Intel’s Arc GPUs just got a lot faster with a new driver update – and apparently the graphics cards may have received a small performance bump for clock speeds (at least in one case – more on that later).
Dota 2 is 20% faster, Valorant is up 18%, Apex Legends gets a 17% increase in frame rates, and there are some slightly more modest boosts like 5% for Destiny 2.
As Neowin further points out, Intel has done some work with the interface of the driver installer, so it now shows when the graphics card firmware is being updated (and warns you not to turn off or reboot your PC, or otherwise interrupt the upgrade, as that can be seriously bad news if it happens).
Another interesting nugget here is that a Neowin forum member called ‘Eternal Tempest’ observed that their Arc A380 got an actual speed boost in terms of the default clock being upped by 150MHz.
Analysis: Go heavy with the seasoning
There's no denying that 150MHz is a tidy boost for a graphics card, but the catch is this is just a single report. We did some searching but couldn’t find any other reports of this driver giving an Arc GPU a boost to clocks, so we’ll have to take this with a couple of huge fistfuls of salt for the time being.
Even if it did happen for this one A380 owner, maybe it was for a different reason, or there’s an anomaly with the driver somehow. (There are reports of the new graphics driver also adjusting fan speeds – and bugs occurring with that – on Reddit, so that could maybe tie in here somehow).
Whatever the case with the purported speed boost, the driver does provide a really impressive uplift for some popular games as outlined above. And what’s even better is that Intel has an established and ongoing track record of continually delivering improvements – sometimes huge ones – for a variety of top titles.
While it should be noted that many of the massive frame rate gains are for older games, as we see here, even contemporary games are having their fps cranked up considerably.
Another theme for Arc GPUs is these graphics cards getting more affordable, with some serious discounts making them great candidates for the best cheap graphics card list. As VideoCardz spotted, this is happening again, with ASRock having knocked down the price of its A770 and A750 models.
You can now get the ASRock A750 8GB Challenger from Newegg at $200, and the A770 8GB Phantom Gaming has been reduced to $250. For those looking for the 16GB variant of the latter card, that’s now $300, which is about as cheap as you’ll get for a board sporting that quantity of VRAM.
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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).