We recently spoke to Intel’s Tom ‘TAP’ Petersen about updates to its DirectX 11 driver for Arc graphics cards and a new, entirely rebuilt version of its PresentMon tool for monitoring system performance. In short, these Arc GPUs continue to improve as Intel shore up support for older graphics APIs, with up to a 19 percentage point increase in average frame-rate in a selection of DX11 games with the release of the latest Arc driver, while the new version of PresentMon – available in beta now – offers some tantalising new possibilities for Digital Foundry and interested consumers alike.
To start off, Intel says that they’ve now finished bringing over DX9 titles to their new driver, so now they’re moving onto DirectX 11 with a rearchitected driver. The way TAP explained it, the Intel graphics driver has historically thought of CPU performance as essentially infinite, because on a system with integrated graphics, you’re always going to be GPU-limited – so it makes sense to offload as much work as possible to the CPU to maximise frame-rates.
With Arc, that paradigm doesn’t make as much sense and the CPU often becomes the bottleneck, so the re-architecting has been about moving some functions back to the GPU, to lessen CPU load and improve overall performance.