The initial reactions following the release of the first graphics processors from the Intel Arc line were disappointing due to driver issues and performance inconsistencies. However, after several months and beginning in 2023, several GPUs under the product line have received positive responses from reviewers and tech enthusiasts. One of these is the Intel Arc A750. It has been credited for providing decent performance for its price. This article reviews the pros and cons or advantages and disadvantages of Intel Arc A750.
Affordable Discrete Graphics from Intel: A Definitive Review of the Advantages and Disadvantages of Intel Arc A750
The Good: Advantages of Intel Arc A750 and Notable Features
Part of the Alchemist or generation A of the Intel Arc line is the Arc 7 line of high-performance graphics processors. This includes the high-tier Intel Arc A770 and the more affordable Intel Arc A750. Nevertheless, between the two, the latter has received favorable feedback due to its affordable mid-range pricing and decent entry-level-to-mid-range performance. The following are the specific advantages of Intel Arc A750:
1. Remarkable Specifications and Technologies
Intel Arc A750 is a 28-core graphics processor running at a 2050 MHz clock speed and with an 8GB video RAM based on GDDR6. Intel has positioned this discrete graphics processor for high-performance PC gaming and content creation. The hardware specifications might not be on par with the Intel Arc A770 but are still acceptable nonetheless.
This processor is specifically based on the Intel Xe-HPG graphics microarchitecture and was manufactured using the 6nm process of TSMC. Placed alongside the 28 Xe GPU cores are 28 ray tracing cores, 3584 shading units, 7 render slices, 448 Intel Matrix Extension Engines or tensor cores, and 448 Intel Vector Engines or execution units.
A defining feature of Intel Arc A750 is the inclusion of hardware-accelerated ray tracing. The inclusion of tensor units for AI-accelerated super sampling is another notable feature. These capabilities put this discrete GPU on par with mid-range discrete graphics processors from the Nvidia GeForce RTX and AMD Radeon product lines.
Support for several technologies is also a notable advantage. This GPU specifically supports Intel Deep Link Technology which coordinates co-processing operations across a compatible Intel Core CPU and even the Intel Iris Xe integrated GPU to maximize the performance of an entire computer system running on an Intel platform.
This GPU also supports various encoding and decoding technologies. These include H.264, H.265 or HVEC, AV1, and VP9. There is also support for DirectX 12 Ultimate and older versions of DirectX, Vulkan, OpenGL, and OpenCL. It also supports 4K resolution output via HDMI and 8K resolution via the DisplayPort interface.
2. Commendable Performance-to-Price Ratio
The aforementioned hardware specifications and technological capabilities and support are included in a discrete GPU that is priced at USD 250.00. Low price is another one of the biggest advantages of Intel Arc A750. This price tag provides it a compelling selling proposition against Intel Arc A770 and other mid-range Nvidia and AMD GPUs.
It is important to highlight the fact that this GPU has one of the best performance-to-price ratios in the entire discrete GPU market. The price tag puts it a little above the entry-level market segment but its actual performance of graphics processing capabilities put it within the lower portion of the mid-range market segment for discrete graphics processors.
Actual test results from Intel that compared the A750 with the A770 have revealed that the latter has performance advantages. However, upon closer inspection, the performance difference is not as substantial. For example, when running Red Redemption 2 at 1440p, the A770 had an average of 70 frames per second while the A750 had 68 frames per second.
Benchmark scores using Nearby 50 DX12 and real-world scores using Vulkan game titles have also shown that the Intel Arc A750 either rivals or outperforms the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 at both 1080p and 1440p resolutions. Take note that the most affordable retail price for the RTX3060 is between USD 329.0. and USD 349.00.
It is also worth reiterating the fact that the Intel Arc A750 might be a better option than the Intel Arc A770. The A770 specifically does not provide a compelling selling point for certain enthusiasts because there are other high-performing graphics processors at a similar price range such as the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 and the AMD Radeon RX 6600.
The Bad: Disadvantages of Intel Arc A750 and Notable Issues
One cannot discredit the fact that Intel Arc A750 is one of the best discrete GPUs in the market for entry-level and mid-range segments. However, despite being marketed as hardware for high-performance gaming and content creation, it is still important to note that its graphics processing capabilities are still not on par with high-tier and premium graphics processors. The following are the specific disadvantages of Intel Arc A750:
1. Performance Limitations and Issues
The Intel Arc A770 has better hardware specifications and better theoretical performance. It has 2100 MHz clock speed, 32 ray tracing cores, 4096 shading units, 8 render slices, 512 Intel Xe Matrix Extension or tensor cores, and 512 Intel Xe Vector Engines or execution units. It is also available in an 8GB and 16GB variants or models.
It is also important to note that generation A of the Intel Arc line has a more specific Intel Pro A-Series sub-line which includes the Intel Arc Pro A40, the Arc Pro A50, and the Arc Pro A60. These discrete graphics processors are the high-tier options from Intel. They are priced at around USD 200 or less and are marketed specifically for content creation.
Nevertheless, for a more powerful option for an Intel platform, the Intel Arc A770 is a better option due to its better hardware specifications. However, for applications centered on content creation, the Intel Arc Pro line provides a more compelling selling point because of its more affordable prices. The A750 stands somewhere in the middle.
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 is a more expensive option at around USD 329.00 but results from real-world use cases revealed that it can rival the A750 and even outperform it in some video game titles. These include Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Final Fantasy XV, and Horizon Zero Dawn running at a maximum 2560×1440 or 1440p resolution.
It would appear that the Intel Arc A750 is a capable graphics processor at 1080p resolution and lower settings. However, when it comes to higher settings, including 1440p resolution and above, it tends to become inconsistent and underwhelming in some cases. A more expensive and better discrete GPU is advisable for high-performance competitive gaming.
2. Heating and Power Draw Concerns
The Intel Arc A770 suffers from heating issues and power draw concerns. These same problems represent another disadvantage of Intel Arc A750. It is important to note that this discrete GPU has a two-tier heat management system composed of 15-blade dual-axial fans for heat ventilation and a vapor chamber cooling for better heat transfer.
However, despite its seeming sufficient heat management system, on-hand tests and even reports have shown that this hardware component can still generate a considerable amount of heat. This problem is magnified by the fact that it produces heat even when idle or when there are no resource or graphics-intensive tasks or applications running.
The computer system can still tolerate the heat under most situations and given an adequate overall heat management system. But this can be a problem in certain circumstances. For example, when firing the GPU during intense content creation or video gaming in a hot and humid room, the risk of overheating increases. This can result in hardware degradation.
It is also worth mentioning that both the A770 and A705 have higher idle power consumption, lower power efficiency, and poorer hardware optimization than graphics processors from Nvidia and AMD. Adding to this is the fact that both also have high power draw and power consumption. This can be managed through underclocking.
Underclocking can solve the heating and high power draw issues of the Intel Arc A750. Doing so would limit the performance of this discrete graphics processor. The same issues also mean that overclocking increases the risk of overheating and subsequent hardware damage. The most viable solution is to improve the overall heating management of the system.
Key Takeaway and Conclusion: Intel Arc A750 is the Best Value-For-Money Discrete GPU in the Intel Arc A-Series Line
The entry of Intel Arc A750 in the discrete GPU market challenges the dominance of established GPU manufacturers. There is a reason for Nvidia and AMD to feel threatened. This GPU from Intel is more affordable and its performance can outcompete similarly-priced alternatives from competitors and even rival or outperform higher-priced options. This graphics processor is a decent mid-range product with an entry-level price point.
It is also worth mentioning that the Intel Arc A750 is suitable for both above-average video gamers and content creators who are loyal users of an Intel platform or who want to maximize the capabilities of an Intel Core CPU and Intel Iris Xe integrated GPU. It is still not one of the most powerful graphics processors on the market. Enthusiasts and professional users would still find the more expensive higher-tier options more suitable.