Intel Claims 71% Arc GPU Performance Boost in Cyberpunk 2077
Intel seems happy with software and driver updates that boost Arc graphics performance over 70 In Cyberpunk 2077. The chipmaker’s drivers have gotten stronger and stronger in recent months, but Cyberpunk 2077 has even more of an edge as developer CD Projekt Red implemented code to support his Intel XeSS 1.1 technology for the first time.
According to Intel’s internal tests, a modest Arc A750 paired with a Core i9-13900K was achieving 39 fps in Cyberpunk 2077 before the latest update. Now, with the latest drivers and his XeSS support, gamers can enjoy the same 1080p Ultra and RT Medium thrills at an average of 67 fps. Note that XeSS is set to “Performance” mode to achieve this improvement.
For those not paying attention, Intel XeSS is the company’s AI upscaling technology intended to compete directly with Nvidia DLSS and AMD FSR2. Unlike DLSS, it works on GPUs from other vendors, but through a different code path. In fact, it’s designed to take advantage of Intel’s Arc XMX cores for faster processing, so it’s often the best choice for Arc users when other options are available. Learn more about technology here. However, what I want to emphasize in this article is that XeSS gives the best results for games that are particularly demanding on hardware.
Gamers can choose between four XeSS modes in the graphics settings of compatible games. Super quality, quality, balance and performance. The latter offers the biggest frame rate boost (4x upscaling), but skews towards fast performance so pixel peepers can more easily spot flaws in image fidelity. I can. Intel’s latest blog boasting about Cyberpunk 2077’s performance improvements is based on testing with XeSS performance mode enabled. Being positive about the results, we can see RT enabled while the Arc A750 climbs “above that sweet 60 fps marker.”
Intel’s blog is interesting, but it highlights the march of progress experienced by Arc owners, so earlier this week they published a more comprehensive view on their latest Cyberpunk 2077 performance stats. Read our complete and comprehensive AMD – Intel – Nvidia GPU article that delves into Punk 2077 RT Overdrive Path Tracing. Unfortunately, we concluded that RT Overdrive is only viable on top-of-the-line RTX 40 GPUs with DLSS at this time. However, this article also has a full set of comparative benchmarks using his RT Ultra settings for games with DLSS 2/FSR 2/XeSS upscaling in performance mode.
You might think it’s a chart glitch that the Arc A770’s results at 70 fps were better than the Arc A770 with XeSS at 67 FPS in the tests I ran. However, the first results used AMD FSR2 upscaling instead. This was a big improvement over his XeSS, but its performance mode wasn’t great quality-wise.
So if you’re looking for maximum frame rate, FSR2 seems to beat XeSS on Arc graphics cards. Check XeSS for higher image quality at about the same level of performance.