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Intel launches Arc A-series graphics for laptops

Today, Intel is officially launching its first Arc Alchemist graphics products, starting with the Arc 3, Arc 5 and Arc 7 series of GPUs for laptops. These are the first discrete GPUs from Intel's Arc A-series, which will expand to desktops and workstations later in the year. With this first batch of laptop GPUs, Intel hopes to deliver high-performance graphics experiences for gamers and creators. 

The Intel Arc A-series is designed for a range of laptop designs. For instance, the entry-level Arc 3 GPUs will be going straight to ultra-thin and light laptops. The Arc 5 and Arc 7 GPUs will be best served in bigger ‘gaming' and ‘creator' laptops with more capable cooling solutions. With Arc 3, Intel promises 1080p/60FPS gaming in popular titles – we've included a slide in the gallery below with Intel's internal Arc 3 benchmarks in titles like Doom Eternal, Hitman 3, Total War, Final Fantasy 14, Destiny 2 and others.  Esports titles like Fortnite, Rocket League and Valorant are also said to be no-sweat for Arc 3 GPUs, offering over 90FPS at 1080p.

With Intel Arc 5 and Arc 7, Intel promises increased graphics and computing performance, thanks to additional Xe cores, RT units and increased GDDR6 memory. The first Intel Arc 3-equipped laptops are being announced imminently, and Arc 5 and Arc 7 laptops will be coming later this summer.

In the slide above, you can see the specs for all five Intel Arc mobile SKUs, including the A350M, A370M, A550M, A730M and A770M. Each uses Intel's new Xe high-performance microarchitecture, or Xe HPG for short. Intel has been working on this for several years at this point, and already has plans for future generations of Xe GPUs, which will roll out over the next several years.

The architecture focuses on performance, efficiency and scalability. The Xe Cores at the heart of each GPU are integrated with Xe Matrix Extensions (XMX), providing a 16x increase in compute capability with AI inferencing operations, compared to traditional GPU vector units. The Xe Media Engine is also detailed in the presentation slides above, including support for a broad range of video codecs and standards, including AV1 hardware-accelerated encoding and decoding. All Intel Xe GPUs support high-resolution and high-refresh rate displays with HDR through standards like DisplayPort 2.0 10G, which supports 4K at 120Hz uncompressed.

To boost gaming performance, Intel Arc GPUs all fully support the DirectX 12 Ultimate feature set, and other technologies like XeSS, Intel's new super sampling solution, using AI-based image upscaling to enhance gaming visuals and improve performance – similarly to DLSS. XeSS won't be available right away though – that feature will be rolling out later this summer and will be supported by more than 20 games. Eventually, Intel will open up the XeSS SDK and tools for everyone across the industry to use, ensuring broader implementations in software.

Alongside these GPUs, Intel will be rolling out Arc Control, a new piece of software that users can go to for driver updates, performance tuning and overclocking, as well as launching games, global settings and creator tools.

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KitGuru Says: We've been waiting for this launch for quite some time and we'll be looking forward to testing in the coming months. Hopefully the first Arc desktop graphics cards aren't too far behind. 

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