In a livestream, Intel officially introduced its new mobile graphics chips of the Intel Arc series, which will soon be used in the first notebooks. Arc graphics cards for desktop PCs will then follow in the summer of 2022.
Intel Arc Mobile: Five notebook graphics chips unveiled
The mobile GPU series Intel Arc Mobile is based on a total of five graphics chips, which are called Intel Arc A350M, A370M, A550M, A730M and A770M. The A350M is the entry-level model and has 6 Xe cores and 768 shaders. It also offers 4 GB GDDR6 RAM and a 64 bit memory interface. However, the TDP of 25-35 W shows that the smallest Arc model should only position itself minimally above an internal graphics solution in terms of performance.
The mid-range chips Arc A550M and the top model A770M are much more interesting, with 16 and 32 Xe cores, respectively, and up to 16 GB GDDR6 RAM and a maximum of 256 bit memory interface. On the other hand, all five models have ray tracing cores, up to 32 in number. At the top, there is a TDP value of 120-150 W here.
|Number of shaders||768||1,024||2,048||3,072||4,096|
|Ray tracing units||6||8||16||24||32|
|GPU clock frequency||1,150 MHz||1,550 MHz||900 MHz||1,100 MHz||1,650 MHz|
|GDDR6 VRAM||4 GB||4 GB||8 GB||12 GB||16 GB|
|Memory interface||64 bit||64 bit||128 bit||192 bit||256 bit|
|TDP||25 – 35 W||35 – 50 W||60 – 80 W||80 – 120 W||120 – 150 W|
Also exciting is the Intel Arc-Mobile GPUs’ built-in Xe Media Engine, which can handle VP9, AVC, HEVC, and AV1 codecs. It can decode to a maximum of 8K resolution at 60 FPS with 12-bit HDR and is supposed to reach up to 8K at 60 FPS and 10-bit HDR in encoding.
Up to 8K at 60 Hz, but no HDMI 2.1
Things also get interesting with the Xe display engine of the Intel Arc Mobile chips that is being used. Thus, the GPUs can output two display signals in 8K resolution with 60 Hz or even four signals in 4K with 120 Hz and HDR. In 1080p or 1440p, even frame rates of up to 360 Hz are possible.
The only drawback is that the Arc GPUs do not support HDMI 2.1. A maximum of HDMI 2.0b is offered. DisplayPort, on the other hand, not only supports the current 1.4a standard, but already DisplayPort 2.0 (2.010G) with speeds of up to 80 Gbit per second.
On the other hand, the new graphics chips are all compatible with DirectX 12 Ultimate and support variable rate shading (VRS), mesh shading and sampler feedback in addition to ray tracing.
First performance figures from Intel Arc
Intel also presented the first performance values of the Arc Mobile graphics chips for the first time. However, they focused on the Arc A370M here, which is located in the lower third of the performance segment of the series. Intel compared the chip with the integrated graphics unit Iris Xe of the Core i7-1280P, which had to admit defeat to the Arc Mobile chip in some cases.
In titles like Hitman 3, Doom Eternal or F1 2021, the Arc A370M could consistently achieve more than 60 frames per second in Full HD resolution, whereas the internal solution was sometimes significantly lower. This is especially exciting because the Arc GPUs can work together with the integrated Intel solutions and share a power budget to work even more efficiently or to tease even more performance out of the notebook. Up to 30 percent more performance is supposed to be possible through this interaction.
Intel still didn’t provide us with performance values of the mid-range solution A550M or the top models A730M and A770M.
Intel Arc Mobile available now
At least the entry-level Arc 3 series around the A350M and A370M models is already finding its way into stores as of now. These new graphics chips are installed in the new Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro, for example, and other models from other manufacturers, including HP, Lenovo, Acer and Asus, are expected to follow shortly.
However, we will have to wait longer for the mid-range and high-end solutions of the Arc-5 and Arc-7 series. These are supposed to follow in the summer of 2022, presumably at the same time as Intel’s desktop graphics cards.