Can you trust these new Intel Arc Alchemist benchmarks?

Intel has released official benchmarks for its Arc Alchemist mobile graphics cards, the A730M and A770M. These benchmarks, found in a reviewers guide, claim that the A730M is faster than the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti mobile and the A770M faster than the RTX 3060 mobile.

While that sounds great on paper, the circumstances in which these results have been achieved begs the question: can you really trust them?

Intel seems to be beating Nvidia

Intel

The Intel Arc A730M and A770M are the crown jewels of the Arc Alchemist mobile range and will appear in gaming laptops worldwide from this summer. The GPUs are already available to some extent in China, where the benchmarks come from – they were found in a reviewer’s guide.

Both graphics cards feature Intel’s ACM-G10 GPU, but the A730M comes with a shortened version, featuring 24 Xe cores, 24 ray tracing units, 12 GB GDDR6 memory over a 192-bit memory bus, and a maximum clock speed. from 1,100 MHz. The A770M significantly increases the specs, offering 32 Xe cores and 32 ray tracing units, as well as a clock speed of up to 1,650MHz paired with 16GB of GDDR6 memory and a 256-bit bus.

Now, on to the benchmarks. Intel tested the GPUs in 17 games, mostly on high and ultra settings, in 1080p. According to these results, the A730M is possibly up to 13% faster than the RTX 3050 Ti Mobile and the A770M outperformed the RTX 3060M by 12%. Unfortunately, these numbers may not be completely accurate due to the systems used.

The Intel Arc A730M was found in a pre-production unit, paired with a Core i7-12700H with 14 cores, as well as 16 GB of DDR5-4800 RAM. However, the RTX 3050 Ti Mobile that Intel was up against only had a previous-generation Tiger Lake Core i7-11800H chip, which of course means using DDR4-3200 RAM. The RTX 3050 Ti itself wasn’t the top of the line GPU either, maxing out at 60 watts. There are also 70 and 80 watt versions of the GPU.

The differences persist when you look at the machines used in the tests for Arc A770M versus the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060M. The A770M has a 14-core i9-12900HK CPU and 16 GB DDR5-4800 RAM, while the RTX 3060M in the MSI Pulse GL66 is installed with a Tiger Lake Core i7-11800H CPU and 16 GB DDR4-3200 RAM. In addition, the RTX 3060M comes in TGP variants ranging from 60 watts to 115 watts, and the one used for testing is up to 85 watts.

Can you really trust these results?

This brings us to the question: can these benchmark results be trusted? The truth is that supplier benchmarks often seem a bit vague and there is a lot of room to skew the results in favor of one party. Based on what Intel has shown us, it’s certain that the A730M and A770M can compete with Nvidia, but those numbers can’t be taken lightly – if only because Nvidia’s GPUs come in many flavors, each with a different one. TGP and Performance Level. Intel matched a version of the RTX 3050 Ti mobile and the RTX 3060M, but neither was the best GPU offered by Nvidia. If so, the results might have been different — or they could have stayed mostly the same. It’s really hard to say.

Just yesterday Intel presented more than 20 benchmarks for the desktop Arc A380. Those results certainly made up for the GPU a bit after unofficial benchmarks cast it in a pretty bad light, but showed how the A380 can’t even compete with the AMD Radeon RX 6400. Intel’s own benchmarks for the A380 seem fairer than average in a way. what we see here.

In the tests for the Arc A380, Intel used the same system for all three graphics cards that were compared: the A380, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 and the RX 6400. This put the GPUs on a level playing field. The same can’t be said of current benchmarks for the laptop-only A730M and A770M, but admittedly it’s easier to test desktop GPUs in comparable systems – all you need to do is swap out the graphics card. However, some might argue that Intel could have done better in picking the right kind of laptops over the rival GPUs, where the cards would have a similar TGP and the rest of the system would be on par.

It would certainly be interesting to see the flagship Intel Arc Alchemist mobile graphics cards compete with Nvidia when placed in slightly more comparable systems, with full disclosure of both Intel’s and Nvidia’s power levels, and compared to GPUs of a comparable TGP. Until such tests appear, it’s best to take these benchmarks (first published by Tom’s Hardware) with a bit of skepticism. After all, Intel may have presented us with somewhat optimistic benchmark results for the A380 in the past – but that has been rectified by the refreshingly honest benchmarks it provided shortly afterwards.

That’s not to say Intel can’t be successful with Arc Alchemist’s mobile lineup. The China-only staggered release doesn’t do the range any good, but it’s possible that with further driver optimizations the GPUs will shine even more. Intel may also try to be competitive on pricing when it hits global markets in the summer, which too could entice customers to give Arc Alchemist a try.

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