Intel Claims That Arc Has Faced A Bumpy Ride

Over at Intel.com Lisa Pearce posted a blog answering a few sensitive questions related to Intel Arc’s driver issues. This comes as a reassurance that Arc is on its way and improvements are still being made to give us, the customers, a pleasant experience.

DX12 vs DX11

Intel states that DX12 gives developers more software control allowing for much better optimization as compared to older APIs. This is exactly why Arc’s performance is the highest in DX12 supported titles. DX9 is not supported by Intel natively, however, support for Microsoft’s DX9on12 (DX9 emulation) is still available.

A performance comparison was made over at LTT where over a 2x difference in performance was seen between DX11 and DX12.

SOTTR running in DX11 (left) vs. SOTTR running in DX12 (right) on an Arc A770 GPU |Linus Tech Tips

ReBar Enhancements

ReBar allows the CPU to access more memory from the GPU in one go. Intel claims that ReBar is important for achieving peak performance levels.

Having ReBAR on is essential to delivering peak performance in Arc.

This has been proven before. However, only Intel seems to be giving such differences between ReBar ON vs OFF. A 30%+ increment in performance is always appreciated. This may due to the Arc’s microarchitecture.  

Intel Rebar ON vs OFF | Gamer’s Nexus

Explanation for Driver Issues

Intel’s driver issues have seen no end causing resulting in a massive outcry among the community. After such backlash, Intel, in a way has accepted the fate of its drivers. 

We appreciate the feedback we are getting in early reviews of our Arc software stack. And it has been bumpy. We have received frank feedback from press during recent reviews, and we have taken it to hear

43 issues were filed with the engineering team after a review from Gamer’s Nexus. By the end of July, Chipzilla claims that 4 of those issues had been fixed and yesterday’s drivers put an end to 21 additional UI issues. 

Driver Packaging

Intel’s installer has its drivers packed into a small file which after execution installs/downloads more components. This technique resulted in smaller initial download size(s). However, citing ‘unexpected failures’ this approach has been tagged as ‘unreliable’ and later this year, Intel’s GPU drivers will come as a complete package. The latter is followed by NVIDIA and AMD

VRR Technology

VRR stands for ‘Variable Refresh Rate’ that synchronizes the refresh rate of your monitor according to the in-game framerate allowing for a smooth experience. You may have seen monitors branded as ‘GSYNC‘ by NVIDIA and ‘FreeSync‘ by AMD. Both of these technologies fall under the umbrella of ‘Adaptive Sync‘.

Intel assures customers that Intel Arc GPUs will support all such Adaptive Sync based technologies. A complete showcase has already been conducted at their YouTube channel. 

Abdullah Faisal
With a love for computers since the age of give, Abdullah has always sought to delve into the depths of information, and uses it as his guiding light. He believes success is of utmost importance as history is written by the victor.