The Intel Arc A770 is one of the first discrete graphics processors under the Alchemist or A generation of Intel Arc introduced in October 2022 alongside the Intel Arc A750. It is specifically a higher-tier graphics processor within the entire Intel Arc line but it is priced within the mid-range segment of the entire discrete GPU market. The A770 competes against the Nvidia GeForce RTX and AMD Radeon RX graphics processors. This article reviews the pros and cons or advantages and disadvantages of Intel Arc A770.
High-End Discrete GPU from Intel: A Definitive Review of the Advantages and Disadvantages of Intel Arc A770
The Good: Advantages of Intel Arc A770 and Notable Features
Nvidia dominates the GPU market. It is considered the inventor of commercial graphics processors. AMD ranks second but it has earned a reputation for developing graphics processors with higher performance-to-price ratio. The arrival of the Intel Arc line and the introduction of Intel Arc A770 challenged the established presence of these two semiconductor companies. The following are the specific advantages of this discrete GPU from Intel:
1. Remarkable Hardware Specifications
The hardware inclusions and design of the Intel Arc A770 are befitting its status as a graphics processor for gamers and enthusiasts. It has programmable RGB light-emitting diodes, a full-length backplate, and an essential heat management system made of 15-blade dual-axis fans and vapor chamber cooling. The entire chassis also looks sleek and minimalist.
Moreover, aside from its appearance and essential features, this GPU is packed with technologies for modern-day graphics processing. It is a 32-core GPU or has 32 Xe cores, 4096 shading units, 8 render slices, 32 ray tracing units for hardware-accelerated ray tracing, 512 tensor units or Intel XMX Engines, and 512 execution units or Intel Vector Engines.
This GPU also has a clock speed of 2100 MHz with a total power board of 225 watts. There are two variants available. One with 8GB of video RAM and another with 16GB of RAM. The 16GB variant is based on GDDR6 and has a 256-bit graphics memory interface, a graphics memory bandwidth of 560 GB/s, and a graphics memory speed of 17.5 Gbps.
2. Process Node and Microarchitecture
Another notable selling point and advantage of Intel Arc A770 is that it is based on the 6nm process node of TSMC. This is a more advanced semiconductor manufacturing process than the process nodes used in several Nvidia and AMD graphics processors released in 2022 and earlier that gives this Intel GPU a theoretically more efficient performance.
The microarchitecture of the entire Arc 7 generation is also noteworthy. This generation is based on Intel Xe-HPG microarchitecture for high-performance graphics. GPUs such as the Arc A770 are equipped with proprietary technologies from Intel such as Intel Deep Link for co-processing coordination with an integrated Intel Iris Xe GPU and Intel Core CPU.
Furthermore, as part of the Intel Xe-HPG framework, the Arc A770 XeSS neural network supersampling takes advantage of AI hardware acceleration to boost graphics processing performance. This GPU also supports Variable Rate Shading, DisplayPort 2.0, DirectX 12 Ultimate, OpenCL and OpenGL, Vulkan, and AV1 encoding.
3. Laudable Performance-to-Price Ratio
Price is another advantage. This GPU was introduced with a price tag of USD between USD 329.00 and USD 349.00. The prices have gone down in several retailers. Tech enthusiasts have noted that the Intel Arc line provides a higher performance-to-price ratio compared with the more expensive options from the Nvidia GeForce RTX line.
The performance is also decent and falls within the mid-range level. Take note that the Intel Arc A770 has better performance than the Intel Arc A550 based on gaming in titles such as Resident Evil Village, Red Dead Redemption 2, Sniper Elite 5, and Control running at 1440p resolution. Deep Link tech also optimizes gaming and content creation tasks.
Results from real-world tests were also remarkable. The GPU produced an average frame rate of around 100 frames-per-second and a low frame rate of around 89 frames-per-second on game titles such as Far Cry 6 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive at 1080p resolution. Performance is at par and sometimes better than the GeForce RTX 3000 series.
The Bad: Disadvantages of Intel Arc A770 and Notable Issues
It is important to reiterate the fact that the top-tier Intel Arc A770 is still a mid-range discrete graphics processor in terms of price and performance. This processor is more affordable than the top-tier graphics processors under the Nvidia GeForce RTX and AMD Radeon RX lines but it cannot compete against these products in terms of high-end graphics processing capabilities and performance. The following are its specific disadvantages:
1. Other Graphics Processors Comparison
The better hardware specifications of the Arc A770 give it a theoretical advantage over the Intel Arc A750. However, based on real-world tests, the performance difference is miniscule. The price might be affordable but it is important to note that the Arc A750 provides the best value for money because of its better performance-to-price ratio.
Alternatives to this GPU from other competitors should also be taken into consideration. The GeForce RTX 4000 series is a more expensive option but it provides better graphics processing performance for competitive gaming and content creation. The same is true for more expensive options from AMD and its Radeon RX GPU product lines.
The performance of this GPU tends to be inconsistent in some video game titles. The problem is more noticeable in older games. This has something to do with driver support and can be remedied with future driver updates. This performance issue is noticeable in running AAA video game titles at 1440p or QHD and 4K or UHD resolutions.
2. Heating and Power Consumption Issues
Another notable problem and disadvantage of Intel Arc A770 is it tends to produce excessive heat even when not running graphics-intensive tasks or applications. This comes from the fact that it has a higher idle power consumption, lower power efficiency, and poorer hardware optimization than graphics processors from Nvidia and AMD.
Take note that heating is normal in graphics processing operations but users should also ensure that heat is managed adequately to prevent overheating and subsequent damage to the hardware and other hardware components. The cooling system of the A770 might not be enough and a user might opt to add more fans or other heat management solutions.
It is also worth mentioning that both the A770 and A705 have high power draw and power consumption. This can be managed through underclocking the graphics processors but doing so would affect their performance. The higher power draw affects the total power consumption of a computer system and the cost of energy consumption.
Key Takeaway and Conclusion: Intel Arc A770 is a Decent and Capable Mid-range Discrete Graphics Processor
The disadvantages of the Intel Arc A770 are negligible when taking into consideration its price and performance. Remember that this GPU falls under the mid-range bracket. It is still cheaper than mid-range options from Nvidia and AMD. This GPU even trounces mid-ranger graphic processors from the Nvidia GeForce RTX and AMD Radeon product lines. The A750 might be a better option due to its better performance-to-price ratio but the A770 still provides better value for money than counterparts from its competitors.
It is also worth highlighting the technologies that are supported in this graphics processor. The inclusion of hardware-accelerated ray tracing and AI-based supersampling via the XeSS remain the biggest advantages of Intel Arc A770 for its price point. The Intel Deep Link Technology is also a notable competitive edge because it makes this GPU a true component of an Intel platform. The technology enables users to maximize the capabilities of an Intel Core CPU, an Intel Iris Xe integrated GPU, and an Intel Arc discrete GPU.