Skip to main content

Everything just announced at Intel’s Arc graphics event

After having teased its new line of Intel Arc discrete graphics cards last year, Intel is finally debuting its first discrete graphics for laptops. The Intel Arc A-series will comprise several different cards targeting both ultra thin and light laptops under the Intel Evo branding and traditional laptop form factors. Gamers and content creators will be able to choose between the Intel Arc 3-series, 5-series, and premium 7-series range of discrete GPUs, the company announced today.

“We built a foundation and power-efficient integrated graphics that ships in the majority of laptops today,” Roger Chandler, Intel vice president and general manager of graphics and gaming, said of his company’s journey to arriving at Arc. “From Ultrabook to EVO, our focus has always been platform-level innovation. And now we’ve arrived at the next big milestone completing the Intel platform — with discrete graphics.”

Intel's Roger Chandler announces new features of discrete Intel Arc GPUs.
Intel

DirectX 12 Ultimate

The Arc series of graphics will include DirectX 12 Ultimate support, hardware-accelerated A.I. processing, ray tracing, and support for the new AV1 media engine. The new engine includes hardware-enabled encode and decode capabilities for faster performance. This makes the Arc discrete GPUs competitive against rival graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD.

“Every Arc GPU offers full support for DirectX 12 Ultimate, including hardware-accelerated ray tracing and Arc in conjunction with the 12th Gen Intel Core processors will be direct storage capable,” Intel said during its presentation.

Intel Arc Alchemist reference design render shows a graphics card on a blue background.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Intel announced that Arc will also launch on desktops and workstations later this year. Arc will launch first with the 3-series graphics for laptops, which will be available starting today, and expand to the 5-series and 7-series later this year.

Get your weekly teardown of the tech behind PC gaming
Check your inbox!

Compared to integrated Iris graphics, Intel said that Arc essentially doubles the graphics performance in thin-and-light form factors.

An Intel Arc graphic shows that it comes with plenty of features for super-slim notebooks.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The first 3-series Arc laptops will be available with either a base A350M for Intel Evo laptops or a more performance-tuned A370M for thin and light — Ultrabook — notebooks.

“These laptops will deliver over 60 frames per second (fps) at 1080 p on a range of popular titles,” Chandler said. “You can see that Intel Arc 3 delivers over 90 frames per second, enabling competitive gaming on the go and some of the most portable designs in the industry.”

Intel announced that it is working with a growing list of game developers to bring more titles to the platform.

Intel uses a video game to show off new Xe Super Sampling.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

XeSS coming this summer

“Arc 5- and Arc 7-based laptops will be packed with even more,” Chandler added. “You’ll get more Xe cores, more fixed function ray tracing acceleration, more GDD6 memory, and ultimately more performance. They will also ship with a new technology designed to deliver more efficient performance, which we call Xe super sampling, known as XeSS.”

XeSS will upscale graphics for higher-resolution displays without taxing the system’s hardware resources, making details appear more clear and crisp on games. This is great for upscaling to a 2K or 4K resolution display, and Intel’s demo shows that there are more details in background and foreground game elements with XeSS enabled.

Intel's Roger Chandler announces that XeSS is launching in summer 2022.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

“XeSS is our solution,” Chandler said, noting that the technology leverages “the power of ARCs XMX A.I. engines to deliver high-performance A.I.-accelerated upscaling.”

XeSS will be coming later this summer and the technology will support all Arc discrete graphics. More than 20 game titles will be supported at launch, with Intel claiming that more will be added soon.

Intel's Roger Chandler explains how Intel XMX uses the power of A.I.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The power of XMX A.I.

In addition to XeSS, Intel is also making a huge push with A.I. on the Arc series of GPUs.

“We built Intel Arc’s XMX A.I. acceleration engines to power A.I. workloads now and in the future,” Chandler said. “Our A.I. engines have 16 times the compute for A.I. inferencing operations when compared to traditional GPU vector units, which can enable performance boosts in many productivity gaming and creator applications.”

In a demo, Intel showed how popular video-editing titles can denoise old family videos and upscale these videos to the modern era by emulating how they would look if captured through a 4K camera. An old NASA rocket launch, for example, showed how the “United States” font on the rocket appears more crisp with A.I. enhancements applied.

“Our XMX engines seamlessly accelerate this compute -ntensive A.I. process to give you amazing results in half the time,” Intel explained. “With the power of XMX, this upscaling is more than twice as fast as integrated graphics alone.”

A comparison uses Elden Ring to show how Intel Arc's AV1 support delivers much better streaming performance.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Native AV1 support

And with support for AV1 codecs, Intel’s Arc GPUs are the world’s first to come with native AV1 support. The company demonstrated how AV1 support will render more details in titles such as Elden Ring and that hardware support delivers a 50x improvement in encoding speeds versus traditional implementations.

The company is also rolling out a new Intel Deep Link integration to support every Intel Arc and Iris GPU to help gamers and creators leverage the technologies available to them.

“It enables dynamic power sharing, intelligently distributing power across the platform to increase application performance up to 30% on creation and compute intensive applications,” Intel said of Intel Deep Link. “It also includes hyper compute, which enables a significant speed up in A.I. heavy applications. In the XMX video demo we showed you earlier, we saw an additional 24% performance improvement when we leverage all available A.I. engines in the system.”

Intel's Roger Chandler explains how Intel Arc Control is a hub for your GPU settings.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

For gamers, a new Arc Control interface will bring day-zero-ready game drivers, custom performance profiles, and more.

A graphic featuring a laptop outlines how Intel EVO with Arc delivers impressive battery life.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

One of the Arc 3 laptops that will be available to pre-order today is the Samsung Galaxy Book 2, though Intel named a number of partners that it is working with — from Acer to HP — to launch new Ultrabooks and EVO notebooks featuring its new discrete GPUs.

A graphic shows 10 laptops with Intel Arc GPUs that are coming soon.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Intel EVO laptops still retain their stated nine-hour battery life, the company claims.

Chuong Nguyen
Silicon Valley-based technology reporter and Giants baseball fan who splits his time between Northern California and Southern…
Intel just boosted gaming performance by up to 155%
A tray of Intel Core Ultra CPUs.

Intel's engineers once again managed to introduce significant improvements in the latest driver update -- but this time, it's not the discrete graphics cards that received a boost. Instead, the recent patch targets integrated Intel Arc GPUs found in Intel Core Ultra processors, which are some of Intel's top CPUs for laptops. This update adds support for a couple of games, but more importantly, it boosts gaming performance by as much as 155%.

For starters, the new 31.0.101.5333 WHQL driver adds support for Last Epoch and Sea of Thieves, more precisely, the DX 12 update. This applies both to the Intel Arc A-series, meaning dedicated GPUs, and to the Core Ultra chips. Next, we have a slew of performance improvements in DX11 games.

Read more
Intel and Microsoft just announced a huge collaboration
A tray of Intel Core Ultra CPUs.

Intel has announced a new collaboration with Microsoft, revealing plans for the tech giant to utilize its services in manufacturing a custom computing chip. Intel is optimistic about surpassing its internal deadline of 2025 to outpace its primary competitor, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), in advanced chip manufacturing.

The announcement came during an event held in San Jose, California, marking the inaugural technology conference for Intel Foundry, the company's contract manufacturing arm established to compete with TSMC. Intel also outlined its strategy to reclaim the title of producing the world's fastest chips from TSMC, with the goal being to achieve this milestone later in the year with its Intel 18A manufacturing technology.

Read more
How Intel could win the GPU war this year
Intel Arc A580 graphics card on a pink background.

Intel faced an uphill climb with Arc Alchemist, and it looks like it might have another fight ahead with its next-gen Battlemage GPUs. The competition is always fierce, and AMD and Nvidia have big plans for the year ahead.

Despite the clouds that loom on the horizon, Intel might still surprise us with Battlemage -- in a good way. Here's where Intel Arc Battlemage is currently at, and why it might have a shot at being one of the best GPUs of the year.
Déjà vu
Prior to the release of Intel Arc Alchemist, one of the main complaints was that the general public was kept in the dark a lot of the time. The release date was pushed back more than once, and the information about the GPUs was fairly scarce compared to the constant hype we've all grown used to with Nvidia and AMD leaks.

Read more