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Intel unveils new Arc GPUs for laptops, finally taking on AMD and Nvidia

Intel has today unveiled its new Intel Arc GPUs in the A-series mobile range, which will soon become available in various laptops.

The company confirmed it’s planning to launch three flavours of the laptop GPU, which includes Intel Arc 3, Arc 5 and Arc 7 – a format to illustrate performance power that’s very similar to how it denotes Intel Core processor tiers. 

Intel Arc 3, which will act as the entry-level tier, will roll out in the first batch of laptops in April 2022, with the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro being one of the very first adopters.

There will initially be two different Intel Arc 3 GPUs available, including the A350M and A370M. Both will feature Ray Tracing cores to support the advanced light-rendering technology, and will pack 4GB GDDR6 memory. 

Intel claims the Arc 370M will be capable of hitting 60fps or higher for games such as Hitman 3, Doom Eternal, Total War Saga: Troy and The Witcher 3 when playing at a 1080p resolution. What’s more, the company suggests the laptop chip is capable of hitting 94fps in Fortnite, albeit with Medium graphics settings, 

Interestingly, Intel did not compare these performance results with any mobile GPUs from AMD and Nvidia. The company claimed that it wants users to make the test comparisons instead, although it does add some doubt whether Intel is confident it can offer a competitive performance with its two rivals. 

That said, the Intel Arc 3 GPUs are clearly designed for an entry-level gaming performance, and will be available inside laptops that cost as little as $899. 

If you’re craving more performance power, then Intel will also be launching Intel Arc 5 and Arc 7 laptop GPUs in “Early Summer”, made up of the A550M, A730M and A770M chips. 

Intel hasn’t provided benchmark scores for these more powerful GPUs just yet, but claims Arc 5 will target an “Advanced Gaming” performance, while Arc 7 has been designed for “high performance gaming”. 

Intel isn’t relying solely on hardware to challenge AMD and Nvidia, as it also unveiled its extensive plans for Intel Arc software. Ray tracking will be supported, and Intel is also introducing its Xe Super Sampling technology (XeSS) which is the company’s own AI-enhanced gaming upscaling technology. 

This will effectively boost the frame rate of supported games when playing at a high resolution, with similar functionality to Nvidia’s DLSS and AMD’s FSR. Fourteen games will be supported once XeSS launches in Summer 2022, including Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Ghostwire: Tokyo and Death Stranding

Intel Deep Link will also make Arc GPUs more efficient at working in tandem with 12th Generation Intel Core processors, with technology such as Dynamic Power Share and Hyper Encode apparently resulting in respective performance increases of 30% and 60% respectively. 

Intel will even be launching a new app called Arc Control, which will automatically keep your graphic drivers up to date, allow you to monitor/tweak performance and  stream video feeds of your games if you fancy yourself a Twitch star in the making. 

Despite going into detail on its new laptop GPU offerings, Intel is remaining quiet on its upcoming Arc desktop graphics cards. We’re still expecting to hear more about these later in the year, but Intel wants to focus on its mobile GPUs right now since it already has so much experience in the laptop market. 

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