Intel has shared a new set of benchmarks for its Arc A7 series discrete mobile GPUs, testing seventeen different games at 1080p on the A770M and A730M cards and comparing them to Nvidia’s Max-Q laptop variants of the RTX 3060 and RTX 3050 Ti , respectively.
These results seem to show that Intel’s Arc GPUs outperform RTX cards by a moderate amount, with a performance increase of approximately 12% on average for both Arc cards over their Nvidia counterparts. The A770M beat the RTX 3060 in 14 out of 17 games tested, while the A730M beat the RTX 3050 Ti in 12. The biggest single difference was in Control, where the A730M outperformed the 3050 Ti by nearly 50%.
However, benchmark values provided by a manufacturer should always be viewed with caution, as Intel obviously wants to generate interest in these new GPUs. There is no way for us to verify these results yet, as Arc A7 GPUs are currently only available in a small number of laptops sold in mainland China. The Arc laptops tested by Intel are pre-production models, while the Nvidia laptops are existing units from MSI and Asus.
While Intel might seem to have a slight edge here on performance, it should be noted that Nvidia’s Max-Q cards are still the most power-efficient option. Intel has not provided exact operating TGPs for the Arc boards, but we know that the Arc A730M operates at least 20W above the 3050 Ti Max-Q, and the reviewed A770M may be using up to 65W more than the 3060 Max-Q.
Analysis: Should we really be excited about the Arc A7?
Overall, I’m a little concerned about these numbers, even if Intel wants to frame them as a clear win for Arc. After taking a closer look at the laptops Intel used for the testing process, I was even more concerned.
The pre-production laptops used for the Arc tests were powered by the latest 12th Gen Intel Alder Lake processors and ultra-fast DDR5 RAM, while the RTX 3060 and 3050 Ti gaming laptops both used less powerful 11th generation chips and DDR4 memory.
That makes the comparison a little unfair, frankly. The A770M laptop is a particularly notable choice compared to the Pulse MSI GL66 that Intel used as it has a powerful Core i9-12900HK CPU against the GL66’s i7-11800H. The tested RTX 3060 and 3050 Ti GPUs are also not the highest power models available for laptops.
Of course, the GPU will still be the main factor in game performance here, but these don’t feel like particularly fair comparisons. I would really like to see a more accurate matchup using matching processors and memory, as I strongly suspect the 12% margin might be a much smaller in reality.
With the Arc series already bothered by delays thanks to driver issues and Covid lockdowns, and initial impressions of the Discrete desktop Arc A3 GPUs not looking too good, Intel might be worried right now. If Arc A7 laptop cards can barely outrun Nvidia’s current main competitors, what hope does Intel have when Lovelace laptop GPUs arrive?
While the desktop RTX 4060 isn’t currently expected to arrive alongside the first flurry of RTX 40-series GPUs, laptop OEMs likely won’t have long to wait for them. Price is obviously still the big issue here; if Intel can significantly hurt Nvidia, they can still secure a position as the top choice for affordable 1080p gaming. But for now, I fear the outlook is bleak for Intel’s long-awaited return to the GPU market.
From Tom’s Hardware.