The Bottom Line
- + Beautiful design that
- + A premium mainstream GPU
- + Quieter and cooler than Intel's reference Limited Edition design
- + Intel Arc drivers and support continue to improve
- + Intel XeSS is an impressive DLSS alternative
- - Requires Resizable BAR for best performance
- - Some minor issues when running certain titles and benchmarks
- - Performance is still lacking in several older titles
Should you buy it?AvoidConsiderShortlistBuy
A few months can be a long time in the world of GPUs; it can see the arrival of brand-new products looking to shake up the market, see price adjustments as competition heats up, or see an existing product or line-up improve thanks to refinements and improvements made at the software level. In the case of the Intel Arc A750, it's a case of yes to all three, as there's been a lot happening in the mainstream GPU space since we first reviewed the Intel Arc A750 Graphics Limited Edition in May 2023.
Alongside the launch of new mainstream GPUs from NVIDIA and AMD in the form of the GeForce RTX 4060 and the Radeon RX 7600, we've seen the price of the Intel Arc A750 drop to as low as USD 199 before settling at its new MSRP of USD 249. The price drop might have been a premature reaction to the arrival of new mainstream GPUs from NVIDIA and AMD; Intel could have been expecting a bigger performance uplift than the mainstream go-to - the GeForce RTX 3060.
And then there has been a solid cadence of driver updates from Intel, with day-one support for almost every major PC release in 2023. The Intel Arc line-up has not only gotten more stable and better over time (it's still nowhere near perfect), but it will continue to do so until Intel launches the Arc successor sometime next year.
And lastly, but not least-ly, there's the return of Taiwanese company Sparkle to the discrete GPU space, with the arrival of the new SPARKLE Intel Arc A750 TITAN OC Edition reviewed here. With its striking all-blue look and feel that extends to the PCB, you've got one of the best-looking GPUs of 2023. So then, how does it perform? Let's dig in.
Intel Alchemist Enters the Race
Below is a summary of the Intel Arc technology, applicable to all models.
The debut of the Intel Arc A750 and Intel Arc A770 graphics cards for desktops in 2022 marked Intel's arrival into the discrete GPU space. Not only that, but the appearance of new architecture from Intel designed for gaming, creation, and AI applications called Xe HPG - with that last bit standing for High-Performance Graphics. Like NVIDIA and AMD, Intel has spent the time and resources to develop its own Xe HPG graphics architecture with an approach that features some genuinely new ideas that deliver scalability from laptops up to high-end desktops.
Compared to the single measure of NVIDIA's CUDA Cores and AMD's Compute Units, Intel's Xe HPG architecture breaks down its technological blocks into 'Render Slices' - with each one containing four Xe Cores, four Ray Tracing Units, and the general building blocks of what make up a modern-day GPU. As brand-new architecture, Xe HPG has been built from the ground up with DirectX 12 Ultimate in mind, meaning that all Arc-based GPUs can handle the challenging task of real-time ray-tracing and use DX12 features like Variable Rate Shading and other bits of rendering technology.
Xe HPG architecture is built for AI, with dedicated AI hardware ala NVIDIA's Tensor Cores in the GeForce RTX range. Each Xe Core (there are four of these in each 'Render Slice') features hardware built for traditional rasterization tasks but also Intel Xe Matrix Extensions (Intel XMX) Engines capable of handling machine-learning tasks. This directly ties into Intel's XeSS rendering, which like DLSS, uses AI to upscale. However, it isn't exclusive to Intel Arc GPU hardware; it is AI-based and benefits from Intel's accelerated machine learning via the Intel Arc series, but it is designed to work on all GPUs.
As mentioned above, each 'Render Slice' also features dedicated ray-tracing hardware. Beyond this, there's a unique Thread Sorting Unit designed to help with efficiency and be able to do other tasks simultaneously to improve RT and other performance.
A shared cache can also be used for any compute workload, shading task, or in-game texture-related thing. And for creators, the Xe media engine offers hardware-accelerated AV1 encoding with support for encoding and decoding up to 8K with VP9, AVC, HEVC, or AV1.
As a brand-new piece of architecture, Intel has designed Xe HPG for modern-day gaming and graphics card usage. From playing visually stunning titles with ray-tracing, competitive shooters like CS: Go, or simply watching or even streaming content - it's all here, including support for DisplayPort 2.0.
Specs and Test System
As a GPU from Intel's first-ever line-up of discrete GPUs designed for PC gaming, specs-wise, you can only compare the Intel Arc A750 to the more powerful Intel Arc A770. Per the image, the main takeaway is that you've got a modest increase in specs between the two variants, with the big difference being the Intel Arc A770's 16GB of VRAM.
The Intel Arc A750 Limited Edition features 8GB of VRAM, the current standard for entry-level and mid-range GPUs, including the new GeForce RTX 4060 and Radeon RX 7600. Compared to these new GPUs from Team Red and Team Green, Team Blue's Intel Arc A750 is notably cheaper in pricing, with its current price sitting closer to discounted GeForce RTX 3060 models still being sold.
The Intel Arc A750 uses Intel's new Xe HPG architecture explicitly built for gaming and content creation, and compared to the reference model from Intel, the SPARKLE Intel Arc A750 TITAN OC Edition features an increased Graphics Boost Clock of 2200 MHz compared to 2050 MHz.
- GPU: Intel Arc A750 Graphics
- Model: SPARKLE Intel Arc A750 TITAN OC Edition
- Interface: PCI Express 4.0
- Microarchitecture: Xe HPG
- Render Slices: 7
- Xe-cores: 28
- Ray Tracing Units: 28
- Intel Xe Matrix Extensions (Intel XMX) Engines: 448
- Xe Vector Engines: 448
- Graphics Clock: 2200 MHz
- Memory: 8GB GDDR6
- Memory Speed: 16 Gbps
- Memory Interface: 256-bit
- Total Memory Bandwidth: 512 GB/s
- Display Connections: 1 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x DisplayPort 2.0, 1 x HDMI 2.1, 1 x HDMI 2.0b
- TBP: 225W
- Recommended PSU: 650W
- What's in the Box: SPARKLE Intel Arc A750 TITAN OC Edition, Custom GPU Bracket
Kosta's Test System
- Motherboard: MSI MPG X670E Carbon Wi-Fi
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 7900X
- Cooler: Corsair iCUE H100i RGB PRO XT Liquid CPU Cooler
- RAM: 64GB (2x32GB) Corsair DOMINATOR PLATINUM RGB DDR5 DRAM 5200MHz
- SSD: Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus-G M.2 PCIe Gen 4 SSD 4TB, Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus Plus M.2 PCIe Gen 4 SSD 8TB
- Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower GF1 850W
- Case: Thermaltake Core P3 Tempered Glass Snow
- OS: Microsoft Windows 11 Pro 64-bit
Physical Design and Cooling
Sparkle stopped making GPUs for the consumer space in 2013, sometime after the release of the GeForce GTX 700 series - but the company, which has been in the industry for over 40 years, has been producing high-quality products at a steady clip. Partnering with Intel for the Intel Arc series of graphics cards was exciting news when we first heard about it back in April, and it's even more exciting now that we finally got our hands on the premium SPARKLE Intel Arc A750 TITAN OC Edition - which features naming and a physical make-up inspired by the mythical Greek gods.
Calling this one of the best-looking GPUs of 2023 in the introduction was not simply a statement from someone who likes the color blue - there's a lot more to the SPARKLE Intel Arc A750 TITAN OC Edition than its great use of color. The attention to detail, the high-quality components, the smart-design decisions, and the excellent use of blue make it one of the most impressive-looking GPUs we've tested. It's a premium mainstream product, from the metal backplate to the high-quality fans, robust enclosure, and little touches like making the two 8-pin power connectors blue to match the overall Intel Arc aesthetic.
However, this means you have a mainstream GPU with a triple-fan cooling system, a 2.5-slot thickness, and an overall size that is not exactly compact. As Sparkle's premium Intel Arc GPU, the TITAN OC Edition offers better cooling than Intel's reference Limited Edition model with the bonus of cool features like an RGB lighting strip on the side that changes color as the GPU heats up, so you've got that visual reference to see how it's holding up temp-wise.
It's all a little overkill in that under load. The SPARKLE Intel Arc A750 TITAN OC Edition temperature sat below 60 degrees Celsius when Intel's reference Arc A750 crept into the 70-plus region. Adding to the overkill is the overall weight, which sees Sparkle include a GPU bracket and stand - which, again, is a little strange to see for a mainstream GPU that's simply looking to beat the GeForce RTX 3060 when it comes to price and performance.
Benchmarks - 15 Game Averages
The Games and Tests
In 2023 PC gaming is a complicated and varied space, from indie games to major blockbuster releases and titles that push hardware and technology to their limit with the adoption of effects like real-time ray-tracing.
This is all a way of saying that the 15 in-game benchmarks we've chosen (and run at 1080p and 1440p) represent a wide range of styles, not only in terms of genres, like first-person shooters and racing games but also in the API technology (DirectX 11, 12) and cutting-edge features like ray tracing and upscaling technology.
Results include DLSS, XeSS, and FSR 2, where possible, as these technologies are the sorts of things, especially in 1440p and 4K, which you'd turn on. Six of the 15 game benchmarks also feature ray tracing. Also, each title is set to ultra-equivalent quality settings to push GPU hardware and minimize CPU bottlenecks at higher resolutions.
Also, it's just fun to max out a game's visual settings and see the results. Here's the breakdown of games, graphics settings, and what's being tested.
- Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Ultra High-quality settings, with the in-game benchmark tool used.
- Borderlands 3: Ultra quality settings, with the in-game benchmark tool used.
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II: Ultra quality setting, in-game multiplayer benchmark tool used. AMD FSR, Intel XeSS, and NVIDIA DLSS results are included.
- Cyberpunk 2077: Ultra quality setting, in-game benchmark tool used. AMD FSR and NVIDIA DLSS results are included.
- Cyberpunk 2077 (RT): Ray tracing Ultra quality setting, in-game benchmark tool used. AMD FSR and NVIDIA DLSS results are included.
- DOOM Eternal (RT): Ultra Nightmare quality setting with ray-tracing enabled, the opening of Mars Core campaign level used to benchmark.
- F1 22 (RT): Ultra High-quality setting with ray tracing, one lap of the Bahrain track benchmarked. AMD FSR and NVIDIA DLSS results are included.
- Forza Horizon 5 (RT): Extreme quality setting with ray tracing enabled, in-game benchmark tool used. AMD FSR, Intel XeSS, and NVIDIA DLSS results are included.
- Hitman (RT): Ultra-quality settings with ray-tracing, Dubai scene benchmarked. AMD FSR and NVIDIA DLSS results are included.
- Horizon Zero Dawn: Ultimate quality setting, in-game benchmark used.
- Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy (RT): Ultra quality setting with ray tracing enabled, the in-game benchmark tool used.
- Rainbow Six Extraction: Ultra quality settings and in-game benchmark tool used.
- Red Dead Redemption 2: Maximum quality settings, with in-game benchmark tool used. AMD FSR and NVIDIA DLSS results are included.
- The Division 2: Ultra quality settings with in-game benchmark tool used.
- Total War: Warhammer III: Ultra-quality settings with the in-game Battle Benchmark tool used.
15 Game Average FPS - 1080p Results
The SPARKLE Intel Arc A750 TITAN OC Edition is a solid 1080p performer if a little all of the place when you factor in a range of games running different engines - something that was true when the GPU first launched and is still true in August 2023. Looking at our 15-game benchmark suite, the Intel Arc A750 still sits between the GeForce RTX 3050 and GeForce RTX 3060 (on average) though there has been some improvement since we first tested the reference model back in May.
The gap between the SPARKLE Intel Arc A750 TITAN OC Edition and the GeForce RTX 3060 is only 5.8%, which makes it 13.8% slower than the Radeon RX 7600 and 20.6% slower than the GeForce RTX 4060. But, as we've seen, the Intel Arc A750 outperforms the RTX 3060 in most brand-new game releases, so the individual game results help explain what's going on. It's a case of the Intel Arc A750 performing great in several titles and falling off hard in others. This up and down sees the overall average drop below the GeForce RTX 3060 - highlighting that the Intel Arc series is still less consistent than NVIDIA's mainstream options.
Still, you have a solid performer here with an average 1080p frame rate of 81 fps.
15 Game Average FPS - 1440p Results
Bumping things up to 1440p and the performance drop-off for the SPARKLE Intel Arc A750 TITAN OC Edition sits at around 27.2% - which means that you'll need to tweak settings or enable Intel XeSS wherever possible if you plan on gaming at this resolution. Here we see the performance just about matching the GeForce RTX 3060 by only being 3.2% slower on average, which makes the Intel Arc A750 only 6.3% slower than the Radeon RX 7600 at this resolution. Only the GeForce RTX 4060 maintains a double-digit lead, with a 14.5% performance bump over the Arc A750.
The good news for the Intel Arc range and those interested in the SPARKLE Intel Arc A750 TITAN OC Edition is that you've got a decent 1% low performance - which means, for the most part, performance is consistent.
Benchmarks - 3DMark FireStrike
The 3DMark results for the SPARKLE Intel Arc A750 TITAN OC Edition are more than a little strange, as it points to untapped potential in the architecture and plenty of work to do on behalf of Intel in improving drivers and support for a broader range of PC games. For the synthetic 3DMark FireStrike test, which is a DirectX 11 benchmark covering 1080p, 1440p, and 4K resolutions, the results indicate that the Intel Arc A750 performs on par with the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti and is faster than the new GeForce RTX 4060.
Based on the 15-game benchmark averages above and the individual game results, this isn't the case; the Intel Arc A750 is considerably slower than the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti. Perhaps there's more untapped Intel Arc potential to come, or maybe we'll see the Xe HPG architecture mature and hit its stride with upcoming next-gen Battlemage products - time will tell.
Benchmarks - 3DMark TimeSpy and Port Royal
With 3DMark TimeSpy being DirectX 12-based, it's a more relevant synthetic benchmark for modern games - and the Intel Arc A750 was designed with this API in mind. Even so, we see similar results to the 3DMark FireStrike tests, with the SPARKLE Intel Arc A750 TITAN OC Edition sitting between the GeForce RTX 3060 and GeForce RTX 3070 when it comes to both the 1440p and 4K 3DMark TimeSpy benchmarks.
Again, this is not reflected in our in-game benchmark results, where the closest example we could find of the Intel Arc A750 getting close to the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti in performance was in Red Dead Redemption 2.
3DMark Port Royal is a synthetic ray-tracing benchmark, another result where the Intel Arc A750 outperforms the GeForce RTX 3060, Radeon RX 7600, and GeForce RTX 4060. Interestingly this is the only 3DMark benchmark result for the SPARKLE Intel Arc A750 TITAN OC Edition that makes sense because the card's performance in the ray-tracing intensive Hitman and F1 22 outperforms the GeForce RTX 3060 by a decent margin. The overall ray-tracing performance of the Intel Arc A750 is surprisingly decent for a mainstream GPU - let alone a first attempt.
Benchmarks - 1080p Gaming
Benchmarks - 1440p Gaming
Benchmarks Summary, Ray-Tracing Performance, and XeSS
The Intel Arc A750 is not a GPU you'd consider for 4K gaming, though with Intel XeSS; there's a definite case to be made for it being a decent 1440p option on top of delivering when it comes to 1080p gaming. In fact, in supported titles, Intel XeSS looks far superior to AMD's FSR 2 upscaling - especially when enabled at 1440p. Several modern titles support the tech, too - from Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered to Hogwarts Legacy to Call of Duty.
At this point in the product's lifecycle, if you're planning on firing up a game that's older over a year or two old, then the question becomes one of whether or not performance will be there. This is a shame because SPARKLE's GPU would become an easy recommendation if the Intel Arc A750 was more consistent and free from issues like random hangs and some games sporting visual glitches.
Temperature and Power Efficiency
With its premium build, triple-fan cooling with a silent mode thrown in for good measure, and OC action out-of-the-box, the SPARKLE Intel Arc A750 TITAN OC Edition is as quiet and cool as you would hope it would be - with temperatures hovering at around 60 degrees Celsius when under load. Though with an overall power draw of 225W, the Intel Arc A750 is not quite as efficient as the Radeon RX 7600 or GeForce RTX 3060 - while being significantly less energy efficient than the new GeForce RTX 4060.
The SPARKLE Intel Arc A750 TITAN OC Edition idle temperatures remain low (with the LED-strip temp indicator sitting firmly in the white region) and low enough for the fans to switch off completely.
With the current price point of USD 249, the premium SPARKLE Intel Arc A750 TITAN OC Edition price sits slightly higher than this; you've got an overall decent 1080p and 1440p performer - albeit one in an increasingly crowded market. Since we first checked in on the Intel Arc A750, we've seen the prices for new previous-gen cards like the GeForce RTX 3060 drop to all-time lows, alongside the launch of new mainstream offerings like the Radeon RX 7600 and GeForce RTX 4060.
Where does this place the SPARKLE Intel Arc A750 TITAN OC Edition? It's hard to say for sure, but you've got one of the best-looking and well-made GPUs we've tested to date - and one that sits firmly within the USD 250 price range. Performance in modern titles is better than what you'd find in older games, and Intel XeSS is proving to be an upscaling tool with better image quality than AMD's FSR 2. With better performance than the GeForce RTX 3060 in some titles, the price point of around USD 249 feels a tad much, even when you've got such a well-made piece of hardware. And if nothing else, we're excited to see what else SPARKLE has cooking.