Intel plans another major graphics driver improvement in February

What to look forward to: Intel struggled to enter the dedicated graphics card market for PCs. Its first series of GPUs struggled to hit the market when the company promised to do so, and initial impressions revealed serious shortcomings. However, Intel has done a lot to address some of these shortcomings and remains determined to improve its dedicated graphics offerings.

Anonymous sources tell PC Games Hardware that Intel is gearing up to release another major driver update for its Arc graphics cards in February. Significant changes may soon occur to the company’s graphics management software.

The update should significantly improve the performance of Arc Alchemist for games that use all graphics APIs. The patch follows a December update that fixes a huge flaw in the GPU lineup with DirectX 9 (DX9) games.

One of the major drawbacks of Arc Alchemist is that it doesn’t natively support DX9 because Intel needs to focus its development efforts on DX12. Games started switching from DX9 to DX11 over a decade ago, but some of the most popular games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive still use DX9. Alchemist GPUs initially ran these games much worse than comparable cards, but the December drivers made up the difference in many ways.

The February drivers may further correct the deficit, as well as improve the performance of DX11, DX12 and Vulkan. The update will also introduce new features, but PCGH’s sources didn’t provide any examples.

These new features may include an overhaul of how Arc users manage graphics and schedule updates. Intel has not publicly disclosed the new software, but Linus Tech Tips and Albert Thomas of Toms Hardware confirm that Intel has told them that it exists.

Intel Arc’s current graphics control method, Arc Control, has run into serious problems. criticism, primarily because it’s an overlay without a custom window, rather than standalone software. Linus says the new app will be consolidate functions of Arc Controls in one panel, while Thomas said that this to satisfy users who don’t like the overlay.

A recently leaked roadmap reveals Team Blue’s plans to update the Alchemist line later this year before launching its successor – Battlemage – in 2024. While Alchemist only consists of entry-level and mid-range GPUs, Battlemage may include Intel’s first enthusiast card. The series is expected to improve ray tracing, memory, and machine learning.

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