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Recap: Intel launched the Arc 3 A380 in China earlier this year and it finally found its way into the hands of reviewers last month. The consensus was that it performed okay for an entry-level card but was too hindered by buggy drivers to be a product worth buying.
Gamers Nexus took the time to make a video about just the driver problems (see above). In summary, the game drivers are sort-of alright: most newish games load and play fine. But the driver installer is so problematic that it borders on being malware, and when the Arc Command app decides not to crash, its settings toggles and overclocking utilities barely work at all.
Partly in response, the VP and general manager of the Visual Computing Group at Intel, Lisa Pearce, penned a blog post discussing some common concerns about the Arc series last week. She talks first about the minor problems with DX11 and DX9 and then reiterates the importance of enabling Resizable Bar on Arc GPUs before addressing the elephant in the room.
Intel's question: I've read reviews that say Intel's driver is not ready yet. What's the status?
"We appreciate the feedback we are getting in early reviews of our Arc software stack. And it has been bumpy. We have received frank feedback from press during recent reviews, and we have taken it to heart."
Pearce continues, but I'd like to pause here to reiterate that the A380 hasn't launched outside of China yet.
None of the reviews, including our own, were conducted through any sort of review program. Instead, reviewers have had to purchase their A380 samples from China and have them shipped.
"For example, we filed 43 issues with our engineering team from a review of the A380 by Gamers Nexus. We had corrected 4 of those issues by the end of July. Since then, we corrected 21 UI issues in our driver release on August 19, and it also includes Day 0 support for Saints Row, Madden NFL 23, fixes for Stray and Horizon Zero Dawn crashes, Marvel's Spider-Man performance fix, and fixes on SmoothSync corruptions. We are taking similar approaches with reports from other press reviews.
We are continuing to learn what it will take for us to be successful. Some of the issues were related to our installer and how it downloaded unique components after initial installation. This allows us to have a smaller initial download to get users started quicker. But unexpected failures are causing that process to be unreliable, and later this year we will be moving to a combined package that is downloaded and installed all at once. No more installer issues."
It sounds like Intel is listening to reviewers and reflecting on their feedback, which is a pleasant change. However, I find it hard to believe that Intel wasn't already aware of most of the issues pointed out by Gamers Nexus. They were simply too glaring and if they were as trivial to fix as Pearce claims, then they should have been fixed before the software left beta. At least some of them are fixed now...