Intel is dropping the price of its RTX 3060 competitor, the Arc A750, to $249 just as it promises big performance improvements across a variety of DirectX 9 games for its Arc GPUs. The new $249 pricing will be available in the US and Canada today, followed by price drops in other regions over the course of the next week.
Intel’s Arc A750 was already only $289, less than the $329 retail pricing for an RTX 3060. This aggressive price cut means the A750 Limited Edition (made by Intel) is much more affordable than the average price for an RTX 3060, which Intel estimates at $391. “That’s what we see if you just take a snapshot of what’s on Newegg or Amazon, it’s around $391 on average,” says Intel fellow Tom Petersen in a press briefing with The Verge.
While Intel’s pricing has been impressive, performance was less so in DirectX 9 games. The company is now addressing that with a new driver release today. Intel is promising this new driver will more than double performance for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive at 1080p with the Arc A750, with big improvements also expected in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, League of Legends, and more.
Intel launched its Arc A750 and A770 GPUs in October, but after removing native support for DirectX 9, the emulation wasn’t up to scratch to deliver great performance for games like CS:GO, Left 4 Dead 2, and League of Legends. While the A750 and A770 performed well in DirectX 12 titles, early reviews reported poor DirectX 9 performance and weird driver bugs.
CS:GO, played by millions each day, was one of the biggest games with issues on Intel’s Arc GPU launch driver. “It had some jittery problems due to some architectural decisions we made on our DirectX 9 driver,” admits Petersen. “Now that same GPU is up to 347fps and it has a much better profile in terms of smoothness. These are gigantic improvements and it’s all because we’ve rearchitected our driver.”
Intel says that, on average, frame rates in DirectX 9 titles will jump by around 43 percent on the A750 compared to the launch driver. Improvements will be seen across both 1080p and 1440p resolutions. Intel hasn’t shared specifics, but the same DirectX 9 performance gains will be available on Intel’s A770 GPU, too. Arc owners should also see improvements to some DirectX 11 titles like Warframe, where Intel has specifically optimized its latest driver to address performance bottlenecks and improve shader optimizations.
These updates are all part of a promise Intel made at the launch of its Arc GPUs to improve performance over time. “You can expect us to get better on DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 as well as DirectX 9, and this is really us making come to fruition the promise we made when we launched,” says Petersen.
Intel knew performance might be an issue in certain games at launch, but Petersen says the team needed to get its GPUs into the hands of reviewers and customers to catch every single performance issue.
“We kinda knew it was going to be painful, but I feel like it’s just a natural part of entering a new market like this,” admits Petersen. “I’m pretty happy with where we are and how the team has responded.”