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Intel Arc A730M fails to impress in real-world gaming tests

The brand-new Intel Arc Alchemist A730M graphics card has recently been tested in synthetic benchmarks as well as in real-world gaming tests. The GPU is still not widely available, so these are some of the first user tests that have been leaked to the public.

While Intel Arc A730M did well in benchmarks, its gaming capabilities leave a lot to be desired, revealing sub-par performance.

Intel Arc Alchemist benchmark in Assassin's Creed.
Golden Pig Upgrade (Weibo)

Both the synthetic and the gaming tests come from the same source — a leaker on Weibo, a Chinese social media platform, with the username “Golden Pig Upgrade.” The initial news was great — in synthetic 3DMark Time Spy benchmarks, the GPU performed around the expected level, perhaps even surpassing it. In those tests, it proved to be faster than the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070. However, it all came crashing down once the leaker took the GPU out for a spin in an actual gaming scenario.

The leaker tested the laptop equipped with Intel Arc A730M in a number of games, and at two resolutions: 1080p and 1440p. Unfortunately, they didn’t provide one key piece of information: We don’t know whether Intel’s Dynamic Tuning Technology (DTT) was enabled during the tests. As the tech had a drastic negative impact on performance during benchmarks conducted for the Intel A350M, it’s possible that, if it was in use, it skewed the results.

For the time being, all we have to go on are the figures presented by the Weibo source, and they don’t bode well for Intel Arc. Keep in mind that you should take the following with a healthy dose of skepticism, as all of these benchmarks may still change when the Intel Arc GPU is tested in various settings by more users.

In Metro Exodus, Intel’s mobile GPU managed to reach 55 frames per second (fps) in 1440p and 70 fps in 1080p, both on high settings. As VideoCardz notes, this puts it above the slightly dated RTX 2070 but below the RTX 3060, which managed to hit 80 fps in 1080p. Moving on to F1 2020 pits the A730M against Nvidia’s budget RTX 3050. The Intel graphics scored 123 fps on average at 1080p and 95 fps at 1440p, whereas the RTX 3050 falls just slightly short, averaging 120 fps at 1080p on high settings. Lastly, the test in Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey returned a less-than-impressive result of 38 fps at 1440p and 32 fps at 1080p.

Intel Arc Alchemist tested in 3DMark Time Spy.
Golden Pig Upgrade (Weibo)

During the gaming tests, the A730M was running at 2050MHz and 92 watts. As we’ve learned from the previous 3DMark Time Spy tests, the GPU was found inside a Mechanike laptop and paired with an Intel Alder Lake Core i7-12700H processor with 14 cores. In those benchmarks, it scored a more than respectable 10,107 points in TimeSpy, putting it above the RTX 3070. In some cases, it even managed to beat the RTX 3070 Ti, but this only applies to models with a sub-115 watt TDP.

What does this really mean for Intel Arc? It’s too early to say. Both the benchmarks and the gaming results come from just one source, so until several solid samples emerge, it will be hard to judge one way or the other. As things stand now, the Intel Arc A730M shows performance that falls somewhere between the Nvidia RTX 3050 and the RTX 3060, both of which are budget graphics cards.

One thing is for sure — the GPU failed to impress in a real-world scenario, and unless things improve, it will be lagging behind Nvidia and AMD for a while yet. Let’s hope that as more benchmarks emerge, the results will be more favorable to Intel’s first discrete gaming graphics card. And if not, then perhaps the flagship A770M will prove to be better, once it finally arrives on the market.

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Monica J. White
Monica is a UK-based freelance writer and self-proclaimed geek. A firm believer in the "PC building is just like expensive…
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