Intel Arc drivers will move to combined package later this year, “no more installers issues”
The importance of independent testing.
Lisa Pearce, the Vice President of Intel’s Visual Computing Group, published a blog post explaining some recent development regarding Arc graphics software development. Some important topics were covered, but in general not much new has been said.
The blog post covers topics such as DirectX11 performance or the fact that Arc GPUs use DirectX9 mapping layer instead of supporting it natively. Intel is facing issues with older graphics APIs for which Arc architecture has not been optimized for. Those issues mean lower performance in some very popular titles (as per Steam charts) that do not use modern APIs such as Vulkan or DirectX12.
Lisa Pearce reiterates the Variable Refresh Rate and ResizableBAR support on Arc GPUs, independent reviewers have already tested both features. But those reviewers also discovered numerous issues with the current Arc drivers. Reviewers were not only facing lower performance issues on A380 GPU compared to competing products, but also serious problems with the drivers themselves, including Arc Control.
Frequently those reviewers were forced to buy graphics cards from abroad because Intel would not seed the samples to the US or Europe. This is hard to understand because the review from Gamers Nexus who tested GUNNIR A380 Photon graphics card has been exceptionally informative for Intel. The company has reported 43 new issues, out of which 4 were already fixed with the latest driver, and that’s just from one review.
Question #3: I’ve read reviews that say Intel’s driver is not ready yet. What’s the status?
We appreciate the feedback we are getting in early reviews of our Arc software stack. And it has been bumpy. We have received frank feedback from press during recent reviews, and we have taken it to heart. For example, we filed 43 issues with our engineering team from a review of the A380 by Gamers Nexus. We had corrected 4 of those issues by the end of July. Since then, we corrected 21 UI issues in our driver release on August 19th, and it also includes Day0 support for Saints Row, Madden NFL 23, fixes for Stray and Horizon Zero Dawn crashes, Marvel’s Spider-Man performance fix, and fixes on SmoothSync corruptions. We are taking similar approaches with reports from other press reviews.
We are continuing to learn what it will take for us to be successful. Some of the issues were related to our installer and how it downloaded unique components after initial installation. This allows us to have a smaller initial download to get users started quicker. But unexpected failures are causing that process to be unreliable, and later this year we will be moving to a combined package that is downloaded and installed all at once. No more installer issues.
— Lisa Pearce, Intel
Furthermore, Intel is planning to consolidate Arc software into one package, instead of downloading it after the driver is installed. Note this does not mean one combined package for Arc and non-Arc GPUs, but less problematic installation of Arc Control alongside core GPU drivers.
Unfortunately, we still do not know when Intel is launching more than just one desktop GPU, although we are already in the second half of this quarter.
In case you have not seen Gamers Nexus video: