Intel's upcoming performance-tier Arc Alchemist A770 discrete desktop GPU is inching closer and closer to release. A recent Puget Bench score result for DaVinci Resolve has been uploaded to the benchmarking platform, and there appears to be some secret sauce behind the results themselves: the utility reports a graphics driver version that's actually more recent than the one currently available for early adopters of Intel's Arc A350M and A370M mobile graphics solutions.
The benchmarks themselves offer little information on Intel's upcoming A770 GPU, since the results aren't really comparable to those achieved by other GPUs. While Intel's own estimates place the Arc A770's performance somewhere between the RTX 3060 and RTX 3070, the actual performance in the GPU Effects benchmark - 45 in the first and 39 in the second - stands at roughly half the score of RTX 3070 solutions (90) in the same database. Take these benchmarks with a pinch of salt until official details are revealed. Intel's Arc A770 is expected to launch with two VRAM capacities (8 GB and 16 GB GDDR6), which feeds the cards' 32 Xe cores and 4,092 FP32 cores over a 256-bit bus.
Part of the reason for that performance discrepancy may stand with the drivers themselves. Intel has been doubling down on its driver development ever since it announced development of its own discrete, high-performance GPU architecture. Interestingly, the tested Arc A770 makes use of the yet-unavailable 18.104.22.1683 driver version - apparently much more recent than the generally-available, Arc-22.214.171.1240 which still powers the mostly South Korea-exclusive Intel Arc-powered laptops. The driver version also surpasses the one being used by Intel's integrated graphics drivers, which are currently on version .1660.
The usage of this latest driver branch may include support for desktop versions of Arc hardware, or it simply might include a number of fixed, outstanding issues with the current Arc Alchemist driver implementation. The hardware used in the benchmarks also builds the case of an internal Intel test: the Arc A770 was tested with a Coffee Lake engineering motherboard, alongside Intel's Core i5-9600K CPU. Using older, time-tested components for a new desktop graphics card does sound like a way for Intel to focus on existing Arc A770 issues, ruling out the sometimes lingering problems in new platforms that could throw a wrench on GPU diagnostics.
Intel's driver work is likely accelerating as we inch closer to the actual release of its desktop-bound discrete GPUs. The increasing number of appearances in graphics benchmark software suggests that might happen sooner rather than later. Whether any of Intel's GPUs will feature in our Best GPU Picks, of course, is another matter altogether.