In context: Intel marketer Ryan Shrout joined veteran engineer Tom Petersen in the lab for another debrief on the upcoming Arc Alchemist GPUs. This time they looked at the cooling capacity and overclocking potential of the Arc A750 and Arc A770 Limited Edition cards.
In some context, Limited Edition cards are just Intel’s version of Nvidia’s Founder’s Edition cards — they’re not special or limited. Shrout stressed that they would be available from day one and in large quantities.
So the question is: will you want one? For Intel’s first foray into manufacturing a graphics card, it looks like they did a decent job. Shrout and Petersen are primarily focusing on the Limited Edition A750 in this video, but at first glance the Limited Edition A770 uses a similar PCB and cooler.
The cooler itself is a dense array of aluminum fins sandwiched between two fans and a large copper vapor chamber. The vapor chamber contacts the GPU itself as well as the GDDR6 and VRMs, and feeds four flat 10 x 3mm heat pipes that run laterally across the board.
Beneath the cooler, the PCB has 8-pin and 6-pin connectors that feed six VRMs that sit to the right of the eight GDDR6 modules that surround the GPU. One HDMI 2.1 port and three DisplayPort 2.0 ports provide output.
Petersen says the card was designed with excessive cooling which makes overclocking possible. To prove his point, he fires up a machine with an A750 and attempts to overclock it using Arc Control software.
When it comes to overclocking methodology, Petersen’s isn’t the best. It starts with the unexplained and insanely named “Performance Enhancement” slider, and when pushing higher stopped affecting clock speed, it increased the power limit to the maximum, 228W. Then it began to gradually increase the voltage lag, eventually declaring itself finished when the GPU exceeded 2700 MHz with a 50 mV lag.
No stress tests and no temperature tests. Also no explanation on how to roll back after pushing too far and causing the system to crash.
Petersen actually overclocked while running Hitman 3 in the background – so that’s kind of a stability benchmark. He used the game to measure the performance increase from overclocking. At default settings, the GPU clocked in at 2400 MHz and hit around 90 fps. At 2719 MHz it came in at ~96 fps, a nearly 7% performance boost thanks to a 13% overclock, which isn’t too bad.
It’s a bit odd that the A750 ran at 2400 MHz to begin with, actually. Its game clock – the only clock speed provided by Intel on the spec sheet – is 2050 MHz. Compared to that, 2400 MHz is a 17% overclock and 2719 MHz is a 33% overclock.
At the end of the video, Shrout and Petersen finally address the elephant in the room: price and availability. All they’re saying is this: “We know you can’t wait to get to this. We can’t wait to share it too – it will be very soon.”