Intel Arc GPU guide suggests 10th Gen or newer processor required
Intel has released a system requirements page for its new Arc desktop graphics cards as part of a Quick Start Guide. The guide presents a list of supported hardware configurations, but the paucity of confirmed system support raises eyebrows – only 10th, 11th, and 12th Gen Intel Core processors get an unqualified boost for support of the Arc GPU, and there is no mention of AMD. CPU-based system support.
Is the resizable bar essential? Yes No Maybe.
According to the support document, before you start using your Intel Arc GPU, you need to make sure that the resizable BAR is enabled. Resizable BAR is a GPU memory access feature also known as ReBAR for short (or Smart Access Memory on AMD-based systems).
In the motherboard section of the document, Intel Support states that ReBAR is a requirement. Elsewhere, the company only lists it as a “best performance” requirement. A step-by-step guide to activating ReBAR is provided, and ReBAR is covered in four of the six FAQs.
It’s not at all clear if ReBAR is an essential option that would be extremely bad to ignore, or if those who don’t enable it will see performance hits in some apps/games. Other GPU vendors don’t make as much noise with ReBAR, so we don’t know why it would be critical for Intel Arc users.
A silver lining regarding some clarity on ReBAR requirements is provided when the support document states that the Intel Driver and Support Assistant (IDSA) can be used to “quickly and automatically detect whether your system is ready for Intel Arc discrete graphics”. So we downloaded it, ran it, and its menus just seemed to open various support web pages. Later in the Intel support doc on Arc it says you are running IDSA after installing an Arc GPU to see if ReBAR is enabled. It’s not as useful as we hoped.
Hardware configurations openly supported by Intel start with 10th Gen Core processors, but even that is more complicated than this statement suggests. In an FAQ section, Intel admits that “resizable BAR support on 10th generation platforms will vary”.
The guide is a bit confusing and Intel should clarify it. Potential buyers should only step in if they currently have one of the newer Intel processor-based systems and should wait for third-party reviews. A better description of system requirements and tests with and without ReBAR on different platforms ciykd b egekofykm tii,
In case you missed it, Intel and its partners published the first wave of Arc A380 graphics cards on Wednesday, with initial availability limited to China. When we get our hands on the new cards, we’ll be testing them against our list of the best graphics cards.