Intel Arc Alchemist GPU performance: XeSS + ray tracing teased

Intel details its XeSS upscaling tech at GDC 2022: 5 quality modes, up to 153% performance with Ultra-Performance mode enabled.

@anthony256
Published Thu, Mar 24 2022 8:28 PM CDT   |   Updated Wed, Apr 20 2022 7:01 PM CDT

NVIDIA just unveiled its next-gen Hopper GPU architecture, AMD just teased its next-gen FSR 2.0 upscaling technology, and now Intel has detailed its upcoming XeSS upscaling tech at the Game Developers Conference (GDC 2022).

Intel Arc Alchemist GPU performance: XeSS + ray tracing teased 06 | TweakTown.com
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Intel had its software engineers discuss its new XeSS technology, saying that upscaling and anti-aliasing should be fixed as a single issue. Both older games and previous-gen GPUs would see performance improvements and quicker implementation with spatial upscalers.

On the other side, games that have ray tracing and other high-end graphics technologies that are only supported with the very latest GPU architectures, will obviously see bigger improvements in performance and IQ through temporal upscalers. As for GPU support, Intel plans to support as many GPUs as it can with XeSS -- supporting all GPUs that support Shader Model 6.4+ and DP4a instructions -- so most GPUs should be fine.

Intel said that it is continuing to work on the biggest issues plaguing temporal upscalers -- ghosting, blurring, and more -- with Team Blue injecting their own algorithms that will remove, or reduce those effects massively.

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The company did announce that it would have 5 different quality modes for XeSS, including a higher-end Ultra Quality mode with 1.3x scaling factor. AMD and NVIDIA don't have this type of option with their upscaling technologies -- FSR and DLSS, respectively -- both with 4 quality options each.

Intel Arc Alchemist GPU performance: XeSS + ray tracing teased 07 | TweakTown.com

Intel is coming out swinging with XeSS, saying its upscaling technology hits higher scaling rations over competing temporal and spatial upscaling techniques. Ultra Performance mode with XeSS has been tested in some early (in-house, so skewed) benchmarks -- 97% more performance at 1440p, 153% more performance at 4K -- while Ultra Quality mode with XeSS bumps perf up by 21% at 1440p, and up to 27% at 4K.

The reason I said "skewed" is that XeSS is being benchmarked here on the Rens demo -- so what -- and running on an early Arc Alchemist GPU with unknown everything (GPU clocks, etc).

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Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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