Intel has confirmed that they will be bringing improved DX11 & Legacy API gaming performance to Arc GPUs in a recent video. The company admits that they are aware of the unsatisfactory gaming performance in titles utilizing DirectX 11 & are working to improve the experience moving forward.
Intel Admits Lagging Behind In Older APIs But Promises To Improve DX11 Gaming Performance As Time Goes By
Initially reported in a review by LinusTechTips, the tech outlet witnessed a 50% GPU performance difference between DirectX 11 and 12 versions when benchmarking Shadow of the Tomb Raider on a system utilizing the Arc A770 graphics card. In the former DirectX version, the game reached near 38 FPS, while the latter saw a boost of around 80 FPS.
DirectX 11 and older APIs function differently than the updated DirectX 12, Vulkan, and other current APIs. Older API technology requires most of the processing from the graphics driver, from enhancements to customizations made for lower-performing cards. The need for the GPU to handle more of the game work was to alleviate some of the burdens from game developers looking to optimize the look of their games.
With Vulkan and the current DX12 API, the boost no longer depends on the graphics driver but on the game's graphic engine. Now, game developers are required to handle the responsibility of graphics optimizations, especially in weaker systems, and place tasks within the code of the game to take this burden. An example of this is video memory allocation.
Intel has not had to concern themselves with graphical APIs because they were not developing GPUs for many years. Now, with the company's Arc series graphics, they have to catch up to companies focusing on this type of technology for years, namely the company's rivals AMD and NVIDIA.
This insight into the company's ignorance of DirectX 11 and older APIs has led Intel to admit that it will take quite some time to understand and find solutions for problems plaguing their current iGPUs and dGPUs. Intel fellow Tom Petersen has recently been quoted about the pathway to improving the API for Intel as stating the issue will be a "labor of love forever."
Most of these issues stemmed from the reliance on the integrated graphics software stack which houses a very different architecture compared to Arc GPUs. This resulted in inadequate performance levels, game / API compatibility, etc.
"Our software release on our discrete graphics was clearly underperforming," said Gelsinger. "We thought that we would be able to leverage the integrated graphics software stack, and it was wholly inadequate for the performance levels, gaming compatibility, etc. that we needed. So we are not hitting our four million unit goal in the discrete graphics space, even as we are now catching up and getting better software releases."
"While we will not hit our GPU unit target, we remain on track to deliver over $1 billion in revenue this year,"
"In Q2, we started to ramp Intel Arc graphics for laptops with OEMs, including Samsung, Lenovo, Acer, HP, and Asus. COVID-related supply chain issues and our own software-readiness challenges caused availability delays that we continue to work to overcome. Intel Arc A5 and A7 desktop cards will start to ship in Q3."
Intel CEO, Pat Gelsinger
Now, Intel will need to make attempts to work on DX11 and older APIs or risk waiting until the industry no longer requires anything less than the current next-gen APIs available.