Owners of Intel Arc A730M, A370M, and A350M graphics chips — anyone? — now have an actual driver (opens in new tab) that supports the fledgling GPUs. Limited to mobile chips (opens in new tab) for now, laptops featuring Intel’s latest foray into graphics processing are starting to appear (desktop models have yet to breathe the clean air of freedom).
The big news with the driver — apart from its existence — is that it supports Sniper Elite 5, Rebellion’s Nazi-testicle-shooting simulator that launched at the end of May. A hefty 700mb download, the driver is available as either an exe (recommended) or zip file (“for developers and IT professionals”) for Windows 10 21H1, 21H2, and 20H2, as well as all versions of Windows 11 (opens in new tab). You’ll also need a 12th-gen Intel CPU.
Despite the Game On status of Sniper Elite 5, there's still an issue, according to the release notes (PDF (opens in new tab)), with the game crashing when the laptop isn’t set to ‘high performance’ graphics. Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War also sees possible crashes, while Control, Forza Horizon 5, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Metro Exodus: Enhanced Edition may suffer texture corruption. Halo Infinite arguably comes off worst, with some objects and textures rendering as black or failing to load, and possible blurry/over-exposed lighting in its multiplayer menus.
The release notes also mention a handful of known issues with Intel's Arc Control app. The main issue seems to be that checking for driver updates and/or installing driver updates through the Arc Control app can sometimes cause an error message to appear. Other issues include the performance tuning page showing up on unsupported platforms (and throwing an error message) and a Windows UAC prompt appearing when Arc Control launches.
Intel’s graphics chips have multiple tiers of performance, in the same way its Core CPUs are divided into i3, i5, i7, and i9 categories. The A370M and A350M are the top- and mid-Arc 3 parts using the ACM-G11 (opens in new tab) chip, which was the first to launch. The A730M (opens in new tab) is from a different category, and uses the larger ACM-G10 chip. GPUs in this category were recently benchmarked in 3DMark (opens in new tab), and came out looking competitive against Nvidia RTX 3060-equipped laptops — giving plenty of performance headroom for an unreleased A770M to expand into.