Intel Claims 71% Arc GPU Performance Boost in Cyberpunk 2077
Intel appears to be delighted with software and driver updates that have boosted Arc graphics performance by over 70% in Cyberpunk 2077. The chipmaker’s drivers have gone from strength to strength over recent months, but Cyberpunk 2077 has been given an extra leg-up as developers CD Projekt Red have implemented the code to support Intel XeSS 1.1 technology for the first time.
According to Intel’s in-house tests, a humble Arc A750 combined with a Core i9-13900K previously achieved 39 fps in Cyberpunk 2077 before the latest updates. Now, with the latest drivers and XeSS support, gamers can enjoy the same 1080p Ultra and RT Medium thrills at an average of 67 fps. Please note that XeSS was set to ‘Performance’ mode to deliver this uplift.
In case you haven’t been paying attention at the back, Intel XeSS is the company’s AI-upscaling technology that aims to compete directly against Nvidia DLSS and AMD FSR2. Unlike DLSS, it works with other vendors’ GPUs, but it does so via a different code path. Really, it’s designed to take advantage of Intel’s Arc XMX cores to accelerate processing, so it will often be the best choice for Arc users, even where other options are available. We provided a deep dive into the technology, which you can read here. What we would like to emphasize for this article, though, is that XeSS delivers the best results where games are particularly demanding on hardware.
Four XeSS modes are available for gamers to choose between in the graphics settings of compatible games; Ultra Quality, Quality, Balanced, and Performance. The latter delivers the greatest frame rate uplifts (4x upscaling), but the bias toward speedy performance means that pixel peepers will more easily see image fidelity defects. Intel’s latest blog boasting about the Cyberpunk 2077 performance uplift is based on tests with XeSS Performance mode enabled. Being positive about the result, it’s good to see that RT is enabled while the Arc A750 rises “above that sweet 60 fps marker.”
While Intel’s blog is interesting, as it highlights the march of progress that Arc owners have experienced, we published a more overarching view on the latest Cyberpunk 2077 performance stats earlier this week. Please read our complete and comprehensive AMD – Intel – Nvidia GPU stuffed article that looks closely at Cyberpunk 2077 RT Overdrive Path Tracing. Unfortunately, we concluded that RT Overdrive is only viable on the highest-end RTX 40 GPUs with DLSS at this time. However, our story also has a full set of comparative benchmarks using the game’s RT Ultra settings with DLSS 2 / FSR 2 / XeSS upscaling in Performance mode.
You may think it’s a chart glitch that our Arc A770 result at 70 fps was better than the Arc A770 with XeSS at 67 FPS in the test we ran. However, the first result used AMD FSR2 upscaling instead, which provided greater uplifts than XeSS, but its Performance mode wasn’t as nice quality-wise.
So, if you’re after maximum frame rates, it looks like FSR2 still beats out XeSS on Arc graphics cards. For nearly the same level of performance but with higher image quality, XeSS gets the checkmark.