Intel’s Arc Alchemist desktop GPUs are witnessing more doubts about the performance levels they can achieve, though we should bear very much in mind that a new article outlining concerns is essentially a polite guess – so grab a wheelbarrow for salt here.
Still, 3D center (opens in new tab) undeniably offers some interesting talking points about what kind of frame rates we can expect from the initial Arc A380 discrete GPU, following Intel’s launch presentation for the low-end graphics card, where the company announced its availability (although it’s on sale only in China to begin with, as you may remember).
The German tech site notes that the only promise Intel made in terms of comparative benchmarking was that the A380 was up until 25% better than AMD’s RX 6400 GPU for performance per yuan – measured on a less demanding gaming set – but some media outlets reported this as a pure performance comparison.
We haven’t, we might hasten to add – and on top of that, we’ve also noticed that some articles have fallen into this trap – and of course, relative price/performance is quite different from relative raw performance as a comparative metric.
The 3D Center’s argument here is that the actual price/performance average is 21% based on Intel’s numbers, and so the site takes a leap in terms of doing a theoretical conversion to its own ‘performance index’ of 1080p to show that the gross performance gains can only be about 5% better than the RX 6400.
We should be skeptical of that, of course, and the follow-up conclusion the tech site makes, re-evaluating expected performance for the full range of Arc desktop GPUs based on the lowered expectations for the A380 here.
This is where 3D Center basically works on the assumption that the flagship Arc A780 will be roughly four times more powerful than the A380 (based on core count alone), which when combined with the lack of perfect scaling to Intel’s flagship, could mean that the A780 won’t be facing the RTX 3070 as previously predicted, but rather the RTX 3060 Ti (and maybe fighting there, by the way).
Analysis: Intel apparently can’t take a break right now
There are some big caveats here, of course, especially around the assumptions and estimates that the German tech site engages in – and the fact that 3D Center is just reviewing its own. predictionswhich ultimately could be a little off base anyway.
At the same time, there are already genuine concerns surrounding Intel’s Arc desktop GPUs, and particularly reports about the graphics driver, which apparently can be unstable in some cases (with certain games experiencing serious issues or not working at all). This is the main theory as to why the Arc desktop was delayed, and the way things turned out with a limited release in China just to test the waters, with the software simply not being ready for a global release just yet.
Of course, when it comes to these Arc A380 benchmarks, we must also remember that Intel will have handpicked games to present the GPU in its best light. And we also had concerns that the graphics card is being compared to the RX 6400 in the first place – it’s not a much appreciated product and a weak target to make shots at in that regard.
While it seems like everyone is piling up here, and the Intel Arc desktop might be getting an unfair onslaught, there is still hope in some ways. Pricing will still be key – and we’ll have to see what the price of the A380 is in markets like the US when it finally goes global – and these graphics drivers will improve over time.
But it does seem worrying that there is still a fair path to resolving driver issues, and time is not a luxury Intel has when you consider that the high-end GPUs from AMD and Nvidia are rapidly shutting down now, and maybe just a few months. or further. At this point, Intel’s flagship Arc will be even further down the relative performance ratings when compared to RTX 4000 GPUs rather than current-gen Nvidia RTX 3000 graphics cards, the same being true for AMD’s RDNA 3 is clear.
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