Intel ARC Series 700
Separated into two reviews, we'll test two Intel Limited Edition models, the $289 Arc A750 and the $349 Arc A770 16GB (similar to Nvidia's Founders Edition graphics cards). With a metal chassis, black plastic shrouds, gently rounded corners, and two axial fans, the design language is more basic than Nvidia's and AMD's standard designs. The A770 16GB LE is distinguished from the A750 LE by the presence of three zones of LED lighting (along the top of the card, around the fans, and on the back), whereas the A750 LE lacks this feature. However, both cards have the same dimensions (27x10x4cm), require the same eight-pin plus six-pin power inputs, and are based on the same Alchemist G10 silicon. The A750 and A770 should be solid alternatives to the RTX 3060 with benefits in most areas, including silicon manufactured on the same 6nm process as the recent PS5 upgrade. The RTX 3060 features a smaller chip (276 mm2 vs. 406 mm2), a lower boost clock (1777MHz vs. 2100MHz), fewer memory (12GB vs. 16GB DDR6), slower memory bandwidth (360GB/s vs 560GB/s), and consumes less power (170W vs 225W). In a naive comparison, the A770 appears to be the superior card; however, Nvidia has the advantage of experience, having had many generations to refine its architecture and drivers as compared to a newbie in the discrete GPU market. There is one HDMI 2.1 port and three 40Gbps DisplayPort 2.0 ports on both of these dual-slot cards. Notably, both also support AV1 encoding, which is not included in Nvidia's 30-series or AMD's 6000-series graphics cards, and should allow for higher-quality streaming or recording at the same bitrate as H.264/H.265.
The A770 has 32 Xe cores, 32 ray tracing units, a frequency of 2100 MHz, and a maximum power rating of 225 watts. Relative to the A380, the A770 chip is nearly 2.5 times larger, measuring 406 square millimetres versus 157 square millimetres, but it has three times as many transistors: 21.7 billion versus 7.2 billion. With 16GB of GDDR6 RAM over a 256-bit bus with a total bandwidth of 560GB/s, the memory of the A770 is also four times that of the A380. The 16GB version has a memory bandwidth of up to 560 GB/s, whereas the 8GB version not only has half as much VRAM but its memory speed has also been reduced from 17.5 Gbps GDDR6 to 16 Gbps GDDR6. Arc Alchemist GPUs provides various hardware-accelerated media functions, including media transcoding, HW-accelerated AV1 encoding, and Intel XMX-powered AI acceleration. In gaming-focused assessments, we do not typically discuss productivity performance or encoding/decoding benchmarks, and this review is no exception.
Another essential part of Intel GPUs is XeSS, the company's implementation of DLSS and FSR. This feature will be covered in further detail. As with DLSS, these upscaling technologies demand a significant deal of attention, and we're still amidst several other launches. However we've injected some results into this review.
For ARC Intel has designed a software suite called ARC Control. It works well; however, at this stage is very limited. But does include some tweaking and monitoring options. The biggest negative of this suite is that it only exists as an overlay, even when you are not playing a game. It floats above your other windows, but you cannot interact with anything other than Arc Control software until the window is closed.
Another thing with ARC Contro, we could not change language ...