Intel has been on quite the “journey” since it launched its Arc-series graphics cards last year. While the GPU hardware is really quite good, the state of Arc’s drivers being less-than-ideal was known to pretty much every enthusiast. Fortunately, the company has been on a tear to get bugs fixed and support improved, and all of that culminates in a newly-released driver that packs in a lot of polish.
Versus the launch driver, the new 4091 WHQL delivers dramatic performance increases in numerous games – especially those which revolve around DirectX 9. That said, the company has also noted gains in DX11 and DX12 titles, as well, and says it will continue to eke as much performance out of its hardware as more drivers get released.
Here’s an example of the DX9 performance upticks:
While countless DX9 titles exist, most of the attention at launch revolved around Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. This latest driver nearly doubles the frame rate in that title, with big gains also being seen in League of Legends and PAYDAY 2.
Because raw framerate isn’t everything, Intel also noted that its frametimes have also improved greatly, especially with CS: GO. Here’s an example of the reduced stutter:
Admittedly, it looks as though even more improvement could be made, since we’re still seeing occasional latency spikes here – but that’s not to discredit the massive improvement that’s already been made. With the state of the driver at launch, it’s impressive to see how far it’s come.
This massive driver update isn’t the only notable Intel announcement today. The company has also revealed that its Arc A750 LE has seen a price drop to $249 – $40 less than original SRP. We can’t speak on Arc’s gaming prowess as much as we can its creator, and for that, we can definitely say the A750 is well-worth considering. This price-drop just makes it all the more alluring.
Speaking of alluring, Intel has updated its game bundle. It now revolves around Nightingale and The Settlers: New Allies.
Those titles are worth about the same as half the price of the card, so Intel is acting quite aggressively in trying to get Arc into more people’s hands.
Overall, it’s great to see this momentum from Intel all-around, and it goes without saying that we’re due for a retest soon.