FYI - GPU Arc Intel a580 & a310 coming to market

Good evening, :wave:
New offerings for economically priced GPUs from Intel are hitting the stores.

If you are in need of a 100% free driver supported GPU directly in the kernel, the a580 will be stronger than the a380 and a bit cheaper the the 750 and 770 and you also have the a310 as a good starter.

https://asrock.com/Graphics-Card/Intel/Intel%20Arc%20A580%20Challenger%208GB%20OC/

Good reading :wink:
François

The more—the better…I’m a happy A750 user (would really want an A770, but the A750 is pretty good)…Will be MUCH better with the next couple of kernels —6.6 will be the “Start” of the Xe driver for these cards & 6.7 should see a nice, “mostly” done Xe driver. Can’t wait…

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Interesting, but I would like to know the following:

  • What is the power consumption at idle+one monitor, idle+multi monitor, full load+multi monitor?
  • How are speed and quality with hardware-assisted video-encoding in H.264, H.265 and AV1?

Hello! :wave:

My current experience is with 2 machines that have the a380, used for display on pcie 4.0 (the card can be installed on 3.0 or 4.0)

The speed of the rendering of the graphical environment is very fast. The drivers have been available since I was on a minimum of a 6.2 kernel and up.

I don’t have experience for h.264, h.265 and av1 to share :thinking:

From specs: a580 → (Intel link)
TBP 185 W (Total Board Power (TBP) represents the total power draw of a graphics card or other add-in card in watts, when it is operating under a typical load such as a gaming workload. The TBP value corresponds to Intel’s reference design. Intel’s partners may choose to productize Intel-based solutions with higher TBP values.)

Features
H.264 Hardware Encode/Decode Yes
H.265 (HEVC) Hardware Encode/Decode Yes
AV1 Encode/Decode Yes
VP9 Bitstream & Decoding Yes

:nerd_face:

edit: examples (USA)

I don’t have numbers for what you are asking, but Phoronix has done testing—here is the link to the Intel articles page: https://www.phoronix.com/linux/Intel

The Arc cards “tend” to be more power-hungry than AMD or Nvidia…but from what I’ve see so far, they are getting “tamed” rather quickly…Intel developers are being very aggressive in getting both the i915 (old) and Xe (new) drivers in shape.

I would very much look forward to this (A750), but there’s a big hair in the Xe soup:

Yes–I read about that problem…I’m mostly a gamer, so not much worry to me…but to someone doing encoding/audio work it will be a problem. I’ve heard quite a number of people call out Intel about this, so I would “think” that a workaround will be done (but you never know)…I’m sure they won’t make that mistake with the 2nd generation cards (DG3/Battlemage). I expect we will see the Battlemage cards in the first half of next year…looking forward to them…kind’a glad I didn’t buy the A770 & went for the A750…got it for under $200 US…so I’ll be in good shape for the BattleMage version of the A770.

Yeah, if you don’t expect extended gaming support in the future than the i915 driver is fine. It’s for me. The card works great for any non-gaming Linux tasks with i915 here.

I was so fed up with AMD that I got the A750 when it was still much more expensive (340 Euro). There was a time when I regretted not getting the A770 for a few bucks more afterwards. The Xe-driver news moderated that notion considerably though.

I’ve been looking around: https://www.techradar.com/computing/gpu/intel-spotted-gearing-up-with-a-powerful-battlemage-gpu-to-take-on-nvidia-and-amd-next-year

I have been very happy with my A750 & glad I didn’t put out the extra $$$ for the A770…Looks like another about 9 months to BattleMage…Sooner would be BETTER for me, but I can put $$$ aside for it…looks like GDDR6X memory & enough power to go head to head with the RTX4070…I think I’d be able to go with $399 US as a top price…Would be nice to see it in that range.

As the Intel drivers are changing quite rapidly - How’s the gaming at this moment? Asking 'cause reports on other forums are mixed with some saying DX12 is completely borked and others saying gaming is fine.

I was eyeing the A770 16G as it’s very similarly priced to the A750 here, whereas any relevant AMD rdna3 GPU is a lot more expensive. I am currently running Nvidia 3060, which was fine as long as I had CUDA requirement due to work, but now my workload is mainly gaming w/ steam/proton, and occasional scientific computing and video encoding, which looks to be adequately supported by Intel, at least for my use.

Ok…It really depends on the game…I have one newer game that is not playing at all, but…there is going to be a BIG change soon.

Right now Arc cards are using the old i915 driver…true it has been upgraded Massively in the last year, but it’s still an old-style driver. The new driver is in the works & crossing fingers we will be seeing it early next year with the 6.8 kernel series. I really felt good about where the new Xe driver is heading after I read this: https://www.phoronix.com/news/Intel-FDINFO-Mem-Linux-6.8

Yes, Intel Arc drivers are a moving target, but as soon as the Xe driver is stable I think that gaming will be much better. It looks like it will be an opt-in process to use the Xe driver…manual edit-out the i915 & edit-in the Xe driver & then reboot.

I see that you do Video encoding also…that is going to be the “sticky” problem with the first-generation Arc cards…the i915 driver will be better for encoding & the Xe driver will be Much better for gaming & computing work (I use BOINC & have been waiting for the Xe driver)…The next-generation cards will not have this problem…I’ve got an A750 & will be moving to the BattleMage cards when they are available.

Here is the other article you need to read: https://www.phoronix.com/news/Intel-Xe-DRM-Submission-Nears

Now, I want to see the second-generation Arc cards!!!

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Thanks! This cleared up multiple things I was wondering. It was a tad bit difficult to get a clear view of this situation as forum posts regarding Arc age quickly, and many contain opinions based on rumors and hearsay. Like DX12 support in proton, HUC support, and rumors regarding Xe drivers, with some posts saying Xe won’t be updated to support DG2(Alchemist) fully. But this may be given as the cards are still relatively new, and the user base is small compared to AMD/Nvidia.

I might also wait for BattleMage, which would give drivers a bit more time to mature and the 6.8 kernel release to be closer.

If you are in the market for a new video card…I would wait for the next generation…I was sick of the BS involved with Nvidia cards & just jumped into the Arc cards…It’s been a learning curve, but I’m glad I made the move—being able to use Wayland without jumping through hoops was a real plus…

Gaming is still an issue. Personal experience: I play older games, mostly picking them up on Steam sales. The goal is to hit 1080p 60fps on High/Ultra and that is mostly no issue on DX11.

I think I got my first DX12 title recently with Horizon Zero Dawn, and the performance on Linux is a lot worse compared to Windows. Linux was 1080p 40 to 60 fps on High while Windows gave a solid 60 fps on 4k with quality scaling.

Intel Arc is fantastic for productivity work in my experience. The i915 driver is stable, video encoding and decoding support is top notch, I would even argue machine learning is in a better state than mid/low range AMD cards.

But. If gaming is important to you I wouldn’t recommend it if you can’t at least occasionally fall back on Windows. And since the upcoming Xe driver seems to be intended as “experimental” forever and never become “feature complete” I would not suggest buying on the promise of potential future improvements, only “as is”.

Thanks, great information.

Seems that for my use case at this moment, Arc would not be the best option. The main problem is that since The great plague of 2020, all the work and studies have been remote for which my PC’s double for both gaming and work. Arc’s features for productivity looks to be excellent, but the gaming part is a problem. Nvidia was ‘fine’, but there have been multiple moments where I really relate to Torvald’s statement from Aalto University. Gotta see if I can get AMD rdna3 partly reimbursed as it has AI acceleration that can be used in my workload :face_with_hand_over_mouth: Or just wait and see how BattleMage goes.

Windows is total no go for me. I did use it mainly instead of Linux for ~6 years, but after losing work 2 years ago due to forced system update that started while I was away from the PC I vowed not to touch it again.

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