Intel forgot to deliver updated Arc GPU driver by the end of April despite promising one

Published: May 6th 2022, 07:12 GMT   Comments

Intel Arc facing shortage of GPUs and drivers

It is more than a month since Intel ‘launched’ its Arc GPUs, but neither the GPUs nor the updated drivers are to be found.

On March 30th Intel promised to release an updated driver for its Arc GPUs. Here’s a reminder that Intel made a new branch for its Arc and Iris drivers, which is much older than the main branch with support for multiple generations of integrated graphics.

Intel was to release a new driver by the end of April that would include an option to disable benchmark specific optimizations. Without this toggle, all UL 3DMark tests are run with optimizations that improve performance by 15%, but the same time they render all entries invalid due to UL’s policies. The toggle would allow the user to complete UL tests and receive a valid score. Unfortunately, that is still not the case because such driver is not available.

By the end of April, we will add a UI option that allows users to toggle these benchmark specific optimizations on and off. This gives anyone the ability to see the top-level Intel Arc hardware potential of a fully optimized workload, as well as general benchmark performance. When the toggle is in place and the benchmark optimizations are disabled by default, the driver will be eligible for approval by UL.

— Lisa Pearce, VP and GM at Intel Visual Compute Group, Source: Intel

The most recent driver is dated 8th April and carries a number of 1330. The main branch is version 1660, while the latest beta is 1934. Intel has thus far not made any promises to fuse both drivers together, which leads us to believe that this discrepancy between the main branch and Arc branch will be something we have to get used to.

The latest Intel Arc GPU driver is dated April 8th 2022, Source: Intel

Intel’s competitor, NVIDIA, has recently made fun of the companies that spawn multiple development branches, which confuses the end users. Unfortunately, Intel is known for sluggish drivers releases. The company has once forgotten to release a driver for its Rocket Lake CPUs.

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