Intel’s first Arch Alchemist desktop graphics card launched last month — but as you may recall, it’s still only on sale in China — and many reviews of low-end models from manufacturer Gunir now draw disappointing conclusions on performance. complete with. However, a review gives us a possible explanation of what’s going on here.
These reviews of the Gunnir Arc A380 Photon have popped up in a few other countries, including China (of course), Germany, and Russia, the latter being the one we’re interested in here.
Broadly speaking, reviews (as marked by VideoCardz) (opens in new tab)) has not been pretty for Intel, for example Igor’s lab has declared the Gunnir card ‘not approved’ (with a score of 1/5, but note, the manufacturer and the quality of its cards, have received considerable criticism from Gunnir , unlike Intel which only produces GPUs).
However, as seen by Hot Hardware (opens in new tab)There’s bright news in that aforementioned Russian review by pro hi-tech on YouTube – like – here (opens in new tab), While the Gunnir A380 fell behind Nvidia’s GTX 1650 and was disappointed with its overall performance, reviewers noted that the graphics card only drew over 35W, despite being equipped with an external power connector – indicating that it could suck much more than that. As a GPU can receive a modest amount of power directly from the motherboard, and only requires external power from the PSU if it is a 75W+ model.
So, the reviewer decided to juice up the A380 and see the results, and while Arc GPUs don’t work with third-party overclocking utilities, luckily Intel has its own integrated overclocking feature built into the graphics driver (Arc Control Center). is composed.
The reviewer saw the GPU performance increase by up to 55% while raising the core voltage to 255 mV, resulting in a power usage increase of about 35W to 55W – and some major performance gains.
Some games performed better than others under the new configuration, as is always the case, but to give you an idea of the big difference seen for some titles, Doom Eternal benefited from a 60% increase. Yes – it’s huge. Other games still got a good deal of turbocharging, like God of War with a 40% performance increase.
Analysis: Is this a kind of magic? no not really…
So what is happening here? Is Intel’s overclocking tool doing some sort of sorcery to significantly increase the frame rate? Because with a typical overclocking scenario with existing AMD and Nvidia desktop graphics cards, gamers get small (still worthwhile) boosts, but nothing on such a scale.
The important point here is that there is a big difference between tampering with the clock speed of the graphics card and increasing them to such an extent. Remember, this is a jump of 20W, and with the graphics card pottering at 35W out of the box by default, this represents a more than 55% increase in supplied power. So suddenly the 40% to 60% jump in performance in some games starts to make a bit more sense…
The question then becomes – if this A380 GPU is clearly being run in a very low power envelope, why is that?
Hot Hardware explains that in a conversation with Intel Fellow Tom Peterson, he stated that Team Blue’s clock speeds for the Ark were pitched at lower levels, and had ‘worst-case’ numbers, indicating that Alchemist was from the GPU. A good deal can be made outside. – and the same can be true for the power limit. Intel may have set these low out of the gate to err on the side of caution and actually ensure stability and reliability for the A380, especially in these early cards, which still ran with winning drivers. are.
And yes, according to various reviews out there right now, the Arc Driver is still a lot of work in progress, and it’s kindly putting it (one reviewer commented on experiencing a ‘minefield’ of driver issues when evaluating the A380).
We theorized that the decision to start in China was about dipping toes in water with desktop GPUs that still had teething problems, and it looks like it might be if these reviews are anything to go by. Is. And instead of risking any reputational damage surrounding the Arc A380 misfiring in this early incarnation – and the potential perception that the Arc brand might be disappointed if it launches outside Asia – Intel specifically around power limits, thermals and clocks. Being cautious.
Of course, we’re only speculating, but the good news is that if that’s the case, the situation with the drivers will improve in due course of time, and so should the performance levels as well as tuning applied to graphics cards. (Whether the wattage jump seen here is pleasant for long periods of time, we don’t know for sure, and it may not be wise to push that hard – but it seems to be getting a good amount of breathability with the A380.) room, but any rate).
This constrained power envelope would also theoretically explain why these early performance assessments placed the A380 as a worse-off at the budget end of the GPU market than the Nvidia GTX 1650 or AMD RX 6400 (the latter of which is not unlocked for overclocking). Looks like a rival.
Besides the potential for a lot of room for improvement, perhaps in terms of default power levels, and certainly with the drivers, there has been some other positive news around desktop Arc GPUs recently, namely that they support crypto-mining. do not.