Why are Intel Arc graphics drivers 1.2GB?

wiyosaya

Posts: 8,416   +7,849
They are probably so large because there are multiple versions of the driver - each one not properly tested and in beta testing, and if one blows up, it switches to the next one in line. With the way Intel QC has failed on their 2.5Gb/s NICs, it would not surprise me if this were actually true. 🤣
 
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I am not sure if Daniel understood that besides the discrete graphics, Intel also have integrated graphics out there. This reminded me that when Intel tried to ship a minimal driver, people, especially the Gamer Nexus, whines about how they have to download additional stuff after driver install. Now that Intel has decided let's help out by release a complete driver package so there is no need to download support files, people still whines.
 

Warrior247

Posts: 24   +19
C’mon, why did this article have to be posted? We “know why” they had to do this! They’re fixing a lot of technical problems with card, and putting in drivers that should’ve been there from the beginning! I wanted to like this card, but just can’t bring myself to buy it. I “know” when I put my Nvidia card into my PC, all my games will work! When I put that Intel Arc GPU in my PC, many of games will not work! That it and that’s all the consumer cares about. They’re finding this out the hard way!
 

neeyik

Posts: 2,424   +2,968
Staff member
The argument that the file size for the driver package is large because it has to cover all of the integrated GPUs doesn't really hold up when one compares Intel's list to AMD's:

Intel
11th Gen Core family (Tiger Lake, Rocket Lake, Tiger Lake-H)
12th Gen Core family (Alder Lake-S, Alder Lake-H, Alder Lake-P, Alder Lake-U, Alder Lake-HX, Alder Lake-N)
13th Gen Core family (Raptor Lake-S, Raptor Lake-HX)
Iris Xe Dedicated Graphics family (DG1)
Arc Graphics family (Alchemist)

AMD
Radeon RX 6000 Series
Radeon RX 5000 Series
Radeon VII
Radeon RX Vega Series
Radeon Pro Duo
Radeon RX 500 / Radeon 500X Series
Radeon RX 400 Series
Radeon 600 Series
Radeon RX 6000M/5000M Series

Intel's drivers have to cover 3 separate GPU architectures (Gen 12_1, 12_2, and 12_7), whereas AMD's cover 5 (GCN_4, GCN_5, GCN_5.1, RDNA_1, and RDNA_2). However, when you explore Intel's package a bit more (I've just noticed they offer it in zip form...oops), there's a whole stack of odd stuff in there - there's a wealth of files for Gen 9 and Gen 11 architectures, none of which are supposed to be supported by these drivers. As for additional bloat, the included Arc Control app is 283MB and the Intel Drive and Support Assistant app is 229MB -- so nearly 42% of the driver package size is just those two things.

Sure, these are beta drivers and yes, Intel's discrete GPU sector is still very young, but this is still just a mess of work. Take the 30.0.101.1732 set, for example -- that beta driver was just for Gen 12_2 and Gen 12_7, and specifically just for the GPUs in Alder Lake CPUs and Alchemist cards but was still 678MB in size.

If Intel is aiming to properly compete with AMD and Nvidia in the discrete consumer graphics card market, they need to a lot better than this.
 

Warrior247

Posts: 24   +19
The argument that the file size for the driver package is large because it has to cover all of the integrated GPUs doesn't really hold up when one compares Intel's list to AMD's:

Intel
11th Gen Core family (Tiger Lake, Rocket Lake, Tiger Lake-H)
12th Gen Core family (Alder Lake-S, Alder Lake-H, Alder Lake-P, Alder Lake-U, Alder Lake-HX, Alder Lake-N)
13th Gen Core family (Raptor Lake-S, Raptor Lake-HX)
Iris Xe Dedicated Graphics family (DG1)
Arc Graphics family (Alchemist)

AMD
Radeon RX 6000 Series
Radeon RX 5000 Series
Radeon VII
Radeon RX Vega Series
Radeon Pro Duo
Radeon RX 500 / Radeon 500X Series
Radeon RX 400 Series
Radeon 600 Series
Radeon RX 6000M/5000M Series
Intel's drivers have to cover 3 separate GPU architectures (Gen 12_1, 12_2, and 12_7), whereas AMD's cover 5 (GCN_4, GCN_5, GCN_5.1, RDNA_1, and RDNA_2). However, when you explore Intel's package a bit more (I've just noticed they offer it in zip form...oops), there's a whole stack of odd stuff in there - there's a wealth of files for Gen 9 and Gen 11 architectures, none of which are supposed to be supported by these drivers. As for additional bloat, the included Arc Control app is 283MB and the Intel Drive and Support Assistant app is 229MB -- so nearly 42% of the driver package size is just those two things.

Sure, these are beta drivers and yes, Intel's discrete GPU sector is still very young, but this is still just a mess of work. Take the 30.0.101.1732 set, for example -- that beta driver was just for Gen 12_2 and Gen 12_7, and specifically just for the GPUs in Alder Lake CPUs and Alchemist cards but was still 678MB in size.

If Intel is aiming to properly compete with AMD and Nvidia in the discrete consumer graphics card market, they need to a lot better than this.
They targeted “Nvidia” in the “mainstream” GPU market. AMD is merely a player in the market and nothing more. Nvidia is the clear and undisputed leader. That’s why they targeted the RTX 3060/3060Ti. The best selling GPU. Intel purposely and mistakenly, failed to include support for older games in DX9-DX11. IMO this is a catastrophic failure of the card. I think that Intel went a long way to correcting that mistake.
 

hwertz

Posts: 211   +123
Why indeed? Linux-side, (the downloaded package may even be smaller since it's compressed)... The DRI drivers -- Intel "Crocus" driver is 25MB (i965 through Haswell), Iris 25MB (everything newer), i965 1.7MB (I think this just supports the 1 or 2 oldest cards that Crocus doesn't support?). libvulkan_intel_hasvk.so is 8.4M, libvulkan_intel is 11MB. The kernel-side "DRM" modules (which is not rights restriction, it's "Direct Rendering Manager") is 6.4MB.

That's everything from the oldest Intel 9xx series through "partial" Vulkan support on as old as Ivy Bridge and complete Vulkan by a model or two newer than that, and full OpenGL up to the hardware limits of the chip (I.e. just like Vulkan, full OpenGL 4.6 a model or two past Ivy Bridge). That's about 77.5MB, I'll round up and say 80MB. If you want to run 32-bit (like wine), you probably have a second 32-bit copy of each and every one of those (except DRM), so that's around 160MB.

Again, that's EVERYTHING, comparing like-for-like Crocus driver handles Haswell and older, Iris for everything newer; so dropping Crocus and that Haswell Vulkan driver, you'd shave it down to like 40-45MB (or 80M-90MB or so for both 64-bit and 32-bit) all told if you did it that way.
 
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Gastec

Posts: 298   +155
The argument that the file size for the driver package is large because it has to cover all of the integrated GPUs doesn't really hold up when one compares Intel's list to AMD's:

Intel
11th Gen Core family (Tiger Lake, Rocket Lake, Tiger Lake-H)
12th Gen Core family (Alder Lake-S, Alder Lake-H, Alder Lake-P, Alder Lake-U, Alder Lake-HX, Alder Lake-N)
13th Gen Core family (Raptor Lake-S, Raptor Lake-HX)
Iris Xe Dedicated Graphics family (DG1)
Arc Graphics family (Alchemist)

AMD
Radeon RX 6000 Series
Radeon RX 5000 Series
Radeon VII
Radeon RX Vega Series
Radeon Pro Duo
Radeon RX 500 / Radeon 500X Series
Radeon RX 400 Series
Radeon 600 Series
Radeon RX 6000M/5000M Series

Intel's drivers have to cover 3 separate GPU architectures (Gen 12_1, 12_2, and 12_7), whereas AMD's cover 5 (GCN_4, GCN_5, GCN_5.1, RDNA_1, and RDNA_2). However, when you explore Intel's package a bit more (I've just noticed they offer it in zip form...oops), there's a whole stack of odd stuff in there - there's a wealth of files for Gen 9 and Gen 11 architectures, none of which are supposed to be supported by these drivers. As for additional bloat, the included Arc Control app is 283MB and the Intel Drive and Support Assistant app is 229MB -- so nearly 42% of the driver package size is just those two things.

Sure, these are beta drivers and yes, Intel's discrete GPU sector is still very young, but this is still just a mess of work. Take the 30.0.101.1732 set, for example -- that beta driver was just for Gen 12_2 and Gen 12_7, and specifically just for the GPUs in Alder Lake CPUs and Alchemist cards but was still 678MB in size.

If Intel is aiming to properly compete with AMD and Nvidia in the discrete consumer graphics card market, they need to a lot better than this.
Dig deeper and you might find some uncompressed textures and other such images in those apps.
 

yannus

Posts: 161   +145
If the drivers were open source, the answer would be easy to find, their drivers would improved much faster and they'd sell more cards as their future would be safe.