Intel Arc GPUs are finally here, and the initial reception was, well, mixed. The broad consensus seems to be that the flagship Arc A770 16GB is a decent gaming graphics card with a stellar price-performance ratio, but current driver and power consumption issues mean the Arc designs need a bit of refinement. .
One area where reviews have been almost universally positive is video encoding performance. For the uninitiated, video playback (specifically, in this case, high-resolution video) requires a specialized hardware unit on the GPU, the performance of which does not depend on the overall power of the card.
This is how, surprisingly, the $349 Arc A770 managed to top $1,599 (if you’re lucky) RTX 4090 in a benchmark test. The creator of the capture and analysis tool CapFrameX published the results of an AV1 video encoding performance comparison between four recent GPUs – and the winner is Intel’s humble A770.
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The other boards tested were the RTX 4090, the previous generation RTX 3090, and the AMD RX 6800 XT. The test involved decoding a video – Japan in 8K 60fps from YouTube – in 8K and 4K resolutions in the Google Chrome browser. To be ‘successful’ in the test, a GPU would need to run video at a consistent average of 60 frames per second.
As you can see from the results above, only the Arc A770 was able to deliver a perfect average of 60fps in 4K and 59.9fps in 8K. Of course RTX cards are not distant ago managing 59.9 fps at 4K, but they drop more noticeably at 8K resolution, with much lower framerates in the lower percentiles as well. The poor Radeon RX 6800 XT is completely impressed, although in its defense AMD has always marketed it as more of a gaming GPU.
Analysis: Intel’s focus on video encoding is good news for content creators
As the dust settles after a series of new releases, it’s starting to look like the big players in the GPU market are establishing themselves in their own specific niches. AMD, for example, is pushing hard from the gaming angle and supporting that with its amazing 3D V-cache CPU technology and high-end processors like the Ryzen 7 7700X.
Meanwhile, Nvidia is doubling down on its deep learning technology, positioning itself as the GPU choice for people who absolutely need tons of raw graphics power. They could be enthusiast gamers who want to play games in 8K, or they could be professionals who need high-end hardware to run 3D rendering or scientific analysis software.
Intel was incredibly late to the party, but it looks like Team Blue has its eye on the budget GPU space. Aggressive pricing even on their mainboards, combined with solid gaming performance and excellent video encoding hardware, make the Arc A7 series a great choice for streamers and content creators who don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on Nvidia. next-gen GPUs.
with none cheapest RTX 4000 cards in sight yet, and the next generation from AMD RDNA 3 GPU isn’t here yet, Intel has a real chance to squeeze into the budget space and make life harder for its competitors. But Nvidia and AMD’s loss is our gain; competition like this is good for the consumer, and with any luck, we’ll see Nvidia rethink its currently brutal pricing.