Intel Arc GPU Driver Update Optimizes Buttery-Smooth Frame Rates In 5 Big Games

Render of a blown up Intel Arc graphics card on a dark blue background.
After releasing an Arc GPU driver tuned for Hogwarts Legacy and Returnal last week, Intel's software engineers are keeping the pedal firmly pressed to the metal with yet another update, this time with "Game On" optimizations for no less than five titles. For anyone keeping count, this is Intel's fifth Arc graphics driver update so far in 2023.

We bring this up because the release cadence is outpacing the competition—AMD released its Adrenalin 23.1.2 GPU driver to Radeon RX 7000 owners on January 25 followed by a 23.2.1 update to both Radeon RX 7000 and 6000 owners on February 14, while NVIDIA has come out with 528.02 (January 5), 528.24 (January 14), and 528.49 (February 8) in the same time span. Intel was also the first to push out optimized code for Hogwarts Legacy, a hugely anticipated game release.

Granted, both AMD and NVIDIA offer faster discrete graphics solutions than what Intel has on tap with its Arc GPUs, which culminate in the Arc A770 and A750. But Intel's aggressive release schedule is still noteworthy, given that software side performance optimizations and bug fixes are a critical part of the equation.

As such, Intel's (in beta form) brings Game On support for a bunch of recently released and upcoming games. They include Company of Heroes 3 (releases February 23), The Settlers: New Allies (releases today), Atomic Heart (releases February 21), Wild Hearts (released February 16), and Like a Dragon: Ishin! (releases February 22).

Intel Arc A750 game performance graph.
Source: Intel

We haven't tested the latest driver update, but according to Intel, the Arc A750 can push 174 frames per second in The Settlers: New Allies when playing at 1080p, or 130 frames per second at 1440p, both at High image quality settings. That's without Intel's XeSS upscaling technology too, which will be patched into the game sometime "after launch." That's a little better than NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 3060 12GB, according to Intel's own testing (and we assume without DLSS).

Intel also provided some benchmark data for Returnal. Using the latest driver (or last week's release, presumably), Arc 750 owners can expect to hit 71 frames per second at 1080p and 67 frames per second in 1440p. And again, Intel's in-house comparison data shows those figures edging out the GeForce RTX 3060 by a few frames.

Intel graph comparing the performance per dollar of its Arc A750 graphics card to NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 3060.
Source: Intel

The Arc A750 is readily available these days—it goes for $249.99 on Amazon (scroll down to Other Sellers if Amazon is not selected by default). Meanwhile, the GeForce RTX 3060 12GB carries a $329 MSRP, though Best Buy recently had a GeForce 30 series fire sale that saw the card go for $299. We haven't been able to find one at those prices at the time of this writing (save for refurbs), though we did spot a factory overclocked Zotac GeForce RTX 3060 Twin Force OC for $358.59 on Amazon.

Looking strictly at Returnal and The Settlers: New Allies, Intel is claiming the Arc A750 offers significantly more performance per dollar (a better bang-for-buck, if you will)—up to 65 percent more at 1080p, and up to 75 percent more at 1440p.

Take those numbers with a grain a salt, though, as upscaling technologies, real-time ray tracing, and a larger sample size are all needed for a meaningful comparison. In our own testing (based on older drivers when the A750 first released), we found the card did actually compete favorably to the 3060, but there were several games and settings where NVIDIA's mid-range card came out on top (and sometimes by a big margin).

Comparisons aside, Intel Arc GPU owners who are okay with running beta drivers can grab the 101.4125 GPU driver update for the latest Game On optimizations.