Intel's New Arc GPU Driver Boosts Game Performance By Up To A Whopping 268%

Intel Arc graphics logo in front of an optical light background.
Somewhere out there is an Intel Arc software engineer who's chugging a Red Bull while furiously hammering out driver code and wearing a t-shirt that reads, 'Big performance gains or bust'. Or maybe not. Either way, the continued development of Arc on the software side has been nothing short of impressive, with now yet another driver release promising significant FPS boosts in a range of titles.

In the early days of Arc, this was a necessity—as a newcomer to the modern discrete graphics scene, Intel was essentially playing catch-up with the competition, and it showed. Over time, however, Arc has matured with more consistent performance across a broader range of games. Each driver update adds a coat of polish to Arc, including the new WHQL release, which purportedly delivers greater than 100% gains in several games.

At its core, the newest Arc driver is a 'Game On' release for Tekken 8 and a handful of other titles, including Enshrouded, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth, and the smash hit Palworld. Just as NVIDIA brands its day-one game release optimizations as 'Game Ready' driver releases, Intel uses the term Game On.

In a lot of cases, driver releases may contain a few day-one optimizations and a handful of bug fixes, and call it a day. However, Intel continues to chip at away at older game releases. In this case, Intel says it "reworked our drivers for 23 (yes, nearly two dozen!), DirectX 11 games," including a doubling (or more) of performance in a few titles.

Intel graph showing the performance improvement on the Arc A750 with the latest driver update, in a bunch of games.

"In our unending journey to improve Intel Arc graphics, today’s driver has even more updates for released games—some from as far back as 2013! Several games previously getting low 50s FPS numbers on the Intel Arc A750 are now bumped up to just shy of 60 FPS, such as Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Sons of the Forest, and Watch Dogs: Legion," Intel explains in a blog post.

"Improvements to games we’ve worked on already (like Stellaris) go even further now, and titles in need of TLC are getting the love they need. Just Cause 3, previously running at 58 FPS accelerates to 151 FPS, and its successor Just Cause 4 goes from a sluggish 31 FPS average up 268% to a now-respectable 115 FPS," Intel adds.

A 268% performance gain is nothing short of impressive. Granted, we haven't had a chance to test Intel's claims, but even if independent testing bears remotely similar results, Arc GPU owners are looking at a massive uptick in a bunch of titles.

Other standouts include Elex II (up to 101% average FPS uplift at 1080p with Ultra settings), Apex Legends (up to 26% at 1080p with Ultra settings), Hunt: Showdown (up to 27% at 1080p with High settings), Space Engineers (up to 69% at 1080p with Extreme settings), and Sid Meier's Civilization VI: Gathering Storm (up to 32% at 1080p with High settings).

The vast majority of Intel's performance claims relate to 1080p gaming, though there a couple of 4K examples as well. According to Intel, its latest Arc driver improves performance by up to 10% in Elder Scrolls Online when playing at 4K with Ultra settings, while Tekken 8 sees a 15% jump at 4K, also with Ultra settings.

Intel's newest driver also includes a handful of bug fixes. They include...
A-Series GPUs
  • Alan Wake 2 (DX12) may exhibit white corruption on reflective surfaces when Transparency is set to Off. A workaround is to set Transparency to Low or High.
  • Sons of the Forest (DX11) may exhibit corruption on the item text in the game inventory.
  • Intel Smooth Sync may not work as expected with certain DX11 games.
Core Ultra with Arc Graphics (Integrated)
  • The Talos Principle 2 (DX12) may experience an application crash during gameplay with certain Upscaling Presets
  • Call of Duty Modern Warfare III (DX12) may experience application crash in certain gameplay scenarios.
  • Blackmagic Fusion may experience intermittent application crash during render operations.
In short, it's a solid driver update, and it's a WHQL release to boot. You can grab the driver through Intel's software, or head to the driver download page to go the manual route.