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Why it matters: The biggest weakness of Intel's freshman dedicated graphics card lineup has always been its sub-par performance with DirectX 9 and DirectX 11 compared to equivalent Nvidia and AMD GPUs. After previous driver releases substantially improved Intel's DX9 implementation, the company is now focusing on DX11.
Intel claims that its latest graphics drivers improve DirectX 11 performance by almost 20 percent on Arc Alchemist graphics cards. Furthermore, a new beta for the company's performance telemetry tool is now available, and purchases of new Intel CPUs and GPUs include copies of Assassin's Creed Mirage and Nightingale.
Although new AAA titles are transitioning to DirectX 12, smooth performance for DirectX 9 and 11 is still very important. Many games built on the older APIs are still among the most popular, like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or Apex Legends. Furthermore, significant new releases like Baldur's Gate 3 still use DX11.
Intel drivers from last December significantly boosted frame rates under DX9, and the company told Eurogamer that it has since shifted its attention toward a fundamental rework of its DX11 driver. Team Blue explained that its older implementation diverted as much work as possible to the CPU, which makes sense for integrated graphics chips. Reversing this strategy in the new Arc drivers shows clear benefits, especially on mid-range processors.
According to the company's data, titles like League of Legends, Valorant, Dota 2, Genshin Impact, and more gain dozens of frames per second with the update. Overwatch 2 sees the most significant improvement, with its average frame rate rising by 33 percent and 99th percentile performance jumping by over 45 percent in 1080p.
Although the comparison isn't one-to-one, the new software puts the Arc A750's frame rate in Apex Legends slightly above TechSpot's 2022 results for its two direct competitors – the GeForce RTX 3060 and Radeon RX 6600 XT.
Additionally, users who like to monitor performance closely can now try a beta of PresentMon, Intel's benchmarking tool, that's received a makeover. It includes typical metrics like GPU usage, CPU usage, frame times, and temperatures but introduces a "GPU Busy" measurement to give users a clearer picture of system bottlenecks. The new metric shows how often the graphics card is fully utilized or sitting idle, which can help users determine whether their CPU or GPU is holding back performance.
In related news, a new Intel hardware bundle gives customers free copies of Assassin's Creed Mirage and Nightingale after purchasing Arc GPUs or 12th and 13th-generation Intel processors. The promotion runs from August 24 to September 4 in the US, with similar timeframes in other territories.
Users must log in to Intel's website, complete a survey, and follow further instructions to verify a qualifying product and receive their download keys. Nightingale is Steam-only and will debut in Early Access sometime this year. Mirage comes to the Epic Games and Ubisoft stores on October 5 – a week earlier than its original release date. The announcement isn't clear whether the bundle includes an Epic store key, but either case would guarantee a Ubisoft store key.