 Emulation". HotHardware. Retrieved October 10, 2022.
  19. ^ "Help". World Community Grid. Retrieved September 15, 2022.
  20. ^ "Intel Arc Graphics". Intel. Retrieved December 23, 2022.
  21. ^ "Intel Arc Graphics". Intel.
  22. ^ a b c d e "Intel® Arc™ Pro A-Series Graphics". Intel.
  23. ^ Smith, Ryan (August 16, 2021). "Intel Video Cards Get a Brand Name: Arc, Starting with 'Alchemist' in Q1 2022". AnandTech. Archived from the original on January 8, 2022. Retrieved August 29, 2021.
  24. ^ Smith, Ryan (February 17, 2022). "Intel Meteor Lake Client Processors to use Arc Graphics Chiplets". AnandTech. Archived from the original on February 17, 2022. Retrieved February 17, 2022.
  25. ^ Sripada, Radhakrishna (July 7, 2022). "[Intel-gfx] [PATCH 0/2] i915: Introduce Meteorlake". Free Desktop. Archived from the original on July 7, 2022. Retrieved September 15, 2022.
  26. ^ Solca, Bogdan (August 8, 2022). "More details on Intel's AI-based Xe SuperSampling tech launching with the ARC GPUs revealed by principal engineer". NotebookCheck. Archived from the original on July 3, 2022. Retrieved July 3, 2022.
  27. ^ "Intel® Iris® Xe MAX Graphics Open Source Programmer's Reference Manual For the 2020 Discrete GPU formerly named "DG1" Volume 11: Media Engines February 2021, Revision 1.0" (PDF). Intel. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 3, 2022. Retrieved September 15, 2022.
  28. ^ Mujtaba, Hassan (March 24, 2022). "Intel Showcases Arc Alchemist GPU Performance With XeSS & Raytracing Enabled, Calls XeSS Better Than Temporal Upscaling". Wccftech. Archived from the original on March 24, 2022. Retrieved March 24, 2022.
  29. ^ Gamers Nexus (August 1, 2022). "Worst We've Tested: Broken Intel Arc GPU Drivers". YouTube. Retrieved December 8, 2022.
  30. ^ McLoughlin, Aleksha (October 8, 2022). "Intel Arc driver issues – Are they fixed?". PC Guide. Retrieved December 8, 2022.
  31. ^ Pearce, Lisa (August 19, 2022). "Engineering Arc - 8/19/2022". Intel. Retrieved December 8, 2022.
  32. ^ Cunningham, Andrew (August 9, 2022). "Rumors, delays, and early testing suggest Intel's Arc GPUs are on shaky ground". Ars Technica. Retrieved December 8, 2022.
  33. ^ "Some Intel Arc A770 Limited Edition GPUs may show up with lower memory clock". VideoCardz. October 24, 2022. Retrieved December 8, 2022.
  34. ^ Klotz, Aaron (October 28, 2022). "Intel Arc A770 GPU Memory Clock Bug Fixed With Driver Update". Tom's Hardware. Retrieved December 8, 2022.
  35. ^ Phoronix (August 25, 2022). "Intel Arc Graphics Running On Fully Open-Source Linux Driver". Phoronix. Retrieved January 13, 2023.
  36. ^ Roach, Jacob (August 22, 2022). "Bad news: Intel's Arc GPU issues run much deeper than performance". Digital Trends. Retrieved December 8, 2022.
  37. ^ Kan, Michael (December 7, 2022). "With New Driver, Intel Arc GPUs Run Older DirectX 9 Games Up to 79% Faster". PCMag. Retrieved December 8, 2022.
  38. ^ Shrout, Ryan (December 6, 2022). "Upward Trajectory: Improvements to DirectX 9 Games on Intel® Arc™ Graphics". Intel. Retrieved December 8, 2022.
  39. ^ "Intel Arc GPUs get performance boost for DirectX 9 games, CS:GO now up to 1.8x faster". VideoCardz. December 7, 2022. Retrieved December 8, 2022.
  40. ^ "Intel Arc Graphics Updates, New Bundle, and Pricing".

External links[edit]