Intel has confirmed that it will bring improved DX11 & Legacy API gaming performance to the Arc GPU in a recent video. The company admits that they are aware of the unsatisfactory gaming performance in titles using DirectX 11 and are working to improve the experience going forward.
Intel admits it’s behind on older APIs, but promises to improve DX11 gaming performance over time
Originally reported in a review by LinusTechTips, the tech outlet witnessed a 50% difference in GPU performance between DirectX 11 and 12 versions when comparing Shadow of the Tomb Raider on a system using an Arc A770 graphics card. In the previous version of DirectX, the game reached close to 38 FPS, while the latest saw an increase of about 80 FPS.
DirectX 11 and older APIs function differently than updated DirectX 12, Vulkan, and other current APIs. The older API technology requires most of the processing from the graphics driver, from enhancements to customizations made for lower performance cards. The need for the GPU to handle more of the game’s work was to relieve some of the burden from game developers looking to optimize the look of their games.
With Vulkan and the current DX12 API, boost is no longer dependent on the graphics driver, but on the game’s graphics engine. Game developers are now required to handle the responsibility of graphical optimizations, especially on weaker systems, and place tasks in the game code to shoulder this burden. An example of this is video memory allocation.
Intel didn’t have to deal with graphics APIs because they haven’t been developing GPUs for many years. Now, with the company’s Arc series graphics, they have to catch up with companies that have been focusing on this type of technology for years, namely the company’s rivals AMD and NVIDIA.
This notion of the company’s ignorance of DirectX 11 and older APIs has led Intel to admit that it will take a long time to understand and find solutions to the problems plaguing their current iGPUs and dGPUs. Intel contributor Tom Petersen was recently quoted on the API improvement path for Intel, stating that the issue will be a “labor of love forever.”
Most of these issues stem from the dependency on the integrated graphics software stack, which contains a very different architecture compared to the Arc GPU. This resulted in inadequate levels of performance, game/API compatibility, etc.
“Our version of the software for our discrete graphics was clearly weaker,” Gelsinger said. “We thought we’d be able to use the integrated graphics software stack and it was completely inadequate for the levels of performance, game compatibility, etc. that we needed. So we’re not hitting our target of four million units in the discrete graphics space, although we’re catching up now and getting better software releases.”
“While we will fall short of our GPU target, we remain on track to deliver over $1 billion in revenue this year.”
“In the second quarter, we began ramping up Intel Arc graphics for laptops with OEMs including Samsung, Lenovo, Acer, HP and Asus. COVID-related supply chain issues and our own software readiness challenges have led to delays in availability, which we continue to work towards.The Intel Arc A5 and A7 desktop cards will begin shipping in Q3.”
Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger
Intel will now have to make attempts to work on DX11 and older APIs or risk waiting until the industry no longer demands anything less than the next generation APIs available.
News sources: Tom’, s HardwareLinusTechTips
Intel Promises Improved DX11 & Legacy API Gaming Performance on Arc GPUs