Acer Predator BiFrost Arc A770 OC Graphics Card Review: Intel On-Board

Acer Predator BiFrost Arc A770 OC: Real-World In Game Benchmarks

The best way to know if a particular piece of hardware is going to work well for your workload is to simply test it. In other words, you can only get so much information from analysis and synthetic benchmarks. Ultimately, if you want to know how a game runs on a given GPU, you've got to play it on that card. So it goes that we've tested ten current games on this little pile of GPUs.

Baldur's Gate 3 Vulkan Benchmarks

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We're starting off with a game that Microsoft called a "second-run Stadia RPG". In a surprise to everyone including its developers, Baldur's Gate 3 managed to sneak into the zeitgeist and become a mainstream mega-hit. It's kind of an obtuse game that makes very little attempt to explain its cryptic table-top RPG rules, but the gorgeous visuals, overall high production values, memorable NPCs, and excellent accommodations for player agency have made it an instant classic.

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We tested Baldur's Gate 3 in one of the most taxing parts of Act 1, the Emerald Grove. That's because Act 3 starts to become extremely heavy on the CPU, and our Zen 3-based Ryzen 7 5800X3D could bottleneck us, believe it or not. We're using the Vulkan API because it offers improved framerate stability on most systems, although Arc doesn't seem to particularly care for it. We wouldn't call a 70 FPS average "struggling", but the 1% lows on Arc in this game are noticeably worse than those of either the GeForce or Radeon cards in this comparison.

Counter-Strike 2 Vulkan Benchmarks

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It is rather darkly ironic that Intel spent so much time and effort optimizing its graphics drivers for the super-popular Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, only for Valve to turn around and replace that game with Counter-Strike 2 just a few months later. The new title is based on the Source 2 engine and uses Vulkan as its graphics API, which is sort-of bad news for Intel's GPUs.

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We say "sort-of" because while the Arc cards offer the lowest performance in our selection of GPUs, they're still not offering "bad" performance. In fact, both of our Radeon cards were actually rather stuttery in this game. We average the results of multiple runs, and because the stutters seem to be loading- or shader-compilation-related, they eventually tapered off and weren't present in later runs. As a result, the 1% lows look okay, but Arc is noticeably smoother than Radeon in this game despite the lower average framerate. If you tick FSR upscaling to "Quality" this game runs at over 100 FPS average on A770.

Phantasy Star Online 2 New Genesis Benchmarks

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If you ask me, I'll tell you that I included this game because it makes for a modern and demanding title using the DirectX 11 API. Of course, the truth is that I included it because it's one of my favorite games. To be fair, both things are true. Despite being an open-world game and coming out only a little over two years ago, New Genesis uses the venerable DirectX 11 API, which gives it some interesting performance characteristics.

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PSO2:NGS actually has a stand-alone benchmark utility, but we used the live game for testing instead, because the benchmark is based on the 1.0 version of the game and there have been considerable optimizations since then. Arc does pretty well in this test overall considering its supposed weakness in DirectX 11 titles. PSO2:NGS has always favored NVIDIA GPUs, but playing on Arc at these settings is a good experience. Unfortunately, the game doesn't support any advanced upscalers besides DLSS, so if you've got a 4K monitor you'll be stuck with FSR1 to shore up performance.

Starfield Benchmarks

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Ah, Starfield. What is there to say about Bethesda's latest masterpiece that won't get angry fanboys writing furious comments? Whether we compliment the game or dump on it, somebody's going to have an opinion about it. Suffice to say that Starfield is an extremely-heavy DirectX 12 game that strongly favors Radeon cards. But how does Arc do in Todd Howard's science-fiction magnum opus?

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Arc doesn't do particularly well here. The most recent patch for Starfield resolved major visual bugs that were present in the previous patch, and did improve performance significantly—if you can believe that. Performance is still far worse than it should be comparatively, though. Well, that's true for every GPU on this list—this is only 1080p, with no ray-tracing or virtual geometry in play (because the game doesn't support those features)—but it's especially true for Arc. The A750 actually crashed twice before we could finish the benchmark on the previous driver version, but it was stable on the current version.

Resident Evil 4 Remake DX12 Benchmarks

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Folks who weren't there at the time may not understand the importance of Resident Evil 4. The 2005 release of Resident Evil 4 for Nintendo's Gamecube was a momentous event, as the classic RE formula had grown a bit stale. Capcom reinvented the series with a focus on third-person action gameplay, and it totally worked. This remake came out in March of this year with substantial updates to the classic title, and not just in terms of technology.

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At these settings, every GPU here offers playable performance, but some are better-off than others. While the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti screams into first place, we have to note that Resident Evil 4 is absolutely starving for video RAM. We're using relatively conservative graphics settings so that the 8GB cards can compete on level footing. The 12GB RX 6750 XT and the 16GB Predator BiFrost card could make use of much higher settings for improved visual fidelity in this title and a couple of the others.

Elden Ring DX12 Benchmarks

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Elden Ring is a game that needs no introduction, but in case you're somehow not familiar with 2022's game of the year, it's basically Dark Souls by way of Zelda. An open-world fantasy adventure with detailed graphics, the game got a patch that added ray-traced shadows and ambient occlusion back in March. We're testing with the game's standard graphics settings on Maximum, but with the ray-tracing quality on Medium because it mostly affects draw distance and the effects are too subtle to see very far in 1080p anyway.

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There are a lot of unusual results in this game. The Radeon RX 7600 scores above the RTX 3060 Ti and the A770, while the RX 6750 XT outpaces the RTX 4060 Ti. Elden Ring is a game with weird performance characteristics overall, and so it doesn't really surprise us that Arc is under-performing a little here. Still, this game was really intended for a 30 FPS experience, so 46 FPS average is more than playable at these settings. Hopefully FromSoftware implements XeSS with the upcoming Shadow of the Erdtree DLC.

F1 2023 DX12 Benchmarks

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F1 23 is the latest yearly installment of the Codemasters-developed F1 series published by Electronic Arts. Unlike some other yearly EA Sports releases, F1 continues to improve its technology every year, and F1 23 makes surprisingly heavy use of ray-tracing including a new global illumination solution that looks fantastic.

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We say "surprisingly heavy" use of ray-tracing because even on "Ultra High" settings, which engages all of the ray-traced effects, the Radeon RX 6750 XT still manages to keep pace with the pack. In fact, we'd really call the Arc A770's performance in this game superior to the RX 6750 XT's showing despite their placement on the chart due to the slightly-improved smoothness. They're neck-and-neck, though. 

The key differentiator could be that this game supports every upscaler. XeSS' superior image quality could be a reason to buy an Arc card over a cheap Radeon if you're really into F1. Slap on XeSS Quality mode and you get a solid over-sixty-FPS experience in this F1 simulator. Not bad, Intel.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart Benchmarks

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This game was a bit of a surprise release on PC. Announced less than two months before it launched, Insomniac's third-person blast-'em-up was an early showcase title for the PlayStation 5 and its novel (for consoles) solid-state storage. The game supports the whole cornucopia of rendering technologies on PC, which makes it a pretty good benchmark even if it doesn't have a canned test.

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Don't mind the paired 60 FPS average results there; they're not hitting a cap, it's just a coincidence. 58 FPS average is more than good enough in this title, and the framerate stability is great. The 16GB of RAM on the Predator BiFrost card gives you room to ratchet (heh) up the settings to Ultra, if you want, and this game supports XeSS, too, so you can crank up the resolution without sacrificing much performance. All in all, this is a great showing for Arc.

Hogwarts Legacy Ray-Tracing Benchmarks

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Hogwarts Legacy wasn't even on most people's radar until it came out. Licensed titles are usually either very bad or very good, and most people didn't expect much out of a Harry Potter game from a novice studio. As it happens, while the game somewhat lacks in depth, it's an wonderful action title with fun combat and gorgeous visuals. We used a custom test run in the Forbidden Forest, as the natural foliage in that area is extremely taxing with ray-tracing on.

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Arc does well again in Hogwarts. While the GeForce cards can flex their ray-tracing might here, Arc isn't too far behind. Furthermore, there's an advantage here for Arc that won't show up in a benchmark chart, and that's the extra video RAM for texture streaming. Hogwarts Legacy can easily use 11GB of video RAM, or even more if you're playing in higher resolutions. The game implements texture streaming to run on GPUs with less memory, but this can cause rather visible defects as textures slowly stream in. You won't see any of that on the Predator BiFrost card. This game supports XeSS, too, so your real performance will actually be even better than this.

Cyberpunk 2077 Ray-Tracing Benchmarks

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What graphics card review in late 2023 would be complete without Cyberpunk 2077? One of the better "comeback stories" in PC gaming, Cyberpunk 2077 was a mediocre and severely-broken game on release, but continual free DLCs in combination with a complete overhaul of the game's mechanics in the massive 2.0 update have revitalized the title into an excellent open-world action RPG not entirely unlike an immersive sim. Think Deus Ex by way of GTA V.

Our first set of Cyberpunk 2077 benchmarks are using the standard hybrid render mode, where most of the game scene is rasterized normally before ray-traced effects are layered over it. We select the RT Ultra preset before ticking the lighting setting to "Psycho", enabling full ray-traced global illumination. Since this is quite heavy even at 1080p, we use each vendor's own "Quality" upscaling to keep performance at a playable level.

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It might not be able to keep up with NVIDIA's GPUs on this metric, but Arc ain't bad at ray-tracing. Particularly notable is that the frame-rate stability here is especially good. We'd be remiss if we didn't mention that this game supports DLSS frame generation, though; the RTX 4060 Ti could be running nearly twice as fast.

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As a sort of test for future-proofing, we also ran benchmarks in the game's path-traced RT Overdrive mode. Given how taxing this mode is, we let upscaling fall back to "Performance", giving us an input resolution of 960×540, but it still looks pretty darn good on the GeForce cards thanks to DLSS ray reconstruction. The Arc story here is completely different from the regular benchmark; while Arc handles Cyberpunk 2077's standard ray-tracing with relative aplomb, it falls down in path-tracing mode. This is a bummer, but even the potent Radeon RX 6750 XT can't deliver playable performance here, so it's fairly unlikely that this was going to work in any case.

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