Intel Arc GPU Driver Readies A Big FPS Boost For Alan Wake 2 Ahead Of Launch
Horror fans will get to see if Alan Wake II lives up to the hype when the game releases later this week. In the meantime, gamers who own an Intel Arc graphics card can download the latest Arc driver, version 22.214.171.12400, for a purportedly substantial performance gain at both 1080p and 1440p resolutions, according to the driver's release notes.
Versus the previous driver (version 126.96.36.19987), Intel says its latest release increases framerates in Alan Wake II by 20% when playing at 1080p with the settings dialed up to High, and up to 22% when playing the game 1440p and with the settings on Medium. Those figures should translate into chunky gains, assuming Intel's numbers hold true.
The fine print reveals that Intel is basing those claims on a system configured with a Core i9-13900K, ASUS ROG Maximus Z790 Hero, 32GB of Corsair Dominator RGB DDR5-5600 RAM, Arc A750 LE graphics card, and Windows 11 Pro. Your mileage will obviously vary depending on your particular setup.
Any software optimizations that GPU makers can provide are always welcome, but especially so in this case. That's because Remedy Entertainment recently revealed what amounts to bone crushing PC hardware requirements to play Alan Wake II, particularly if enabling ray tracing. Incidentally, there's no specific mention of Intel's Arc GPUs at any of the requirement tiers (Minimum, Recommended, Ultra, RT Low, RT Medium, and RT High), though you can still kind of gauge where the Arc A750 and Arc 770 would land.
To get your foot in the door, Remedy Entertainment recommends pairing at least a Core i5-7600K or AMD equivalent with a GeForce RTX 2060 or Radeon RX 6600, along with 16GB of RAM. That's enough to squeeze out 30 frames per second at 1080p with the settings on Low. And at the other end of the spectrum, playing at 4K with ray tracing turned on and the settings cranked up to High requires a Ryzen 7 3700X or Intel equivalent CPU and a GeForce RTX 4080 graphics card.
In addition to boosting performance in Alan Wake II, which is a DirectX 12 title, Intel claims its latest GPU driver offers a big uplift in Cities: Skylines 2 (DX11)—up to 34% at 1080p and High settings, and 26% at 1440p and Medium settings.
Intel doesn't list any bug fixes with its latest GPU driver, though there are several known issues that it's working to iron out. They include...
- Ghostrunner 2 (DX11) may experience sporadic application crash during gameplay
- Total War: PHARAOH* (DX11) may exhibit corruption after changing resolution in game on certain displays.
- Starfield (DX12) may exhibit corruption when using Dynamic Resolution Scaling. A workaround is to change the Render Resolution Scale slider value
- Halo Infinite (DX12) campaign may experience an application crash on some system configurations.
- Dead by Daylight (DX11) may experience an application crash during gameplay.
- Topaz Video AI may experience errors when using some models for video enhancement.
Intel has done a good job of delivering frequent and timely driver updates for new and upcoming games, as well as continuing to improve performance in older titles. In this case, be advised that this is technically a beta (read: non-WHQL) driver.
"Drivers that do not have WHQL certification are also thoroughly tested by Intel, are of the same functional quality as WHQL certified drivers, and are signed by Microsoft. The key difference is that non-WHQL drivers have not completed the full Windows Hardware Lab Kit testing prior to release. This is known as an attest-signed driver," Intel explains.
Head to Intel's Arc driver site to download the latest release.