Intel Boosts Arc Performance with New Drivers and Introduces XeSS Plugin for Unreal Engine

Summary: Late last week, Intel lifted the curtain on two major updates to its Arc software stack. He announced a new driver that adds support for four recently released games and improves performance by about 5% in eight others, as well as a plug-in for Unreal Engine that makes it easier for developers to add XeSS to their games.

Intel is working with developers to manually add XeSS to several games (Intel has an almost complete list here). Sounds like a pretty quick addition, but with the plugin it should be a completely trivial addition to any game using the Unreal Engine.

There are three versions of the plugin (on Github) for UE 4.0, 4.26 and 5.0, so games that are already being developed with an older version of the engine should also be able to add XeSS.

Of course, the plugin has the same limitations as the built-in XeSS. It doesn’t support split screen or VR and only works with the DirectX 12 API. It also runs best on Intel Arc GPUs and struggles to compete against AMD’s more hardware-independent FSR 2.0 in games that support both. FSR is also available as a UE plugin and is also open source, which XeSS does not have.

Intel also announced a new driver for the Arc A series that promises broader compatibility, performance improvements, and bug fixes. Basically, it adds support for Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0, Sonic Frontiers, and Dysterra. The driver is available now, but is still in beta testing. This should be picked up to release in the next few weeks.

According to the Intel release notes, the driver can improve performance up to 3% in five games: Guardians of the Galaxy, Forza Horizon 5, Far Cry 6, Chorus and Sniper Elite 5. It also improves performance by 5% in Gotham Nights and 7% in Ghostwire Tokyo. , and 8% in Dirt 5. Intel benchmarked at or near maximum settings at a combination of 1080p and 1440p.

Intel has also fixed several bugs in some popular games. Doom Eternal no longer flickers on certain maps, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege now shows consistent performance, lighting has been fixed in the Death Stranding Director’s Cut, and vertical lines have disappeared from Forza Horizon 5. Many bugs for arc control have also been fixed. application that should make it usable, although it still has a long way to go.

There are many more known issues that Intel is acknowledging in the patch notes, and there are many more known to the community. If you bought an Arc GPU, you knew what you were getting, but let’s focus on the positives. Intel is starting to deliver on its promise to keep improving its drivers and software stack, and early adopters should be happy about that.

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