Intel's Latest Arc GPU Driver Claims Huge Gains Of Up To 313% In A Major Title

Screesnhot of Assassin's Creed Unity
We're accustomed to seeing GPU driver updates delivering modest performance gains in games, and sometimes even big ones to the tune of a double-digit percentage jump of up to around 20 percent. So it goes with Intel's newest Arc GPU driver—version in beta form—but according to Intel, it's also optimized to deliver up to a mammoth triple-digit performance in Assassin's Creed Unity.

Sure, we're not talking about a title released in the last few months, or even the last couple of years for that matter. Ubisoft launched Assassin's Creed Unity in 2014. It's the eighth major game in the popular Assassin's Creed franchise, serving as a sequel to Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. Now nine years later, it holds a 'Mostly Positive' rating on Steam.

Intel Arc A770 and A750 graphics cards.

It's not a super demanding game by today's hardware standards. Even so, it's pretty remarkable that Intel managed to bump up performance by up to a 313 percent on its Arc GPUs, according to what's outlined in the release notes (we haven't tested the claims). That applies to running the game at 1440p with High settings. If playing at 1080 with Very High settings, Intel says its latest driver improves performance in the DirectX 11 title by up to 271 percent.

Intel has done a lot of work to improve performance in older games since launching Arc, though much of the spotlight has been on DirectX 9 games. It's also done a reasonably good job of optimizing its drivers for current-generation releases, and that's the case here as well. Here's a look at the other performance claims...
  • F1 22 (DX12)
    --Up to 36 percent uplift at 1080 with High settings
    --Up to 20 percent uplift at 1440p with High settings
    --Up to 10 percent uplift at 1080p with Ultra High settings and all Ray Tracing settings on
  • Deathloop (DX12)
    --Up to 10 percent uplift at 1080p with Ultra settings
    --Up to 8 percent uplift at 1440p with Very High settings
Those are chunky performance gains, assuming they hold up outside of the release notes. In addition, Intel says its latest GPU driver brings 'Game On' support for AEW: Fight Forever and Layers of Fear. That essentially means its optimized for both games, similar to how NVIDIA promotes 'Game Ready' driver releases for certain titles.

There are some known issues outlined in the release notes (PDF). One of the more notable issues is that systems running Arc graphics "may hang while waking from sleep." If that happens, Intel says you might need to "power cycle the system for recovery." Hopefully that's something Intel's driver team will fix in a future driver update.

Also bear in mind that this is a beta release. The driver checks in at 610.5MB, if you want to give it a whirl.