Intel Arc A770 and A750 review: welcome player three

Intel’s first enthusiast graphics cards are here, and on the eve of AMD and Nvidia transitioning to a new generation, Team Blue has really got it right. The $289 Arc A750 and $329/$349 Arc A770 offer surprisingly strong 1080p performance, a unique combination of features, and competitive prices that make them worth considering for a mid-range PC, at least for most users. players.

However, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There’s a lot to cover here and time is short, so let’s do a quick hardware overview, cover the software features we’re most interested in, and then get into the nitty-gritty of this review: gaming benchmarks.

We have a new set of GPU tests due in late 2022, with a bevy of complete newcomers joining a remixed assortment of Digital Foundry favorites covering all major engines. It’s a forward-thinking test suite, with titles using modern APIs like DirectX 12 and Vulkan, which should give Intel a chance to show off its strengths. Of course, we’ll also be looking at performance on some classic “banana skin” DX11 titles in our video review, where we expect Intel’s first-gen Arc GPUs to struggle a bit more.

First though: the hardware. We tested two Intel Limited Edition models (think Nvidia’s Founders Edition cards), the $289 Arc A750 and the $349 16GB Arc A770. The design language here is simpler than reference designs from Nvidia and AMD, with a metal chassis, black plastic covers, slightly rounded corners, and two axial fans. The A770 16GB LE differentiates itself with three LED lighting zones (on the top of the card, around the fans and on the back), while the A750 LE does not, but both cards occupy the same dimensions (27x10x4cm). , require the same eight-pin plus six-pin power inputs, and are, in fact, based on the same Alchemist G10 silicon. In terms of ports, we have an HDMI 2.1 port and three 40Gbps DisplayPort 2.0 ports on both dual-slot cards. Notably, both also include support for AV1 encoding, which is not part of Nvidia’s 30-series or AMD 6000-series graphics cards and should help stream or record in better quality at the same resolution compared to H.264/H.265. .

Models from other manufacturers, including GPU newcomers like Acer*, reportedly arriving soon with a variety of prices and designs. In particular, there’s an 8GB variant of the A770 that retails for $329. Here’s how the three models compare in terms of top specs: With the $129 Arc A380 that debuted in China earlier this year for context.

intel gpu Arc A770 16GB Arc A770 8GB Arc A750 8GB Arc A380 6GB
Xe cores 32 32 28 8
graphics clock 2100MHz 2100MHz 2050MHz 2000MHz
TBP 225W 225W 225W 75W
memory size 16GB GDDR6 8GB GDDR6 8GB GDDR6 6GB GDDR6
memory interface 256 bit 256 bit 256 bit 96 bit
memory bandwidth 560GB/s 512GB/s 512GB/s 186GB/s
Price $349 $329 $289 $139

Looking at the raw specs, the A750 and A770 should be solid alternatives to the RTX 3060 with advantages in most areas, including silicon produced on TSMC’s 6nm node, just like the recent PS5 update. The RTX 3060, based on Nvidia’s Ampere architecture and produced on an older 8nm process, has a smaller die (276mm² vs. 406mm²), a lower boost clock (1777MHz vs. 2100MHz) , less memory (12 GB vs. 16 GB DDR6), less memory bandwidth (360 GB/s vs. 560 GB/s), and consumes less power (170 W vs. 225 W). In a naive comparison, the A770 looks like the better card, but Nvidia certainly has the experience advantage, with many generations to refine both its architecture and drivers versus a newcomer to the discrete GPU space. So how do these cards compare in real-world tests?

To find out, we put together some rugged test equipment. The A770 and A750 arrived too early to use Intel’s 13th Gen parts, or AMD’s Ryzen 7000 processors, so we went with something a bit more mature, familiar, and… available. That means a 16-core Core i9 12900K processor, locked to 5.2GHz on its performance cores and 3.9GHz on its efficiency cores, and kept cool with a beefy Noctua DH15 tower cooler. This top-tier CPU is backed by an Asus Z690 Maximus Hero motherboard, two 16GB G.Skill DDR5-6000 CL32 memory, and a Corsair RM1000x power supply. For SSD storage, we currently have three drives: a 4TB Kingston KC3000, a 1TB PNY XLR8 CS3140, and a 1TB Crucial P5 Plus. Naturally, we run Windows 11 with the latest graphics drivers installed for each of our three vendors. The idea here is to ensure that our graphics card is the bottleneck even at lower resolutions, and our gaming benchmarks were chosen with that in mind as well.

So, let’s get into some game benchmarks, shall we? We’ll start with our new test suite, which includes 13 modern and remastered games in four pages, before running some specific tests of Intel’s XeSS scaler against DLSS and ending on the final page.

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