Intel fixes a driver bug that made gamers think their Arc GPU got a free upgrade

An angry PC Gamer sat at their desk looking unhappy
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Intel has released a new driver for its Arc graphics cards, and it fixes what was thought to perhaps be a perk ushered in by the last driver release – namely a bump in clock speed.

Let’s rewind a bit here and explain. So, the previous Arc driver was released and it was a good one, delivering large boosts in frame rates for some games (most notably Overwatch 2 and GTA V).

However, some gamers with Arc A380 graphics cards – the budget end of Intel’s range – found that their affordable card (there have been some good deals on this GPU) was suddenly even better value for money, as it was running 150MHz faster.

Or at least, it appeared to be, but sadly, that isn’t actually the case.

Intel just released a new beta version of the Arc driver (v31.0.101.4669, as spotted by VideoCardz) and under bug fixes, the company notes that it has resolved an issue where: “Some Intel Arc A380 products may incorrectly report a higher value than expected for default clock frequency value.”

So, while the reported value for the default clock speed may have been bumped up 150MHz with the previous (release) driver, the GPU is actually running at the same clock frequency it always was.

Analysis: A curious case of misreporting

At this point, this latest release is a beta driver, so we wouldn’t recommend using it. Even so, this does make it clear that the purported 150MHz bump in clock speed for the A380 delivered by the most recent full driver release is just a case of misreporting the frequency.

With the next full driver release, Intel will incorporate this fix, and your A380 will go back to reporting the correct clock speed. As we wrote at the time when this first emerged, we were skeptical a driver release would pull off such a feat anyway – even though technically it’s not outside the realms of possibility.

The good news is that none of this affects the considerable frame rate boosts that the latest official driver provides in some games, as noted above.

For those playing Shadow of the Tomb Raider with an Arc GPU, a second fix provided in the new beta driver is a cure for the game crashing when getting to the main menu upon first loading. So, that’ll be inbound for the next full release of the Arc graphics driver, too.

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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).