Does the Intel Arc GPU ray tracing support it?

Now that Intel has finally released their Arc Alchemist GPUs, the company is the newest player in the GPU industry. You might be wondering whether GPUs like the Arc A770 and A750 support contemporary capabilities like ray tracing, given that these are first-generation chips from a startup with absolutely no expertise in producing desktop-grade graphics.

You might remember that not all Turing GPUs really supported ray tracing when Nvidia first debuted their Turing architecture with this feature in 2018. Ray tracing was available on all RTX 20-series cards, but not on the entry-level to mid-range GTX 16-series cards, which utilized substantially less complicated technology.

You might be wondering if just the more expensive Arc cards enable ray tracing given that Arc is Intel’s first attempt at gaming GPUs for the desktop as well as Intel’s first GPU with ray tracing capabilities. In actuality, even the entry-level A310 has the ray tracing hardware needed.

Software-wise, Arc supports ray tracing in games that use DirectX 12 and Vulkan, which encompasses the majority of games that use ray tracing.

Of course, poor performance negates the benefit of being able to activate ray tracing. Remember that Arc is an Intel first-generation device in many ways, so you have every right to be a little dubious about its performance. Well, these midrange cards are actually quite capable of ray tracing, as you can see in the above graphic from our Arc A770 and A750 reviews.

On average, the A770 outperforms the RTX 3060 by 18% and the RTX 3060 Ti by just 12%. At least in second position in the ray tracing race because AMD’s midrange GPUs can’t compete with Intel or Nvidia.

Nicolas Demsel

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