Everything We Know About Intel’s Long-Awaited Arc Discrete Graphics

Everything We Know About Intel’s Long-Awaited Arc Discrete Graphics
Image: Intel

Intel announced today that Arc, its long-awaited high-end discrete graphics, has started shipping to laptop and desktop vendors. The chipmaker also gave us a brief reminder about the graphics’ underlying technologies but stopped short of providing any benchmarks or comparisons against AMD Radeon or Nvidia RTX graphics.

Arc has been teased several times over the past year, so we were hoping Intel would give us more details at CES 2022, but unfortunately, most of the info shared today isn’t new; for example, we already knew Intel Arc would support hardware-accelerated ray tracing and use an AI-based upscaling technique called Xe Super Sampling (XeSS).

Intel is now working with game developers to get them to support its Xe Super Sampling technology, and revealed that Kojima Production’s Death Stranding Director’s Cut will receive exclusive integration along with “optimizations for 12th-gen Intel Core processors.”

“We’re delighted to announce our partnership with Intel for the Death Stranding Director’s Cut edition on PC. Death Stranding has been a hugely popular game with PC players and we’re excited to see how Intel’s new XeSS technology will enhance player experiences for Director’s Cut,” said Neil Ralley, the president of 505 Games, the publisher of Death Stranding.

Other studios said to be adopting the XeSS technology include Codemasters, EXOR Studios, Fishlabs, Hashbane, IOI, Illfonic, Massive Work, Studio, PUGB Studios, Techland, Ubisoft, and Wonder People.

Last month, Intel hyped Arc, which will be based on a GPU codenamed “Alchemist,” with a gameplay trailer showing the graphics running various games at 1440p, including Rider’s Republic, Age of Empires 4, Back 4 Blood, Rift Breaker, and Hitman 3. The clip, however, didn’t include frame rates and we still haven’t seen the cards being used on any production laptops or desktops.

Moving beyond gaming, popular video-editing program DaVinci Resolve will apparently take advantage of Intel’s Deep Link technology to use both integrated and discrete graphics together to more rapidly encode video.

Those are the only details Intel is providing so far despite Arc being only months away from arriving in consumer products. Honestly, I’m somewhat concerned with how Intel is boasting about Arc being used in more than 50 new desktop and laptop designs without giving us a stack of graphs revealing how well these chips supposedly perform.

Perhaps the chipmaker doesn’t want to overshadow the launch of its 12th-gen Alder Lake laptop CPUs. Whatever the case, we’ll be patiently waiting for Intel to release the performance, pricing, and availability for its first serious go at competing against Nvidia and AMD. Hell, given the chip shortage, Arc might not need to outdo those rivals so long as they are available to PC enthusiasts who are starving for components.