Intel Arc drivers bring much-needed DX9 performance improvements

All aboard the Arc.

The Callisto Protocol

Intel has released Arc Graphics Driver ironing out a handful of bugs, adding support for new games and significant performance improvements in older DirectX 9 titles.

Candid about its slow progress in this area, Intel states “we knew that our DX9 experience needed more attention. Starting with our latest driver release, we are beginning to roll out substantial improvements for these popular and important titles!”

Popular would be an understatement. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends are two of the games targeted for major gains, with Intel claiming performance improvements of up to 1.8x.

In addition to welcome framerate gains, we have fixes for visual corruptions in Victoria 3, Hearts of Iron IV, Stellaris, and Sonic Frontiers, alongside some Arc Control software unresponsiveness and bugs. This update also adds support for five new games – including The Callisto Protocol – and optimisations for 13 others.

As usual, some new problems have also been identified, namely instabilities while playing Diablo II: Resurrected, plus corruptions in Conqueror’s Blade, Call of Duty: Vanguard, and Payday 2. Unfortunately, a couple of known issues from the last update are still not fixed for Adobe Premiere Pro and Blender.

It’s nice to see Intel keeping pace with these driver updates. “Further improvements for games based on legacy APIs and general driver enhancements are on their way and future drivers will continue our march to a refined and more performant product,” said the company in a statement.

Fortnite - Chapter 4

The updated driver is available to download from Intel, and the full list of changes is as follows:

Adding Intel Arc A-series driver support for:

  • World of Warcraft: Dragonflight
  • Warhammer 40K: Darktide
  • Marvel’s Midnight Suns
  • The Callisto Protocol
  • Fortnite (Chapter 4/UE5.1)

Performance optimisations for the following DirectX 9, 11, and 12 titles:

  • League of Legends (DX9)
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (DX9)
  • Payday 2 (DX9)
  • Stellaris (DX9)
  • Starcraft 2 (DX9)
  • Guild Wars 2 (DX9)
  • NiZhan (DX9)
  • Moonlight Blade (DX9)
  • Far Cry New Dawn (DX11)
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider (DX11)
  • DOTA 2 (DX11)
  • Dying Light 2 (DX12)
  • Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 (DX12)

Support for Agility SDK 1.608.0 developer features:

  • Enhanced Barriers for finer-grained control of barriers
  • Support of Vulkan to D3D12 Dynamic Pipeline State
  • Support for optimised Microsoft DirectStorage 1.1 with GPU-accelerated decompression for developer integration

Fixed issues:

  • Victoria 3 (DX11) may exhibit ghosting corruption when applying MSAA x16 settings.
  • Hearts of Iron IV (DX11) may exhibit texture corruption when applying MSAA x16 settings.
  • Stellaris (DX9) may exhibit texture and flickering corruption during Star previews.
  • Sonic Frontiers (DX11) may experience flickering corruption on Intel Arc A380 graphics products when Frame Rate Limit setting is set to 60. A workaround is to set Frame Rate Limit to 30.

Arc Control fixes issues:

  • Arc Control may not scale automatically and may cause some UI toggles to become unresponsive when changing from a 1080p resolution to a 4K resolution. A workaround is to revert resolution or reboot.
  • Some applications may exhibit pixel corruption when Sharpening Filter is enabled globally.
  • Arc Control Studio Capture may exhibit a “Selected audio device not found” error after resuming the system from sleep.

Known issues:

  • Diablo II: Resurrected (DX12) may cause system instability or application crash.
  • Conqueror’s Blade (DX12) may experience corruption in benchmark mode.
  • Call of Duty: Vanguard (DX12) may experience missing or corrupted shadows during the Submarine mission.
  • Payday 2 (DX9) may exhibit flickering corruption on specific water surfaces.
  • System may hang while waking up from sleep. May need to power cycle the system for recovery.
  • GPU hardware acceleration may not be available for media playback and encode with some versions of Adobe Premiere Pro.
  • Blender may exhibit corruption while using Nishita Sky texture node.

Arc Control known issues:

  • Windows UAC Admin is required to install and launch Arc Control.
  • Some applications may exhibit a transparent or blank window when CMAA is set to “Force ON” globally.
  • A 1440p resolution selection in Arc Control Studio Capture may be unavailable when the display native resolution is 4K.
  • Arc Control Studio Camera overlay position may not retain desired position and size after a system restart.
  • The Arc Control Studio Camera tab may take longer than expected responsiveness upon the first navigation.
  • Arc Control may report incorrect memory bandwidth value.