This Monday, Intel formally launched its XeSS upscaling technology, which can be used with AMD, NVIDIA, and Intel Arc GPUs. Although Intel’s top-tier Arc graphics cards go on sale on October 12th, tech publications Tomshardware, TechPowerUP, and PCGamer have already tested the XeSS game on current cards.
In Intel XeSS, there are two integrated binaries; the first enables XMX acceleration on Intel Arc GPUs, and the second uses the DP4a instructions common on contemporary graphics cards. The second mode is planned to work with more recent graphics cards, including Intel’s 11th Gen graphics, AMD Vega 20, Navi 1X, and NVIDIA Pascal. It appears that the majority of publications are concentrating on the performance the device gives on existing cards and rival GPUs since reviewers have only been able to get their hands on the Arc A770 & Arc A750 graphics cards so far, and their reviews won’t be published until next week.
Standard, DLSS, and XeSS rendering using NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics card have been compared by PCGamer. With the “Quality” level of XeSS, the GPU provides 112 frames per second. This result is slower than NVIDIA’s DLSS project, in comparison.
Tom’s Hardware examined the Intel XeSS performance in greater detail and provided a comprehensive comparison of several AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards as well as older GPUs.
Although Intel XeSS works quite well with every graphics card, it may not always result in a noticeable speed boost.
Some of the evaluated graphics cards showed a slight improvement in performance. This shift in performance could be caused by DP4a instructions, which must be natively supported by all graphics cards but are instead emulated using 24-bit integers, which explains why AMD’s RX Vega and Navi 10 series perform worse with Intel’s new upscaler. It’s strange that the “6GB VRAM limit” is the problem for a game that was released four years ago.
In the majority of cases, Intel XeSS DP4a did not improve the performance of any of the games evaluated. As the XeSS technology is still in its infancy, the company has a long way to go before it can address problems and improve performance. Particularly with the soon-to-be-released Arc A7 GPUs, Intel might give its Arc XMX algorithm priority. Fortunately for Intel, there is only one API and SDK, so development would essentially take place simultaneously.