Intel has introduced five Arc graphics cards for laptops
Hardware

Intel has introduced five Arc graphics cards for laptops – two of which are already available

Intel has officially unveiled Arc A discrete graphics accelerators focused on use in laptops. There are five representatives in the model range, the first graphics cards are already available in series-produced laptops. The Arc-A graphics cards for desktops and workstations will be released later this year.

The Arc-A graphics accelerators introduced today are based on the Xe-HPG architecture and target a wide range of modern mobile systems. The family includes three series of video cards: Arc 3, Arc 5 and Arc 7. Each series, characterized by a specific level of performance, can consist of several models of discrete video cards.

Graphics cards from the newer Intel Arc 3 series aim for 1080p gaming. These include the A350M for ultra-thin notebooks and the A370M for thinner and lighter systems with higher performance. Intel promises that the A370M is capable of delivering 60 FPS in modern games and over 90 FPS in competitive esports.

In its own tests, Intel compares the Arc A370M graphics card with integrated Iris Xe graphics with 96 Alder Lake processors, and the novelty looks one and a half to two times faster. This can be interpreted to mean that the Arc 3 series cards are comparable in gaming performance to the integrated graphics of Ryzen 6000 (Rembrandt) mobile processors.

The Arc A350M graphics card received 6 Xe cores, 6 ray tracing units and 4 GB of GDDR6 memory. The faster Arc A370M card has 8 Xe cores and ray tracing units, but the same amount of video memory. These cards are already supplied to notebook manufacturers and are available in commercial products.

The Arc 5 and Arc 7 series will come out a little later and will get higher performance. The Arc A550M graphics card will have 16 Xe cores and ray tracing units and 8 GB of GDDR6. Arc A730M gets 24 Xe cores and a Trace unit plus 12GB of video memory. And the flagship A770M will have 32 cores and RT blocks and 16GB of GDDR6.

Each Arc GPU supports up to four HDMI 2.0b and DisplayPort 1.4a outputs, which can support 4K/120Hz or 8K/60Hz class panels and monitors. In addition, the media engine of Intel graphics cards is able to hardware decode 8K60 12-bit HDR video streams and encode video streams with a resolution of up to 8K 10-bit HDR. At the same time, all modern codecs are supported, including not only VP9, ​​​​AVC and HEVC, but also the most progressive AV1 (even when encoding). According to Intel, AV1 hardware encoding in Arc-A graphics cards is 50 times faster than software encoding.

All Intel Arc A graphics cards support Xe Super Sampling (XeSS) AI scaling technology. This technology itself, similar to Nvidia DLSS, will be presented in the summer. Its support is expected to be implemented in more than 20 games by the time of launch. Intel also promises to open up the XeSS SDK and the necessary tools to make scaling easy for any interested developer.

Another unique feature of Arc A graphics cards is Deep Link technology. Thanks to this, the resources of a discrete graphics accelerator can be combined with the blocks available in the processor-integrated GPU to solve a single task. The overall performance of such a tandem increases by up to 30%, but at the moment the technology is applicable only for computing tasks (AI and video transcoding).

Notebooks with Arc 3 graphics cards can be pre-ordered from as little as $900. The Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro was the first laptop to feature Intel Arc discrete graphics, but the list of partners who have chosen Intel discrete graphics for their solutions is extensive and includes names such as Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, MSI and others.

The Arc 5 and Arc 7 series mobile graphics cards will appear in finished products in early summer.

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About the author

Dylan Harris

Dylan Harris is fascinated by tests and reviews of computer hardware.

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