In the run-up to the launch of Intel’s Arc graphics cards, the company emphasized for months that the cards might not perform well in games that didn’t use newer graphics APIs like Vulkan and DirectX 12. The GPUs are actually quite price-competitive with aging midrangers like Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3060 if you’re playing newer games, but performance in older games is mixed.
For Intel Arc owners attracted to the cards’ price, salvation may come in the form of continued driver updates. Since the October launch of the A770 and A750, Intel has released a handful of driver updates, each of which fixed specific bugs or provided small performance improvements in individual games. But in today’s beta driver release (18.104.22.16859, for those keeping track), Intel is offering a “significant” boost in older DirectX9 titles, with frame rates that can improve by as much as 80 percent.
DirectX9 was the graphics API of choice in the Windows XP era, and the Windows XP era lasted for a very long time. The API is also used in still-popular multiplayer games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, Team Fortress 2, and Starcraft II, making performance improvements in DirectX9 games particularly noteworthy.