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Intel A350M & A370M beaten in comparisons against 1050 Ti, 6500M

Is this the canary in the coal mine for Arc GPUs?

Updated: Apr 1, 2022 11:06 am
Intel Arc A370M

Intel’s first Arc Alchemist graphics cards have finally been released, after being unveiled this week. Now, the company has released two of its entry-level offerings, the A350M and A370M respectively, which have been placed in several laptops, starting with the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 2. Now, it appears that several leaked 3DMark results have allowed punters to pit Intel’s chips into the grand arena of combat between brands, and it’s not looking food for Team Blue’s first foray into the market at the lower-end of the market, as AMD has also bit back with regards to what their answer to Intel’s claims of having graphical superiority against a mature competitor, who is quickly becoming a preferred choice for entry-level gamers with low-end integrated GPUs, and the performance of their

Intel A350M vs 1050 Ti mobile

Twitter-user @Harukaze5719 spotted that the Arc GPU struggles against the mobile version of the GTX 1050 Ti, which was released over five years ago. Intel is currently positioning the brand-new entry-level cards as being good for 1080p, 60fps gaming. However, being at the same level of performance as a graphics card from five years ago, and struggling to beat it out even then doesn’t spell good news for the company. We’ve embedded the tweet, where you can view various benchmarks of the A350M, which is mistakenly marked on the tweet as the Intel Arc A530, which doesn’t exist. These are curious results for the card, and it could be a canary in the coal mine for those looking for a discrete graphics card.

However, these results have to be taken with a pinch of salt, as there is little information about the performance mode of the system being used at the time, but we can still see exactly what they chose to perform. But, the 3DMark scores still represent something that we can compare to and against.

In Fire Strike, the A350M managed a score of 7218 points, whereas the 1050 Ti manages to beat it easily with a graphics score of 8867. It doesn’t get much better when looking at Time Spy, with the graphics score for the A350M turning out to be 3197, and the 1050 Ti manages to hang on slightly, with the same average score between benchmarks, so it’s not all doom and gloom for Intel’s GPU. But, the 1050 Ti serves as a great tool for comparison against Intel’s entry-level offering… from a five-year-old chip.

This could be due to a whole host of factors, and this isn’t a straight science, so you’ll need to take these results with heaps of salt until we can draw a stronger comparison. However, it’s looking very much like an entry-level Arc Alchemist GPU might not be the best option for gamers looking for portable power, and should instead turn their eyes elsewhere in order to ensure that they can get a good amount of power for the price point that Intel might offer them at to certain competitors.

AMD saber-rattles its 6500M against the Intel A370M

The other GPU Intel launched, the A370M, a slightly higher-end ACM-G11 chip compared to the A350M looks like it might not be competitive against its contemporary entry-level graphics cards from Team Red. AMD decided to show off its 6500M, which is manufactured on the same 6nm process as Intel’s ACM-G11.

A370M vs 6500M

AMD released an image, comparing the performance of their entry-level 6500M against the A370M in modern titles like Hitman 3, Total War Saga: Troy, F1 2021, Strange Brigade, and MMO Final Fantasy XIV. The 6500M wipes the floor with Intel’s A370M in every benchmark, despite both chips being based on the same manufacturing process, and with the A370M actually having a significantly higher transistor count, as first reported by Videocardz.

Why these results are worrying

These results both pose a dangerous risk to Intel, which is attempting to enter a fierce market where hype and performance can make or break their investments in making discrete graphics cards. A huge part of that is, of course, optimized drivers. AMD themselves struggled for a long time with their driver offerings in comparison to Nvidia, which comparatively had excellent software support. It is possible that optimizations for a lot of the titles that we’re seeing in the first Arc Alchemist graphics cards.

It will inevitably take years for this support to build up, and therefore Intel will need to think long and hard and ensure that its driver pipeline is fully robust ahead of going over to bring the fire to its desktop solutions. But, this isn’t the be-all-end-all for Intel either. Even if their first-generation Arc Alchemist cards might not be entirely up to snuff, or hugely competitive against the competition, it’s still important to recognize that Intel needs to do something about the performance deficit between what they offer, and what the competition currently has.

Even if Team Blue doesn’t want the power crown, they still need to appear competitive, especially in a market dominated by consumers wanting the best possible power and experience. Going against AMD and Nvidia will be no small feat, even AMD has struggled to stay competitive against Nvidia’s GPUs in years past. Remember the Radeon 7? Neither do we. Intel is walking a very narrow tightrope by entering the market, and now that some of its first GPUs have felt the real bite from the competition, they need to keep their wits about when as they begin to roll out further graphics cards, which take aim at AMD and Nvidia’s offerings.

The real story we feel is where these chips might be placed in the overall product stack, so we’re not entirely certain where these products will land price-wise, but if they want to sell as many as they can, then Intel really needs to come in and undercut the competition in order to further boost ownership of their own GPUs, instead of making loftier statements of targeting the low-end, and then being outclassed by GPUs which are up to five years old, anyway. It’s going to be an interesting time for the GPU market, with AMD launching RDNA 3 and Nvidia preparing their next-generation Lovelace GPU.

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