Magic Driver: More than a year after the lackluster launch of the first generation of its discrete GPUs, Intel is still working to enhance compatibility with existing games. The latest driver release for Intel Arc now offers significantly improved performance in a variety of titles.
Intel recently released the new “Game On” version of graphics drivers for its Arc GPUs. Game On drivers are designed to deliver an optimized experience for the latest games, but the new 126.96.36.19986 release can significantly boost older titles as well, at least according to official benchmark scores provided by Intel.
The new driver includes official support for the following games: Tekken 8, Atelier Resleriana: Forgotten Alchemy and the Polar Night Liberator, Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, and Palworld. Users can expect a modest frame rate increase for these games; for example, Intel estimates a 15 percent speed uplift in Tekken 8 (4K, Ultra settings).
The new Game On driver release continues Intel’s “unending journey” to improve DirectX 11 games on Arc GPUs, the company said. The Santa Clara corporation is bringing yet another massive performance boost to 23 titles, some of which date back to 2013. Intel has “reworked” driver support for those games to provide double the average frames per second in some titles.
Games such as Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Sons of the Forest, and Watch Dogs: Legion were previously unable to surpass low 50 FPS (on Arc A750), but now they achieve up to 60 FPS. Other games that were already improved in previous Arc driver releases can now push further, with Just Cause 3 going from 58 FPS to 151 FPS and Just Cause 4 experiencing a substantial (average) 268 percent increase from 31 FPS to 115 FPS.
Proper support (or lack thereof) for older games and DirectX versions is one of the main issues faced by Intel’s first foray into the highly competitive discrete GPU market. The Xe-based “Alchemist” architecture does not offer native hardware support for Direct3D 9 features, relying on the D3D9On12 wrapper to translate D3D9 calls to their Direct3D 12 counterparts.
Even in recent games using DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 APIs, Intel Arc still falls short of expectations. The suggested FPS improvements in the latest Arc drivers are mostly related to 1080p resolution with variable graphics settings. Intel is, however, boasting a +10 percent performance increase in 4K with Ultra settings for Elder Scrolls Online.