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Intel's Arc A750 and A770 GPUs glitches are annoying

by on20 October 2022

Glitchy, no DirectX 12 or Vulkan graphics APIs

While Intel's Arc A750 and A770 GPUs have been finally released after so delays that even those waiting for Godot would have given up, there is some muttering amongst users about first-generation woes.

The interwebs contain complaints about glitchy drivers and performance issues in games that don't use modern DirectX 12 or Vulkan graphics APIs. It also tends to suck up power when the chip is in idle mode. 

Chipzilla has made matters worse by publishing a troubleshooting article that acknowledged that Arc desktop GPUs could suffer from "high idle power consumption," along with steps for remediating the issue. However, the instructions are about as complex as a custard recipe written by Stephen Hawking.

Users will need to go into their PC's BIOS and configure a pair of advanced PCI Express power management settings—the "Native ASPM" (or active-state power management) setting should be enabled, and the "PCI Express root port ASPM" setting should be enabled and set to "L1 Substates." You'll also need to set the PCI Express Link State Power Management setting to "maximum power savings" in Windows' advanced power options settings. All this is best performed while standing on one foot and chanting Abrasax Abreramentoth (we made this up).

Intel acknowledges that the settings will be found in different places in different BIOSes and that they may be named different things and it is not the most simple thing to do.

Intel may be able to address the issue in the long-term with driver or firmware updates for the Arc A-series GPUs, but Intel has not actually said that. The best it tells us is that the company "will be looking at making optimisations in future generations", which means that probably your grandchildren will see it.

Intel has asked Arc users to make other BIOS changes. The cards' performance suffers significantly when a feature called Resizable BAR (or ReBAR, or Smart Access Memory, or SAM) is disabled in your BIOS. Nvidia and AMD cards can also benefit when Resizable BAR is enabled—it allows your processor to address your GPU's memory all at once instead of in 256MB chunks—but the performance impact one way or the other is considerably smaller.


Last modified on 20 October 2022
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