Intel announced the company's Arc Alchemist mobile lineup back in March. The high-end Arc 7 A730M and A770M won't hit the U.S. market until summer, but they're already shipping in select laptops in China. In a new reviewer's guide, Intel claims that the A730M and A770M are faster than Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Mobile and RTX 3060 Mobile, respectively.
The A730M and the A770M are the top performers from the A-series mobile lineup. The discrete graphics cards feature Intel's ACM-G10 silicon baked with TSMC's 6nm process node. The A730M comes with 24 Xe cores, 24 ray tracing units, and a clock speed up to 1,100 MHz. The superior A770M has eight more Xe cores and ray tracing units while also enjoying a clock speed that hits 1,650 MHz. As a result, the A770M offers twice the compute performance as the A730M. There's also a significant gap in memory configuration between the A730M and A770M. The A730M has 12GB of GDDR6 memory across a 192-bit memory interface, whereas the A770M wields 16GB of GDDR6 and a 256-bit memory bus.
As always, we recommend you approach vendor benchmarks with caution. The disparity between the hardware for the four gaming laptops that Intel used in its tests is evident. The A730M pre-production unit features the latest Core i7-12700H, a 14-core Alder Lake-H chip, and 16GB of DDR5-4800. On the other hand, the GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Mobile belongs to the ROG Zephyrus M16, which has the previous octa-core Core i7-11800H Tiger Lake chip and 16GB of DDR4-3200 memory. More importantly, Asus' device uses the 60W version of the GeForce RTX 3050 Ti. For reference, there are 70W and 80W variants, so the one inside the ROG Zephyrus M16 isn't the best-performing SKU.
There's even a more notorious difference between the A770M and GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile machines. The A770M's pre-production laptop has a 14-core Core i9-12900HK, the flagship Alder Lake-H SKU, and 16GB of DDR5-4800 memory. The GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile emerges inside the MSI Pulse GL66, which has nearly the exact same specifications as the ROG Zephyrus M16. The GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile has a TGP range between 60W and 115W, and the MSI Pulse GL66 features the 85W variant.
Caveats on the discrepancies in test hardware notwithstanding, let's go ahead and hit the Intel-provided benchmarks.
Arc A730M, A770M Benchmarks
|RTX 3050 Ti||Arc A730M||RTX 3060||Arc A770M|
|17 Game Geometric Mean||57.2||64.6||78.8||88.3|
|Assassin's Creed Valhalla (High)||38||50||74||69|
|Borderlands 3 (Ultra)||45||50||60||76|
|Cyberpunk 2077 (Ultra)||39||49||54||68|
|Death Stranding (Ultra)||89||87||113||102|
|Dirt 5 (High)||64||61||83||87|
|F1 2021 (Ultra)||68||86||96||123|
|Far Cry 6 (Ultra)||63||68||80||82|
|Gears of War 5 (Ultra)||58||52||72||73|
|Horizon Zero Dawn (Ultimate Quality)||63||50||80||68|
|Metro Exodus (Ultra)||39||54||53||69|
|Red Dead Redemption 2 (High)||46||60||66||77|
|Strange Brigade (Ultra)||98||123||134||172|
|The Division 2 (Ultra)||63||51||78||86|
|The Witcher 3 (Ultra)||96||101||124||141|
|Total War Saga: Troy (Ultra)||48||66||71||86|
|Watch Dogs Legion (High)||59||71||77||89|
According to Intel's 1080p (1920x1080) results, the Arc A730M was up to 13% faster than the GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Mobile. Intel didn't specify the TGP for the A730M, so we can't put those numbers into perspective. We know that the A730M wiggles in between 80W and 120W, and the GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Mobile spans from 35W to 80W. Intel used the 60W SKU for comparison paired with a slower processor. Even then, the difference wasn't very substantial.
The Arc A770M, the flagship mobile Arc SKU, delivered up to 12% higher performance than the GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile. But again, the TGP for the A770M remains a mystery. As per Intel, the A770M sits between 120W and 150W. However, the GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile was at 85W and had the same last-generation processor as the GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Mobile. The GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile offers TGP limits between 60W and 115W, so the tested variant is basically at the halfway point.
The performance delta between the Alchemist and Ampere graphics cards was less than 15%. The margins would probably be lower if Intel had paired Ampere with identical processors like the Intel units and used the higher TGP versions. Perhaps, it may have even tipped the scales. Then again, that's the problem with vendor benchmarks. You can't trust them.
Overall, it's good to see that Intel might be able to deliver GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile levels of performance, and pricing will, of course, be a factor to consider. Intel offers AV1 encoding hardware, which you don't get on other GPUs right now, and it also has some synergies it can leverage when you pair an Arc GPU with an Intel 12th Generation Alder Lake CPU — things like Hyper Encode and Deep Link.
Drivers and gaming performance, meanwhile, seem like they'll fall toward the mainstream and budget sector, so hopefully, vendors will price laptops accordingly. The fact that Intel is doing all of the Arc GPUs, both mobile and desktop, as China first launches doesn't give us a lot of confidence either, but perhaps by the time the U.S. launch rolls around, more bugs will have been squashed.