Intel's first Arc laptop GPUs are available now

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First Intel Arc laptop GPUs Now Available, Here's What You Need to Know: Intel A-series Arc laptop GPUs are hitting the market now.

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Image credit: Intel

The first Intel Arc GPUs for laptops have hit the market, with more expected later this year with support for gaming graphics technologies like DirectX 12 Ultimate, hardware ray tracing, and Intel's new XeSS AI oversampling.

That's a big deal because the graphics card market is hotter than ever, so Intel going up against AMD and Nvidia with their new Arc GPUs this year could bring some much-needed competition (and the supply of GPU) to the industry.

Of course, we still have a bit of time before we see the first Intel Arc graphics cards for desktop PCs. At the moment, only Arc mobile GPUs are available, as you can now order one of Samsung's new Galaxy Book2 Pro laptops configured with an Arc 3 GPU. It's the entry-level Arc mobile GPU, but if you want more power, arc is more powerful. The Arc 5 and Arc 7 GPUs will be available in laptops from partners including Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, and more (pictured above) later this year.

There are currently two Arc 3 GPUs available, the A350M and the more powerful A370M. Intel says the former is for laptops that prioritize lightness and thinness, while the latter is better for gaming performance.

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Expect to see high-end Arc 7 GPUs with 3x to 4x the cores as the new Arc 3s shipping in laptops from the likes of Acer, Dell and Samsung by summer 2022. (Image credit: Intel)

These GPUs are officially branded Intel Arc A-Series, and together they give us a first look at what to expect from Intel's new discrete graphics cards. These GPUs support Intel's new Deep Link technology, which means they have special features that help them work especially well in conjunction with 21st Gen Intel processors to deliver improved performance in compute-intensive applications like Adobe Photoshop, Handbrake, and XSplit. Both GPUs come with 4GB of DDR6 RAM, but the A350M has 6 Xe cores and 6 ray tracing units, while the A370M has 8 each.

These "Xe cores" are, at a very basic level, computing units optimized for gaming and content creation. Intel says its Arc GPUs will excel in these areas because they're designed with features like Matrix Extensions (XMX) AI engines (which help power Intel's new XeSS upsampling technology) and a Xe media engine capable of accelerating graphics. AV1 hardware (an open-source multimedia codec), a feature that no other GPU on the market can match.

Gaming on Intel Arc 3 laptop GPUs

Games should look pretty good on Intel's new Arc GPUs, because the company's new XeSS upscaling technology (which harnesses the power of the GPU's Xe cores to algorithmically increase the screen resolution to, say, 4K while maintaining the performance you might expect at 1080p) looks good enough to compete with similar technologies like Nvidia's DLSS and AMD's super-resolution FidelityFX.

However, Intel says that XeSS won't actually be available until this summer, and only in select games, including an "exclusive integration" into Kojima Productions' Death Stranding Director's Cut that was unveiled at CES 2022. Remember that XeSS is GPU agnostic. , which means that while it's optimized to work best on Intel chips, it should also be available for users of select Nvidia and AMD GPUs.

This means that if you have an older Nvidia GPU that doesn't support Nvidia's own DLSS technology, you may be able to get better performance using XeSS in a supported game - such a sweet promise that it's worth letting Intel take. time. for everything to work properly.


Intel also says it works with game developers to ensure their games run smoothly on Arc GPUs, and in its promotional video for the new Arc 3 chips, the company showed clips from games like Apex Legends, Destiny 2: The Witch Queen, and Hitman 3 running. on the A370M at over 60fps.

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Image credit: Intel

These are decent frame rates for a discrete laptop GPU that's supposed to be on the low end of the Arc range. Of course, with XeSS not yet operational and a wave of beefier Arc 5 and Arc 7 laptop GPUs scheduled for release this summer, not to mention the promise of Arc desktop GPUs waiting in the wings, it all really doesn't matter. my appetite for what Intel will bring to market later this year.

Outlook

With support for hardware ray tracing, DirectX 12 Ultimate, and its new XeSS scaling technology, Intel's latest graphics cards look poised to bring some much-needed relief to the under-supplied GPU market.

We won't know for sure how the features and core count of these new Arc 3 GPUs compare to competing laptop GPUs from Nvidia and AMD until we test some Arc-powered laptops ourselves, but based on what we know so far It looks like Intel will be bringing real heat to the GPU streets this year.
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