Intel Arc discrete GPUs have seen consistent driver updates since their release. Now Intel is launching the latest update, version 18.104.22.16844, showcasing improvements in DirectX 11 performance. Intel has reported up to a 45% improvement in popular games such as Overwatch 2. This driver also introduces the Intel PresentMon tool, previously an internal tool, now available to the public for capturing and analyzing gaming performance.
Interestingly, this update also includes a firmware enhancement that was not publicly announced by Intel. A Neowin forum member, Eternal Tempest, observed a +150MHz increase in the core clock of their Arc A380. This increase also led to a rise in the texel (texture map unit) and pixel fill rates. The driver now has an updated interface that notifies users when the GPU's firmware is being updated.
Intel's Continuous Efforts and the 4644 Update
Intel's commitment to enhancing its graphics drivers is evident. Despite the Arc's initial challenges at launch, Intel has been proactive in releasing regular driver updates packed with improvements and optimizations. The 4644 driver update, released recently, claims an average performance uplift of between 12 and 19% in DirectX 11 games. This update also introduces a new metric designed to help gamers identify whether performance issues in games are due to their GPU or other system components.
Intel aims to provide clarity on performance bottlenecks with a new metric called “GPU Busy.” This metric, measured in milliseconds, is intended to be compared against frametimes to determine how much render time was spent on the GPU. If a minimal portion of a frame's render time is spent on the GPU, it indicates that performance might be hindered by other factors. Intel's PresentMon tool can be used to profile game performance and determine the percentage of each frame's time spent on the GPU.
Real Game Testing and Intel's Claims
Intel has made bold claims about performance improvements. However, it's essential to note that these claims are compared against the original public Arc driver, version 3490, released in October. Tests on the Arc A750 graphics card using the original v3490 driver and the new v4644 driver have shown improvements, especially in DirectX 11 games. Games like Fortnite and Warframe have seen notable performance enhancements with the new driver.
Intel's approach to measuring GPU time versus CPU time isn't entirely new. Games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Gears 5 provide detailed breakdowns of the CPU and GPU performance impact of settings as part of their benchmark tools. Intel's PresentMon Beta offers real-time graphing and can be used with any game, making it a versatile tool for gamers.
Intel's Arc GPUs have come a long way since their release. With consistent driver updates and performance enhancements, Intel has shown its commitment to providing gamers with an optimized experience. The recent driver updates, especially the 4644 version, have brought notable improvements in game performance, making Arc GPUs a competitive choice in the market.