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Intel’s Arc A750 GPU is a beacon for budget PC gamers

Intel’s assault on the GPU markets has two arms, and both are going for almost the same result. The Arc A770 is the range-topper and, for many, the most alluring. But it has a sibling that looks the same, performs almost the same, and costs a little less. And we’re not talking like an RTX 3060 and 3060 Ti; the relationship is much closer than that. We’re talking about the Intel Arc A750.

Intel’s big play here is the value proposition. The promise of RTX 3060-ish power at a much lower price is supposed to hit hard. Or it is assuming that it delivers on Intel’s promises. For the most part, the A750 does indeed look like it delivers on the promise of a sub-$300 RTX 3060 alternative. But as we found in our review of the Arc A770 16GB, some caveats and inconsistencies need to be addressed before it becomes a real slam dunk.

    Intel Arc A750 Limited Edition

    The more affordable Arc 7 GPU is the better overall choice for gamers, but with the same caveats as the more powerful A770.

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About this review

This review was conducted using a pre-release sample of the Intel Arc A750 Limited Edition as provided by Intel. All performance data gathered is our own and nobody at Intel has seen or had any input into the contents of this review.

Much of this review is based on comparisons to the Intel Arc A770 16GB Limited Edition, so it’s worth reading our review first for some background.

Intel Arc A750 pricing and availability

The Intel Arc A750 Limited Edition is available now at a retail price of $289 from Newegg and select Micro Center locations in the U.S. Initial stocks quickly sold out, so you may have to sign up to be notified of restocks.

Additionally, the first third-party Arc graphics cards have also gone on sale. ASRock has an A750 and A770 available through Newegg, while Chinese partner Gunnir has also revealed its first take on the A750.

Intel Arc A750 specs and hardware

Intel Arc A770 and A750 specsIntel Arc A770 and A750 specs

  • Not much difference from the A770
  • Fewer Xe and ray tracing cores
  • Lacks the RGB of the A770, but the overall design is the same

The Intel Arc A750 Limited Edition is close to the A770 in design and specs. Side-by-side, the two are hard to tell apart, at least without seeing the different model numbers on the back. As the slide above shows, the closeness is more than skin deep. Intel is also positioning the A750 as an RTX 3060 competitor. The lower price and the promise of similar performance make it extremely attractive.

The A750 has HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 2.0. Not even the RTX 4090 has that.

The A750 has four display outputs, which include DisplayPort and the latest HDMI 2.1. It also comes with a companion app, Intel Arc Control, to manage drivers, system monitoring, and performance tuning. But since it has no RGB, there are no additional cables or apps as there are with the A770. The Intel Arc logo does light up, though. Otherwise, compared to the A770, it has four fewer Xe cores, fewer XMX engines, four fewer ray tracing units, 8GB of VRAM, and slightly lower memory bandwidth.

It also takes the same 8-pin + 6-pin power connector as the A770 and is rated for the same 225W. The A750 is also open to a little overclocking, which can help close the gap to a stock A770. You also have to make sure Resizeable Bar is enabled on your motherboard. Without it, you simply won’t get serviceable performance from the A750.

Test bench specs

As tempting as it is to pair the A750 with the most expensive, fastest CPU around, and the absolute fastest memory, that sort of defeats the purpose of this graphics card. This is a graphics card for the masses and more budget-conscious builders. As such, it’s been slotted into such a build.

  • Intel Core i5-11600K
  • 32GB GSkill Trident DDR4-3200
  • Intel Arc A770 16GB
  • Crucial P5 Plus PCIe 4.0 SSD

All games tested were loaded from a Crucial MX500 SATA SSD.

What this test system does mean is that we’re mostly focused on gaming. Because I don’t have a 12th Gen Intel CPU handy, tools like Deep Link and Hyper Encode are off-limits for now. For those, you either need a 12th Gen or 13th Gen Intel CPU with integrated graphics. We’ll update the review according after the 13th Gen drops with more details on these features.

Intel Arc A750 gaming performance

Intel ArcIntel Arc

  • Performs close to the A770 in most games
  • Some anomalies and inconsistencies in XeSS and DX12 titles
  • DX9 games are going to be potluck as to their performance

So, does the A750 come close to the performance of the A770 in the same system? Yes and no. Once again, we used a mix of titles to showcase what you can expect from this graphics card. XeSS is also a factor, though as with the A770, it’s clear Intel’s new AI upscaler is still very green. All tests were conducted with games running at their respective highest graphics settings.

Synthetic benchmarks

Using the 3DMark suite of graphics benchmarks, the table below shows relative performance compared to the A770 16GB in Fire Strike Ultra, Time Spy, and the DirectX Ray Tracing benchmarks. In all of these, higher is better.

BenchmarkIntel Arc A770 16GBIntel Arc A750 8GB
Fire Strike Ultra7,1066,612
Time Spy (DX12)13,41212,695
Time Spy Extreme (DX12)6,3346,054
DirectX Ray Tracing31.5 FPS28.9 FPS

As we can see, the A750 is definitely behind the A770, but not by much. And it’s still ahead in all of these tests compared to the RTX 2080, which we used as a comparison with the A770. Additionally, the A750 scored a 51% performance increase in the 3DMark XeSS feature test.

XeSS games

We’ve tested the same four XeSS games as in the A770 review, two of which were using pre-release builds not available to the public at the testing time. Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Death Stranding Directors Cut are out now for anyone to try.

GameIntel Arc A770 16GBIntel Arc A750 8GB
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  • 1080p (XeSS off) – 107FPS
  • 1080p (XeSS Ultra) – 109 FPS
  • 1440p (XeSS off) – 87 FPS
  • 1440p (XeSS Ultra) – 91 FPS
  • 1440p (XeSS Performance) – 106 FPS
  • 1080p (XeSS off) – 100 FPS
  • 1080p (XeSS Ultra) – 97 FPS
  • 1440p (XeSS off) – 77 FPS
  • 1440p (XeSS Ultra) – 74 FPS
  • 1440p  (XeSS Performance) – 97 FPS
Hitman 3
  • 1440p (Dartmoor) – 114 FPS
  • 1440p (Dubai) – 125 FPS
  • 1440p (XeSS Ultra, Dartmoor) – 119 FPS
  • 1440p (China, XeSS Ultra, Ray tracing) – 55 FPS
  • 1440p (Dubai) – 115 FPS
  • 1440p (Dubai, XeSS Ultra) – 122 FPS
  • 1440p (Dartmoor) – 107 FPS
  • 1440p (Dartmoor XeSS Ultra) – 111 FPS
Ghostwire Tokyo
  • 1440p (XeSS Ultra, no RT) – 113 FPS
  • 1440p (XeSS Ultra w/ RT) – 74 FPS
  • 1440p  – 96 FPS
  • 1440p (XeSS Ultra) – 96 FPS
  • 1440p (XeSS Balanced) – 103 FPS
Death Stranding Directors Cut
  • 1440p (XeSS off) – 92 FPS
  • 1440p (XeSS Ultra) – 88 FPS
  • 1440p (XeSS off) – 88 FPS
  • 1440p (XeSS Ultra) – 85 FPS
  • 1440p (XeSS Balanced) – 88 FPS

As with the A770, the impact of XeSS is inconsistent. Once again, it seems to have a slight detriment in Death Stranding. Performance is good in both Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Hitman 3 at both 1080p and 1440p.

There’s a bigger difference when you step down from the ultra-quality settings to balanced and, in particular, performance modes. As with the A770, performance shows more artifacting than the other settings, with areas of detail such as fences and far-off buildings in the Shadow of the Tomb Raider benchmark showing up the worst.

XeSS is still new, though, and its performance will keep improving. It isn’t a must-have just yet, but early signs are promising.

Non-XeSS games

Forza Horizon 5Forza Horizon 5

XeSS isn’t even totally necessary on the Arc A750 right now. 1080p performance is exceptional, and when you step up to 1440p, you’re still capable of maxing out the graphics and enjoying good frame rates, albeit with some exceptions. It isn’t quite as good as the A770, but it’s close enough based on their respective specs and prices.

In this section, we look at Metro Exodus: Enhanced Edition, Forza Horizon 5, and Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered.

GameIntel Arc A770 16GBIntel Arc A750 8GB
Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered
  • 1080p – 68 FPS
  • 1440p – 68 FPS
  • 1440p (w/ RT) – 49 FPS
  • 1080p – 61 FPS
  • 1080p (w/ RT) – 37 FPS
  • 1440p – 71 FPS
Forza Horizon 5
  • 1080p – 83 FPS
  • 1440p – 71 FPS
  • 1080p – 42 FPS
  • 1440p – 34 FPS
  • 1080p (+20 performance tuning) – 63 FPS
  • 1440p (+20 performance tuning) – 53 FPS
Metro Exodus: Enhanced Edition
  • 1080p (Normal RT) – 69FPS
  • 1440p (Normal RT) – 61 FPS
  • 1080p (Normal RT) – 65 FPS
  • 1440p (Normal RT) – 58 FPS

DX11, and indeed even DX9, is where the A750 starts to look a little less impressive, just as with the A770. We already knew prior to launch that Intel was pulling hardware support for DX9, instead relying on the DX12 emulation of it. But early tests in mid-2022 expressed concerns about DX11 performance, too. I haven’t experienced any deal-breakers with a DX11 game, but there’s a noticeable difference compared to a DX12 or Vulkan title.

I haven’t experienced any deal-breakers with a DX11 game, but there’s a noticeable difference compared to a DX12 or Vulkan title.

The only exception here is Forza Horizon 5. The A770 does really well with this game, but running the same benchmark at the same settings on the A750 results in significantly lower performance and makes it borderline unplayable. Adding some performance boost and increasing the power limit in Arc Control helps, but there’s something definitely wrong. Hopefully, it’s just a bit of driver wonkiness. It’s also worth highlighting that the extra VRAM available on the A770 comes in handy when you’re pushing games at their maximum.

Going back to DX11, let’s take a look at The Witcher 3. The A750 will let you max it out at 1440p, and you’ll be able to play at above 60 FPS. But it’s also quite inconsistent, remedied either by turning the graphics down or by imposing a 60 FPS cap. DX9 is where the rollercoaster takes another turn because you’re now relying not on Intel, but Microsoft for it to even work at all. The performance here pretty much mirrors the A770.

Intel Arc ControlIntel Arc Control

Running Borderlands 2 was fine, though again, I got wildly inconsistent frame rates. It’s also not nearly as fast as you might expect from an older game. But it works and is totally playable. The same can’t be said of Batman: Arkham Asylum, though. Things start out OK, but a couple of minutes into the game, you get a complicated error message and a total crash.

The bottom line is that you should be OK in DX11 games, maybe even DX9 games, but it’s not guaranteed. The lack of DX9 support is understandable — it is, after all, really old. But there are still a lot of popular games using DX11, and I hope that Intel will continue making that better. If a game supports DX12 or Vulkan, then you’re likely in great hands with the Arc A750, though Intel’s drivers might still get in the way. Performance is extremely good, though, for a $289 card in most newer games. And arguably, that’s what’s most important.

The A750 uses the same Arc Control software as the A770 for performance tweaking. The app itself needs work — taking over the entire screen for an overlay causes some problems — but it’s easy to use. You have sliders to increase the power limit, performance boost, voltage offset, and temperature limit. Out of the box, you get a 19oW power limit and a 90-degree Celsius temperature limit, though nothing I’ve done has caused the A750 to exceed 75 degrees Celsius. Gains could be minimal, but you could also find enough to get you to a solid 60 FPS at higher settings by playing around. Arc Control warns you when you’re going to do something that could exceed the card’s pre-agreed limits, so you can tinker in relative comfort.

Intel Arc A750 encoding

AV1 in DaVinci ResolveAV1 in DaVinci Resolve

  • One of the first graphics cards with hardware AV1 encoding
  • Encoding performance on par with the A770 16GB
  • Deep Link and Hyper Encode provide performance boost paired with 12th and 13th-generation CPUs

One of the big draws of the Arc GPUs is the inclusion of hardware AV1 encoding. This even applies to the entry-level Arc A380. Given their price, one or two content creators will surely cast an eye in Intel’s direction.

AV1 is still very much a new kid on the block, though. Software such as DaVinci Resolve now has support for hardware AV1 encoding on the A750, and it’ll be included in OBS soon as well. Arc can also use Intel’s Deep Link and Hyper Encode technologies, which allow the GPU to work in harmony with the integrated graphics on your Intel CPU. You need a 12th-generation chip or higher for that, which I currently don’t have, so we’ll have to wait a few weeks to try that out.

The A750 is one of the most affordable ways to have a hardware AV1 encoder right now.

In DaVinci Resolve, I rendered a 4 minutes 30 seconds 4K60 clip at 40000 bitrate using the hardware AV1 encoder in just under 7 minutes. This is almost identical performance to the A770, even with less VRAM on the table to use. The resulting file looked as good as an h.264 encode but physically ended up around 200MB smaller. In my, admittedly limited, testing in Resolve, AV1 didn’t offer much of a speed increase in AV1 encoding vs h264 using Quick Sync. You’ll still have faster encoding from an NVIDIA graphics card, but the A750 can certainly hold its own.

We’ve got a full explanation of why AV1 is a big deal, and you should give that a read. Nvidia is following close behind with hardware AV1 encoding on the RTX 40-series, but Intel is just about first to the table. Though if you count the Arc A380 as well, Intel really was first. If it matters to you, the A750 is a good choice at a very attractive price, even as a secondary GPU just for encoding purposes.

Who should buy the Intel Arc A750?

Intel Arc A750Intel Arc A750

So, the big question: Is it worth your money? And is it a better choice than its slightly more powerful sibling considering the price difference?

You should buy if:

  • You’re building a gaming PC on a tighter budget
  • You’re looking for AV1 encoding
  • You want to game at up to 1440p

You shouldn’t buy if:

  • Ray tracing is important
  • You want to play older games
  • You’re not prepared for some teething problems

For most people who are interested in getting into the Intel Arc game, this is going to be the one to buy. But it still comes with caveats, just as the A770 does. And there are caveats on the caveats. For example, in the games I’ve tested, there are additional inconsistencies over those found on the A770. To Intel’s credit, it has been very receptive to feedback, and the latest driver release coincides with retail availability fixes at least one issue I had.

You might be surprised how much you enjoy using the A750

Anomalies aside, the performance of the A750 compared to the A770 is close enough to make it a worthwhile purchase, especially since this version is $60 cheaper than the A770 Limited Edition. The only real aspect of the A750 that could make the difference is double the VRAM on the A770. I have noticed during testing that really maxing out games at 1440p, the A750 hit its cap in several titles while the A770 had more on tap to use. But rarely would you simply max the settings and the resolution and call it done. You can always do something to optimize your performance, and most gamers will do that.

The A750 is also receptive to some mild tuning. While it was necessary in Forza Horizon 5 to overcome some frame rate issues, it’s also possible to do without raising temperatures and always within its 225W TDP. As a mid-range card promising RTX 3060 levels of performance, Intel has delivered. If you have a library of older games, there’s an element of luck as to how you’ll get along, though. And even though it supports ray tracing, this is not the graphics card to get for that. It remains a huge drag on resources, and you simply have to spend more money to really enjoy it.

The conclusion is much the same as the A770. If you’re going to be OK with some teething issues and giving Intel time to get its drivers sorted out, then you’ll enjoy the A750. There’s no question it’s a better buy overall than an 8GB A770, too, but I think the 16GB A770 is the best of the first bunch. We need this project to be a success, and if you’re fed up with the duopoly, then maybe give it a shot. I think you’ll be surprised how much you enjoy using the A750.

    Intel Arc A750 Limited EditionIntel Arc A750 Limited Edition

    Intel’s more affordable Arc 7 graphics card will be the better choice for many and delivers mostly on the promised performance.


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