Intel Deep-Dives Into XeSS Technology: Arc A770 Performance Demo, 3DMark XeSS Feature Test, Over 20 Supported Titles Including COD: Modern Warfare II

Intel has given us a deep dive into its upcoming XeSS technology, which will be featured on its brand new Arc GPU lineup, launching next month.

Intel Talks XeSS: Arc A770 GPU Performance Demo With Over 2X Performance Improvement, 20+ Supported Titles Coming

XeSS or Xe Super Sampling is a fundamental technology featured within the Arc GPU architecture that leverages from XMX engines featured within it. We have heard a lot about the technology over the past several months and you can even check out our exclusive interview with the Principle engineer of Intel's XeSS technology, Karthik Vaidyanathan, over here. We have given our readers a good rundown of how the technology works, but now it's time to finally see it in action. Intel's Ryan Shrout and Tom Peterson have once again come together to give us a taste of what's to come with Arc's XeSS feature suite.

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Xe Super Sampling (XeSS) is Intel’s solution to get the best of both worlds and ultimately make better use of GPU resources. XeSS renders a game at a lower resolution then upscales the image using AI to a higher resolution with quality similar (or better) to a native render. This speedup occurs because games run faster rendered at lower resolutions as the GPU has fewer pixels to push. But low resolutions are a bummer, and we want the best of both worlds. So how does it all come together?

Graphics experts within Intel have been researching different approaches over the past few years and it became clear that infusing AI in the upscaling, or super sampling process, was the way to go to build a high performance, high quality solution. With XeSS, a trained model is applied to low-resolution frames and takes input from motion vectors and a frame history to send high resolution images to the display.
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As a starting demo, both Ryan and Tom used similar PC setups running an Arc A770 graphics card. Both PCs were running Shadow of The Tomb Raider at 1440p Max settings with ray tracing enabled and the only difference was that Tom's PC was running XeSS set to Balanced mode while Ryan's PC was running at Native resolution. With the "Balanced" XeSS preset, Tom's PC saw a boost to over 60-80 FPS, whereas Ryan's PC struggled to hit 60 FPS and was mostly running sub-50 FPS. That's a nice gain in performance but this is just the balance mode we got a glimpse of.

Intel shared that XeSS will have various presets available at launch which offer different quality levels and vary the input resolution. The modes include:

  • XeSS "Ultra Quality" = Best Image Quality
  • XeSS "Quality" = Good Quality With Better Performance
  • XeSS "Balanced" = Decent Visuals and Performance Levels
  • XeSS "Performance" = Best Performance

Currently, Intel is only sharing performance in XeSS "Balanced" and "Performance" modes. As expected, the performance mode delivers up to 2.11x performance gains with raytracing on & balanced mode offering up to a 75% performance boost. According to Tom, Performance mode uses the same AI network to render the image as the Balanced mode but uses a smaller resolution renderer. Following is the performance breakdown.

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Intel XeSS "Balanced" Preset Gaming Performance:

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Intel XeSS "Performance" Preset Gaming Performance:

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Intel XeSS SDK To Be Made Open-Source For Developers

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Intel has also promised that beyond their select early adopters, their XeSS SDK will be open to all developers and will be made so that it can be easily integrated within engines with a similar process to implementing TAA.

As a result of this open nature, Intel has teamed up with UL benchmarks, the creators of the ever-so-popular 3DMark benchmarking software to create a new tool known as the XeSS Feature Test which can be used by all GPUs (not just Arc) to see the benefits that XeSS has to offer and also allow users to compare the visual quality in a side-by-side comparison in the Frame Inspector mode. The feature test will let users select between the 4 XeSS presets with the following gains:

  • XeSS Performance = +2.5x Over Native
  • XeSS Balanced = + 2.1x Over Native
  • XeSS Quality = +1.8x Over Native
  • XeSS Ultra Quality = +1.5x Over Native

3DMark Intel XeSS Feature Test Performance Result on Arc A770 Graphics Card:

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The feature test hasn't been announced by UL Benchmarks yet but Intel states that it is "Coming Soon". As for game support, Intel's XeSS will have over 20 supported titles, including Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, in which the technology will be available at launch on October 28th.

Following is the full list of games that will either be patched or will have XeSS support added at launch or later on in the coming months:

Beyond select early adopters, our XeSS SDK will be open to developers and is easy to plug in to games with a similar process to implementing TAA. We’re also working with UL, publishers of the 3DMark benchmark tool as well to create an feature test, which can be tested on any — not just Intel Arc — GPUs which support HLSL Shader Model 6. We’re excited for gamers and developers around the world to experience XeSS which will be available by the time A700 series discrete GPUs are available.

In addition to these titles, Intel has also partnered up with Hashbane Interactive, the creators of Instinction, an Unreal Engine 5-powered game with dinosaurs that is set for release in 2025. The developers have already started integrated XeSS into the game & shown a demo in the following video presentation:

Intel has stated that they will share more details such as price, performance, and availability before the products go on sale so expect more information in the coming weeks. The launch of high-end Intel Arc discrete graphics cards is scheduled for next month.

What are your thoughts of Intel's Arc graphics cards so far?

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