Intel has officially unveiled its brand new GPU division called Intel Arc that will be in charge of developing GPUs for laptops and desktops.
While the Intel Xe architecture has already been incorporated into the 11th Gen Intel Core mobile CPUs, the new Intel Arc GPU, which is slated for release as early as Q1 of next year, will be based on the Xe-HPG architecture but it is still essentially based on the same root of technology, according to Intel’s statement but with further combination and optimization. Although there isn’t much to talk about in terms of specification figures or numbers, Team Blue did announce that Arc GPUs will bring all the modern features that current-gen competitors already provide such as mesh shading, variable-rate shading, ray tracing, video upscaling, and more. Additionally, the introduction of the Intel XeSS supersampling alternative powered by dedicated Xe cores in charge of hardware-accelerated AI-based Xe Matrix eXtensions (XMX) matrix engines, will be initiated to take on NVIDIA’s DLSS and AMD’s FSR technology.
Intel has promised to show off more details in the coming weeks where they may or may not clarify the most important question for the people: How good is the 1st commercial Arc GPU against NVIDIA and AMD’s offerings. But for now, let’s just take a look at the trailer where the company has shown some sample clips of titles such as Metro Exodus and PUBG running on systems equipped with Arc prototypes.
Touching on the subject of XeSS and based on the demo video, the result of upscaling 1080p sources up to 4K are indeed looking good, especially focusing on the numbers of obtaining as much as twice FPS in contrast to “XeSS OFF” figures. But benchmarks are still benchmarks and don’t really reflect how good can they be when actually enabled within a commercial game, not to mention about native support for all the modern game engines which is the core reason why developers currently like DLSS and FSR because those can be implemented very easily. Software or driver-wise, Arc GPUs will fully support DX12 Ultimate, DirectX Raytracing (DXR), and Vulkan Ray Tracing out of the box. At least there won’t any compatibility issues at launch, hopefully.
Lastly, the architecture naming scheme has also been revealed as Alchemist, Battlemage, Celestial, and Druid going forward. RPG much, my friends?