Intel released new Arc 4953 graphics drivers with improved game support for a handful of games. These include Starfield (DX12), Alan Wake 2 (DX12), Halo: The Master Chief Collection (DX11), and World War Z (DX11). We're typically seeing two or more new drivers each month from Intel, which is good news, though the number of bugs and issues that seem to appear in recently launched games is still generally higher than what we experience with AMD and Nvidia GPUs. Intel's Arc A750 does rank among the best graphics cards, if mostly by virtue of its low pricing, and we're glad to see a third player in the GPU space.
The previous 4952 drivers mentioned a known issue where Starfield exhibited flickering color corruption in the sky during the game's night scenes. This is now fixed. Additionally, the corruption on the water and reflective surfaces seen in Alan Wake 2 has been fixed. Both of these are DX12 games, while the other game-specific fixes are for a couple of DX11 games.
- Halo: The Master Chief Collection (DX11) may experience lower-than-expected performance with the Xbox Game Pass version.
- World War Z (DX11) may experience lower-than-expected performance with the Epic Games Store version.
It's good to see Intel on a roll of late, fixing issues in its drivers, with WHQL certification as well. This is the fall season, where lots of new games get released, so staying on top of rendering issues is critical. At the same time, the number of "known issues" generally remains higher than the competition. Things have improved substantially since Arc GPUs first launched last year, but it still feels as though game developers aren't giving Intel support much more than a cursory thought. As such, issues in recently shipped games continue to be a common occurrence.
There are a number of known issues that remain in the 4953 drivers. These include a driver installation problem with certain notebooks that use both Intel Iris Xe and Iris Xe Max. There's a workaround that consists of doing a system reboot and re-installing the graphics driver — so you need to install the drivers twice, apparently. Users of the Topaz Video AI may also experience errors "when using some models for video enhancement."
Intel Arc Control also has several known issues, including video capture problems with some games, or the loss application settings in overlay mode after rebooting the PC. The remaining notes are for a few games, and apparently Starfield still hasn't fully cleared the atmosphere:
- Starfield (DX12) can still experience corruption when using dynamic resolution scaling — setting a static value can get around this.
- Ghostrunner 2 (DX11) may experience sporadic application crashes during gameplay.
- Total War: Pharoah (DX11) may exhibit corruption after changing the resolution on certain displays.
- Dead by Daylight (DX11) may experience an application crash during gameplay.
Intel also highlights a game-specific issue with Dragon Quest X Online (DX9) with its 12th through 14th generation CPUs, where sporadic crashes during gameplay are possible. It's rare to see discussion of problems with older games and APIs, but Intel is relatively new to the discrete GPU market and continues to work on hammering out issues with DX9 games on a fairly regular basis.
Intel only provides drivers for Windows 10 20H2 and Windows 11 for Arc GPUs. You can grab the new 4953 WHQL driver here.
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