Intel launches its first Arc GPUs for laptops, more discrete GPUs coming later this year
After years of success in the silicon space with its CPUs, Intel is now bringing its expertise over to the discrete GPU market. Intel took the wraps off its Arc A-series mobile GPUs which include a handful of variants. The Arc 3 is a more affordable series and it includes the A350M and A370M. These discrete units will start appearing in laptops starting today.
The more powerful Arc 5 and Arc 7 notebooks are scheduled to hit the market later this year. All these new GPUs bring support for things like DirectX 12, hardware-level ray-tracing, twice the performance of Intel’s integrated Xe graphics, and more.
All these new Arc GPUs are powered by Intel’s new Xe HPG graphics architecture. Here’s a quick look at the lineup below:
The Arc 3 series that debuted today is targeted at affordable notebooks. Intel says the Arc 3 laptops are capable of hitting 60FPS in AAA games at 1080p and up to 90FPS in Esports titles. They’re capable of running games at 1080p resolution with medium to high settings, but we’ll have to wait until we get our hands on these notebooks to see the kind of performance they offer. Intel also touched on a couple of other things in addition to gaming performance. For instance, the media and display engines are to remain consistent across all the GPUs in the family, irrespective of their class.
This essentially means that every Arc GPU can support up to four total HDMI 2.0b and DisplayPort 1.4a outputs. We expect this to vary based on the laptop SKUs, but it gives us a good idea of what to expect. The GPUs are also capable of outputting up to 360Hz at 1080p and 1440p resolution, or power a 4K panel at 120Hz or an 8K panel at 60Hz. These are some excellent numbers, especially considering how even the lower-cost Arc 3 series GPUs can achieve that.
Deep Link Technology
Another key takeaway from today’s announcement is that the new Arc GPUs will take advantage of Intel’s Deep Link technology, which leverages the complete hardware stack of Intel processors and graphics cards to optimize power-sharing. This is expected to improve the overall power efficiency of the notebooks, so it’ll be interesting to see what comes out of it. Notably, Intel’s Deep Link technology will also let the computer take advantage of the integrated and discrete GPUs simultaneously for faster media encoding or machine learning-based image processing.
Lastly, there’s also the Intel Arc Control App, which is essentially going to act as a hub for users to handle things like game-ready drivers, performance monitoring, among other things. It will also offer other additions like in-game overlays, but we’ll have more to talk about all these things once we manage to get our hands on this software.
Intel Arc Availability
As we mentioned, Intel is kicking things off with the Arc 3 series for now. More discrete GPUs are scheduled to come out later this year. The Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro is the first laptop to offer the new Intel Arc 3 GPUs as an option. We don’t see an option to buy the Book2 Pro with Intel Arc GPU on the stores yet, so keep an eye on this space to get more info around that. Besides that, a lot more laptops with Intel’s new discrete GPUs are expected to come out over the next few weeks and months, so keep your peeled to see what the new graphics unit brings to the table.
You can learn more about Intel’s new Arc GPUs here.