Intel has stepped up its marketing for its upcoming Arc Alchemist GPUs. As the launch of these Ada Lovelace GPUs approaches, we have recently seen previously unknown information released to the general public. We recently saw the full Arc lineup leak that cleared many information gaps.
Now, we have an early look at the performance and overclocking capabilities of the flagship Arc A770 card. The card appeared in a video from Linus Tech Tips, which also featured the card’s performance and overclocking abilities.
We already knew that Intel is focusing on optimizing its cards for the latest titles first. Hence, DirectX 12 & Vulkan API titles will be optimized first before Intel moves on to more legacy DX11 and older titles.
A performance demo of two identical systems running an Intel Core i9-12900KS and the Arc A770 GPU shows that in DX11, the graphics card delivers around 40 FPS, while in DX12, the graphics card delivers 80 FPS, so that’s a 2x jump in the latest API.
This is by no means an impressive result and it shows that the drivers aren’t fully mature yet to run games with the older DX11 API.
A770 Performance and the Three Tier-system
Intel’s Tom Petersen states that there will be three Tiers of optimizations for Arc GPUs. In the 1st Tier, Arc GPUs will deliver the best-in-class performance, which includes the newest and most popular titles using DirectX12 API like Cyberpunk 2077, Control, or Fortnite.
The 2nd Tier is less optimized DX12/Vulkan games that may already work great on Arc, but performance here may end up being comparable to or slightly lower than the competition.
Lastly, we have the 3rd Tier, which consists of unoptimized titles and games running on older APIs, mainly DX11 titles. So performance in these games will be far worse than the competition.
The most popular games on Steam currently belong to this Tier, so that will make things tough for Arc cards unless they are more optimized.
But game developers may not optimize their games specially for Arc cards unless a substantial part of their player base uses Arc cards. So, Arc cards will be stuck being less powerful than their competition unless players willingly buy the cards knowing that the optimization is still poor.
Most of the performance was tested within Cyberpunk 2077 and F1 2021, which delivered a sort of an average experience at 1440p. We did see framerate figures for F1 2021 at 1440p and high-ish settings at around 180-200.
Overclocking and Performance Boost
Although the performance without overclocking was above average, overclocking did result in a smoother experience. The graphics card was tuned to a GPU Performance Boost profile of +20%, which adjusts the voltage curve. The power limit was raised to 285W while the temperature limit was increased to 125C.
The Intel Arc A770 graphics card delivered 100% utilization at a peak clock rate of 2.5 GHz and a maximum temperature of 76C while gaming in Cyberpunk 2077. When the Performance Boost profile was pushed to +30%, the game crashed, so that must be the limit of the silicon used in the tests here.
A770 Specifications and Features
The Intel Arc A770 will utilize the flagship ACM-G10 GPU and is one of the top-end variants for desktop PCs equipped with the full ACM-G10 configuration, utilizing 32 Xe-Cores for 4096 ALUs, and 32 ray tracing units.
In terms of clock speed, the GPU should operate at a peak boost of 2.4 GHz. At 2400 MHz, the GPU should be able to deliver close to 20 TFLOPs of FP32 horsepower. The card also features 16 GB of GDDR6 memory across a 256-bit bus interface.
The GPU is supplied power through an 8+6 pin connector configuration which maxes out at 300W though the actual TGP/TBP should be lower than that around the 250W range. The demo showed the card running at around 190W.
As for performance, we should expect the Arc A770 to land in between the NVIDIA RTX 3060 Ti & the RTX 3070, considering the Arc A750 is up to 17% faster than the RTX 3060.
Well, till now, the performance figures don’t look that impressive. If you were to get yourself an Arc graphics card, playing games in DX12 will be your safest bet to achieve performance close to its competitors. But considering most of the popular games, in fact, use DX11 or older, Intel doesn’t have much to offer above their competition. However, this is where things get interesting.
Intel says that they will price their graphics cards according to the performance levels of Tier 3 games. In simple terms, you will get a graphics card that can run newer titles better than its competition but at a lower cost.
As Linus says, Intel promises to ‘kill everyone in price to performance’ in Tier 1 games. Given that the pricing should reflect Tier 3 performance, the Arc A770 might really cost less than the leaked price point of $400.
So Intel might be focusing on undercutting its competitors with price rather than overcutting them with performance. But we will have to wait for the official price tag to determine if it will play out in their favor. Intel’s Arc GPUs arrive in Q4 2022.
Intel Corporation is an American multinational corporation and technology company headquartered in Santa Clara, California, in Silicon Valley. It is the world’s largest semiconductor chip manufacturer on the basis of revenue, and is the developer of the x86 series of microprocessors – the processors found in most personal computers (PCs).
Incorporated in Delaware, Intel ranked No. 46 in the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.