Intel XeSS 1.3 released, improved AI upscaling and big performance gains for Arc graphics

A 10% performance bump for the Intel Arc A750 on average, with improved image quality to boot. Intel XeSS 1.3 is now rolling out to game developers.

2 minutes & 14 seconds read time

Intel XeSS (Super Sampling) is the company's answer to NVIDIA DLSS and AMD FSR. It was developed primarily for the company's discrete Intel Arc desktop GPUs and the integrated Arc Graphics found in the new mobile Intel Core Ultra series of processors.

Intel XeSS 1.3 performance compared to previous versions, image credit: Intel.

Intel XeSS 1.3 performance compared to previous versions, image credit: Intel.

Intel XeSS is platform agnostic and works with Radeon and GeForce RTX graphics cards. It also takes advantage of AI technology, and when paired with an Arc GPU and AI hardware, it can deliver even better results. Although adoption is far from the level of DLSS, XeSS support can be found in over 100 titles.

Today, Intel announced that XeSS 1.3 is coming soon. This update dramatically improves performance in several games while offering "more detailed reconstruction, better anti-aliasing, less ghosting, and more temporal stability." Impressive stuff.

Intel also adds new presets: Ultra Performance, Ultra Quality Plus, and the brand-new Native Anti-Aliasing setting. To showcase the performance improvements, Intel's engineers used a modified build of Intel XeSS with XeSS-supported games to compare it to older versions with an Intel Arc A750 at 1440p and an Intel Core Ultra 7 155H at 1080p.

Remarkably, there's an average performance increase of 10% compared to previous XeSS versions with the Arc A750, with Diablo IV with ray-tracing on seeing a massive 28% performance bump. When you factor in the improved visual fidelity, XeSS 1.3 is a sizable upgrade.

Intel XeSS 1.3 performance compared to previous versions, image credit: Intel.

Intel XeSS 1.3 performance compared to previous versions, image credit: Intel.

The average performance increase for the Intel Core Ultra 7 155H is 8% - another excellent result because we're talking about a mobile processor. "With improved training data set, stronger AI model muscles give better results for an immersive gaming experience." Intel writes. "The ability to teach and improve our models is why we made the decision early on to make XeSS an AI-based upscaler."

The updated Intel XeSS 1.3 SDK is available on GitHub. Intel notes it is "working closely with game developers on upgrades and new integrations of XeSS 1.3."

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Kosta is a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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