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In brief: As Intel's performance-tier dedicated graphics cards approach their first birthday, the company is still working to improve DirectX 11 performance while timing driver patches with blockbuster game releases. The latest update's improvements aren't as dramatic as the August drivers, but several titles received a significant framerate boost.
Intel's Arc driver update for Assassin's Creed Mirage and Forza Motorsport includes enormous performance improvements for over a dozen older DirectX 11 games. Some titles could see their frame rates as much as doubled.
According to the release notes for driver version 18.104.22.16885, the recently released Payday 3 could receive a 37-percent uplift in 1080p, while the still incredibly popular Rainbow Six Siege sees a 32-percent improvement. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is the biggest winner, with a 119-percent frame rate boost.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and the 2019 Modern Warfare reboot see their framerates nearly double. Other DirectX 11 games with significant performance increases include Kingdom Come: Deliverance (22 percent) and Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition (42 percent). The drivers bring more modest uplifts to titles like Final Fantasy XIV, Total War: Warhammer 2, War Thunder, and others. A few DirectX 12 titles also benefit. Forza Motorsport receives a 19-percent boost in 1440p, the Resident Evil 4 remake performs 27 percent better with ray tracing, and The Last of Us Part 1 sees a 12-percent uplift.
One game Intel doesn't mention that could become important is Counter-Strike 2, which replaced Global Offensive late last month. As the most popular title on Steam, Global Offensive's disappointing performance on Arc GPUs forced the company to overhaul DirectX 9 last year.
This past summer, the Arc A750 and A770 could finally run Counter-Strike about as well as their Nvidia counterparts, so it will be interesting to see how they handle CS2 with the latest patches. According to ComputerBase, the previous drivers left them noticeably but not significantly behind the similarly-priced GeForce RTX 3060.
Despite a slow start for the Arc Alchemist series, Intel remains committed to the dedicated GPU market with two generations of successors on its roadmap. The upcoming Arc lineup, Battlemange, is expected to arrive next year, utilizing TSMC's 4nm process and offering the enthusiast product tiers Alchemist lacked. HardwareLuxx spotted a BMG-G10 chip – the successor to the ACM-G10 inside the A770 – at Intel's Malaysia facility in late August, indicating production is running smoothly.