An overview of Intel’s Arc Control application and new features

Arc Control offers familiar features from competitors, although overclocking features are turned off for mobile graphics.

Intel released the much-anticipated Arc graphics for laptops, but unfortunately a more powerful line will have to wait until the summer. While the performance of the most affordable models doesn’t reach the moon, their features are on par with future faster models. The new graphics cards also take advantage of Intel’s integrated graphics driver, which is already available on the laptop.

Intel’s new standalone graphics management application is called Arc Control. The package includes features such as driver updates, overclocking features, streaming features and, of course, common graphics settings. There is also a game library through which you can launch games instead of Steam or Epic Games, for example.

The Arc Control application is available via a key combination even during the game. Through it, you can see, for example, telemetry information about the video card, system load, clock frequencies and so on. The same information is also displayed continuously on the game image. Overclocking features are also included in the package, but are not available on mobile models.

Under the name Creator Studio, you’ll find Intel’s streaming tools, such as support for uploading a game image directly to the most popular services. Also included is an Intel Virtual Camera that utilizes artificial intelligence to blur or change the background, focus the screen on the subject regardless of movement, and so on.

Streaming should also be a relatively easy task for a laptop, as the Hyper Encode feature that drops under Deep Link uses the media units of both the processor and the separate graphics card to compress the media at the same time. The same theme continues in Hyper Compute, which uses all computing and acceleration units from both for productive work. The third feature of Deep Link is Dynamic Power Share, which adapts the TDP of the video card and processor to suit the current load. Deep Link features are promised to improve performance by 24-60%, depending on the situation.

Intel’s latest generation Xe Media Engine offers industry-leading features, supporting compression of up to 10-bit 8k60 HDR video and decompression of 12-bit 8k60 HDR video. VP9, AVC, HEVC and AV1 are supported, as well as older codecs. According to the company, its AV1 acceleration is the first full implementation on the market to support both compression and decompression, and according to Intel, it offers up to 50 times the speed of software-based compression.

The Xe Display Engine supports up to two 8k60 resolution HDR displays or four 4k120 resolution HDR displays. 1080p and 1440p resolutions are supported with a maximum refresh rate of 360 Hz. The video driver supports DisplayPort 1.4a and is listed as DP 2.0 10G-ready, but only version 2.0b is supported on the HDMI side.

The graphics card supports VESA’s Adaptive sync technology, which synchronizes the refresh rate to the screen refresh rate, Speed ​​Sync, which speeds up the latest screen to minimize latencies, and off-the-shelf Smooth Sync. Instead of Smooth Sync preventing the screen from tearing, it merges the edges of the tears with a filter to cover them.

Source: Intel Press Materials

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