Intel Arc driver update takes gaming to a whole new level on everything from laptops to handheld devices

Intel Arc driver update takes gaming to a whole level on everything from laptops to handheld gamers
(Image credit: Intel)

While at MWC 2024 in Barcelona, Spain, I got to spend some time with the folks at Intel and one of the continuing messages was, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.” Maybe I’m paraphrasing a bit, but with Intel Core Ultra, outfitted with an NPU and Integrated Arc GPU, in its infancy stage, we should see driver updates that consistently improve performance as this new chipset begins to find its feet. 

I know drivers aren't exactly thrilling, but drivers that improve gaming performance and expand the level of gaming you can now experience on ultra-light, super portable laptops should absolutely excite you.

In the past, to handle video editing and gaming you almost always needed a discrete GPU, which any gamer will tell you is a battery killer and will have you constantly seeking out a nearby power outlet. 

With the official launch of the Intel Core Ultra chipsets, I experienced, through the MSI Prestige AI 16 Evo, the ability to not only edit GPU-crushing 6K video in DaVinci Resolve but also got to enjoy some gaming all while unplugged for hours on end. 

That said, Intel just launched the WHQL driver update that is supposed to improve gaming performance by up to 155%.

Why this is exciting

As first reported in Digital Times, this update brings good news for gamers with both Intel Arc A-series dedicated GPUs and Core Ultra chips with integrated graphics. The new WHQL driver adds support for the DX12 update of popular titles like "Last Epoch" and "Sea of Thieves." But that's not all! The update also packs a performance punch, delivering significant improvements throughout a range of DX11 games.

Gamers, get ready to crank up the graphics settings! Intel's latest driver update delivers a double dose of awesome cause here is what you should see. 

Performance Boost: Buckle up for smoother gameplay in popular DX11 titles. Just Cause 4 leads the pack with a whopping 155% performance improvement, followed by "Assassin's Creed: Syndicate" (up 65%) and others like "Sid Meier's Civilization VI" (up 27%) and "Snowrunner" (up 49%). Even newer games like "Palworld" see a 14% jump. (Note: all figures are based on 1080p resolution with medium/normal settings.)

Game Support Expansion: Broaden your gaming horizons with official support for "Last Epoch" and "Sea of Thieves" (DX12 update) on both Intel Arc A-series dedicated GPUs and Core Ultra chips.

Here’s are the games getting a performance boost

  • Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate (up to 65%)
  • Snowrunner (up to 49%)
  • Just Cause 4 (up to 155%)
  • Just Cause 3 (up to 18%)
  • Divinity Original Sin 2 (up to 25%)
  • Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (up to 17%)
  • Far Cry 5 (up to 8%)
  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection (up to 19%)
  • It Takes Two (up to 24%)
  • Palworld (up to 14%)
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider (up to 9%)
  • Rust (up to 9%)
  • SCUM (up to 6%)
  • Sid Meier’s Civilization VI (up to 27%)
  • Warframe (up to 7%)
  • XCOM 2 (up to 8%)

Final thoughts

While Intel Arc's initial DX11 and DX9 performance left room for improvement, this latest driver update is a game-changer. With significant boosts to a whopping 16 DX11 titles (including that ludicrous 155% jump in Just Cause 4!), it's clear Intel is serious about addressing past shortcomings.

This dedication to optimization bodes well not only for future discrete Arc GPUs like Battlemage, but also for integrated graphics in Core Ultra chips. These processors power not just laptops, but also gaming handhelds like the MSI Claw, making advancements in integrated graphics crucial for a wider range of gamers.

So, whether you're a hardcore PC gamer or a mobile enthusiast, this update signifies Intel's commitment to delivering smooth, enjoyable gaming experiences across various platforms.

I am most excited to see how continued driver updates to the integrated Arc GPU will enhance all the handheld gaming devices like the MSI Claw, and the bevy of other Intel Core Ultra devices we’re sure to see in the upcoming months. 

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Mark Anthony Ramirez

Mark has spent 20 years headlining comedy shows around the country and made appearances on ABC, MTV, Comedy Central, Howard Stern, Food Network, and Sirius XM Radio. He has written about every topic imaginable, from dating, family, politics, social issues, and tech. He wrote his first tech articles for the now-defunct Dads On Tech 10 years ago, and his passion for combining humor and tech has grown under the tutelage of the Laptop Mag team. His penchant for tearing things down and rebuilding them did not make Mark popular at home, however, when he got his hands on the legendary Commodore 64, his passion for all things tech deepened. These days, when he is not filming, editing footage, tinkering with cameras and laptops, or on stage, he can be found at his desk snacking, writing about everything tech, new jokes, or scripts he dreams of filming.