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Quick Intel Arc fix has a surprising impact on performance

Intel’s discrete Arc Alchemist A350M graphics card wasn’t too impressive in early tests, but there appears to be a way to make the GPU perform much better. It all comes down to Intel’s own drivers.

Disabling a feature that Intel added for power optimization purposes showed huge gains in gaming performance.

A render of Intel Arc Alchemist chip.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Although Intel A350M is an entry-level GPU that no one ever expected to rival the best graphics cards, it seems that there is no need to settle for less — it’s possible to improve the GPUs gaming powers. It all comes down to an Intel driver called Intel Dynamic Tuning Technology (DTT) driver.

This driver is responsible for “automatically and dynamically allocating power” between an Intel CPU and an Intel discrete GPU. Intel claims that this balances performance while prolonging battery life in an intelligent way. While this sounds like it could be useful when battery life is important, it’s not always necessary — after all, using the laptop when plugged in removes the battery limitations.

Korean technology-oriented YouTube channel BullsLab Benchmarks decided to give the A350M a spin with DTT disabled. This unlocks the full power of the graphics card, and although thermals and power consumption both go up, so does the performance. BullsLab detailed its findings in a video and tested the card with DTT disabled in six games. This particular test was conducted on the Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro laptop.

intel ARC A350M | Real Benchmark | Test in 6 Games | 1080p

Once DTT was disabled, the A350M was able to run at its maximum power limit of 30 watts. The same can be said about the CPU which maxed out at 28 watts. Without DTT, the Arc A350M GPU managed to hit its peak frequency of 2.2GHz. The performance gains were clearly visible in BullsLab’s tests.

The Intel Arc A350M was around 30% faster than the Nvidia GeForce MX450 while maintaining a TDP of fewer than 20 watts. BullsLab compared its performance in various titles with DTT on and off, and most of these games showed a massive increase in frames per second (fps), sometimes showing a discrepancy as large as 68 fps with DTT on and 148 with DTT off.

As Wccftech speculates, it’s possible that the Intel Arc A350M may yet prove to be faster than Nvidia’s GTX 1650 which has a TDP of 50 watts. Unfortunately, BullsLab states that stuttering issues in games continue to persist, but we can expect to see Intel fix those in a future driver release.

As of now, buying a laptop with one of Intel Arc discrete graphics cards is still very difficult, as they are only available in Asia and Oceania right now. Hopefully, the availability will expand to include other parts of the planet soon enough, perhaps by the end of this month.

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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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