YouTuber ScatterBencher (opens in new tab) has shown off some GPU-Z screenshots teasing impressive graphics card overclocking work in progress. The OC expert, known by the handle MassMan on HWBot, has coaxed the lethargic Intel Arc A380 graphics card into a sprightly 3.1 GHz performer. That clock speed represents a 55% uplift compared to stock and far exceeds factory overclocked samples.
The 3.1 GHz Intel Arc A380 tale raises quite a few questions. First, why overclock the Arc A380 to extremes? Probably just ‘because it is there,’ to coin a mountaineering phrase. The question of how is more involved, and we will have to take a few educated guesses, as ScatterBencher hasn’t divulged his technique for this feat.
ScatterBencher shared his results on Twitter, and bemoaned his techniques taking “2 steps forward, 1 step back.” Tuning GPUs is full of compromises and balances. Every GPU model and every individual GPU sample will have its optimal settings, which require steps forward and backward to pinpoint.
The screenshots show the 3.1 GHz overclock in the center section, reported by the sensors tab, as well as the HWInfo section. However, the same sections also provide the most significant clues to ScatterBencher’s methods. The reported board power draw of 17.4W is nonsensical. This leads us to believe that the overclocker has volt-modded the Arc A380 PCB, and sysmon tools thus misreport this stat. With the mod in effect, overclockers aren’t restricted by manufacturer-set power limits.
The feat ties in nicely with our report from mid-July, where an overclocking enthusiast showed impressive performance gains from giving the A380 an extra 43-57% of power. We concluded at the time that Arc A380 power limits were holding back its performance. It certainly looks like this little GPU loves eating watts, and can gain some worthwhile performance when it gets extra juice, but Intel’s designers want it at 75W stock - for market segmentation and similar practical reasons.
Hopefully, ScatterBencher (opens in new tab) and other GPU overclocking enthusiasts will reveal more about their methods. It would also be good to see what gaming performance uplifts a 3.1 GHz Arc A380 might deliver. Meanwhile, we look forward to Intel significantly expanding its Arc Alchemist lineup.
Well, unless, instead of doing all the modifications/tweaks for the DX11 games, they have a DX11 mode that simply goes with "crank up the power" . . .
Crap, I hope we haven't just given Intel an idea.
ARC dGPUs on laptops may only be as fast as the wattage allows, and Intel just can't smartly power the CPU and GPU to their wants because they're already using a insane amount for both. And it's probably not likely that could get optimized in software, it's going to make either of them act significantly weaker because one is going to be prioritized in such a large jump in power.
AMD with it's lower wattage chips can handle this because it's just not as big a jump, along with the rest of the AMD Advantage OEM program, makes AMD look their best compared to Intel Evo, which do a terrible job at showing Intel in the best light, especially because they lack any sort of dedicated graphics besides the insanely weak iGPU.
Say goodbye to your laptops overall endurance with Intel, and get a worse on battery experience overall, with weaker graphics and a CPU that needs at least 55W minimum but quickly wants more. AMD makes sure you get something good (with many mandates to machine spec, though yes more focused on gaming, does expect some things that overlap surprisingly with artist and video content expectations.), not just "I stuck some pieces together, it runs windows alright, it looks decent, good for a business person working in basic office softwares. I got the latest wireless standards, and I charge fast."