Intel’s next-gen GPUs are its first real shot at being the b…

The Intel Arc A770 GPU is installed in a test bench.
Jacob Roach/

When Intel’s first generation of GPUs launched, they had some serious weaknesses in their performance. Intel acknowledged this before the GPU’s launch and promised that it would improve performance through future driver updates. This is Intel’s take on AMD’s classic “fine wine” approach to GPU drivers that we’ve seen in the past.

And it did exactly that. It seems like every week Intel is making headlines with massive performance improvements in individual games. But the big payoff from these drivers isn’t just for the Arch A770 and A750. These big driver boosts are laying the foundation for Intel’s next-generation BattleMage GPUs, and they could make all the difference.

started from the bottom

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger smiling as he looks at the Arch A770 chip
Twitter/Pat Gelsinger

As mentioned, performance was a big issue at the time of launch of these first Intel cards, but they also came with a number of software problems. Despite offering competitive performance in new games, the Arch A750 and A770 were a sobering reminder to early adopters of just how stable Nvidia and AMD’s software really is.

Down but not out, Intel started working on its drivers, and in the process the Arch A750 and A770 have quietly become excellent GPUs. DirectX 9 performance is now top notch, and in games too cyberpunk 2077 And horizon zero dawn, The GPU could eventually compete with cards like the RTX 3060 Ti. There are also several updates targeted at games such as Halo: The Master Chief Collection And Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

This work continues despite the aging of the Arch A770 and A750. Beating the RTX 3060 Ti is a feat, but that doesn’t matter when cards like the RTX 4060 offer better performance and better features at a lower price. Intel’s work to improve performance through drivers still matters, though, if not for the Arch A770 and A750, then for the next-generation BattleMage GPUs.

A leaked slide detailing Intel's 2022, 2023, and 2024 GPU roadmap.

Intel revealed four GPU generations when it announced its first generation Arc GPUs (code-named Alchemist at the time). The next generation in the lineup is the BattleMage, which will reportedly launch early next year. We don’t know much about BattleMage yet, but Intel’s groundbreaking work on the drivers could make them a great achievement.

All-in on Battlemage

AMD RX 7600 on pink background.
Jacob Roach/

AMD and Nvidia have all but abandoned GPUs under $300. AMD has The RX 7600 retails at $270, but Nvidia’s lowest-end RTX 4060 also comes in at $300. Given what we’ve seen with GPU prices over the past year, this doesn’t seem to be changing. Meanwhile, Intel has committed itself to the budget end of the GPU spectrum, with the Arch A770 priced around $300 and the A750 priced as low as $220.

Up to this point, the problem has only been Intel’s drivers. We saw a lot of performance increases, but it’s hard to justify going with an Intel GPU, even if you save a bit of money, when some games still show inexplicable performance issues. The fact that Intel provided a 750% improvement Halo: The Master Chief Collection Last week alone is proof of the fact that Intel still needs to fire up its drivers.

The hope is that Intel can put out a lot of those fires by the time Battlemage is ready. Over the past year, it may have been hard to trust Intel to fix some games’ issues through drivers, but the company’s track record is going strong. And once BattleMage gets here, there’s a good chance Intel will have its drivers figured out eventually. In the context of the A750 and A770, the driver improvements don’t seem like such a big deal. However, in the context of Battlemage, they make all the difference.

Intel logo on the Arch A770 graphics card.
Jacob Roach/

This is an exciting prospect for budget-minded gamers, whose options have been few and far between over the past several years. If BattleMage can launch relatively free of driver-related bugs, it could be enough to force Nvidia and AMD to reconsider for gamers on a tight budget. This is not even a minor threat. According to John Peddie Research, in just half a year on the market, Intel was able to capture 4% of the GPU market. That’s a third of AMD’s ownership, and that was In-spite of this All games that were still showing performance issues on Arch.

It’s hard to say what we can expect from Battlemage. It seems obvious that the Intel AMD RX 7900 Ti, but even if this is true, it’s hard to imagine that a single flagship will displace more cost-effective options.

From the beginning, it was clear that Intel had the price and performance in modern games fixed with its Arch GPUs – it was just the drivers holding the cards together. With BattleMage looming on the horizon, Intel may finally have a real chance to deliver the type of budget GPUs that Nvidia and AMD have mostly ignored.

And once they’re here, hopefully Intel’s work on Arch will continue. Intel’s Tom Peterson told that the company understands how important this is: “It’s well understood within our organization that, you know, driver updates are going to make the difference between our success and our lack of success.” Are there.”

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