Intel's Arc A730M appeared in some early reviews in China, tentative given the sources, and we'll get to that, but this time one of Alchemist's GPU testers used the latest driver that officially supports A730M loads.

This driver was released yesterday (version with such support, and since laptops are now on sale with the A730M inside, but only in China, this is our first good look at the card's potential performance. Intel laptop graphics found in the right place. under the flagship A770M.

The situation is that two sources (reported by VideoCardz (Opens in a new tab)) compared a Machenike gaming laptop currently on the shelves in China, which contains the A730M GPU. The first set of results comes from 'Golden Pig Upgrade', a Weibo locale that brought us an earlier leak as we reported yesterday, but has now installed the latest Intel driver for this latest round of testing, as noted.

The other results are from IT-Home, a Chinese tech site, though it didn't use the new A730M-compatible driver, and overall we still maintain a healthy skeptical mindset when looking at these scores.

Let's first look at the findings from Golden Pig Upgrade, which compared the A730M to the RTX 3060 laptop GPU, using laptop benchmarks running one of Intel's Alder Lake Core i7-12700H processors to provide ground rules. fair enough.

While the A730M consistently performed well in synthetic benchmarks, as we saw in yesterday's 3DMark results, and handily outperformed the RTX 3060 (in fact, the Intel GPU outperformed the 3070), this was not the case with the actual game references.

To take a few examples, Gears 5 hit 90fps (frames per second) with the A730M, but that was far behind the RTX 3060 which managed 133fps. For Hitman 2, the Nvidia card pushed the Intel GPU up to 100fps versus 76fps. Both results were DX12 - resolution and settings weren't shared, but it's clearly 1080p, but some DX11 benchmarks were also run, like Total War Saga: Troy where Nvidia won from 136fps to 114fps.

There was some brighter news with Metro Exodus, mind, where the A730M beat the RTX 3060, averaging 77fps at 72fps (and we know it was on high graphics settings at 1080p).

IT-Home testing was based on Intel Arc driver version, before the A730M was officially supported. wide range for real-world games, too.

This means the A730M lags a bit behind the RTX 3060, although in this case the benchmark comparisons weren't made directly by IT-Home, but rather based on existing gaming benchmarks via; so we have to be especially careful here. For what it's worth, the A730M feels considerably slower than the RTX 3060 in Cyberpunk 2077, while Control saw roughly similar performance, but the Intel GPU actually outperformed the Elden Ring, though we're really wading through the salt here.

Analysis: Are there many optimizations left to do for Arc?

The sum total of these benchmark comparisons, some of which are definitely flimsy, is that the A730M is slower than Nvidia's RTX 3060 in most but not all of the games tested (and certainly not in the synthetic tests with 3DMark, but it is not as important as real). world game results). And the clear suggestion is that Intel is still working hard to improve the Arc graphics driver.

Metro Exodus is the key benchmark to focus on here, as we've seen Golden Pig Upgrade run the game in its previous tests, but with an outdated driver, so now we can compare that result to the new driver it supports. officially the game. 'A730M.

Previously Metro Exodus (at high settings, 1080p) was handling 70fps, but with the new driver it's getting to 77fps, but there's a bigger story to tell in terms of the lowest frame rate recorded. It used to drop to a horrible 9fps, which sometimes meant Metro Exodus turned into a very choppy slideshow, but now we're seeing a low of 45fps, which is much more in line with what we expected.

In other words, the latest driver appears to have been fixed for Metro Exodus now, but not for some other games based on a number of results seen here. Which again indicates that Intel is still optimizing the driver and tuning it for various problematic games. (Note that there are also reports of various games crashing or even not working at all with the Arc A730M, which is really not a good sign.)

And that's all consistent with what we've seen so far: a very limited release of discrete GPUs for Arc laptops, just in Asia, mainly because Intel just isn't ready to release Alchemist products globally and in regions like the US. and Europe. Not to mention the delays on the Arc desktop, probably related to the same reasons of having to further tweak the software side, even though the hardware is ready to go.

Remember, this is all just speculation, but things clearly haven't gone to plan for Intel so far with Arc GPUs, so it's not really a huge leap when looking at early benchmarks like the ones shared here. .

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