Computing

Intel Arc A770 16GB vs. A770 8GB vs. Nvidia RTX 3060

Intel Arc Alchemist has arrived, offering two versions of its flagship GPU: Arc A770 16GB and Arc A770 8GB. These GPUs have been compared to Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3060 and RTX 3060 Ti, but how do they truly stack up?

Specs

Intel Arc A-Series graphics card specs.
Image source: Intel

Comparing Nvidia graphics cards to Intel’s Arc based solely on numbers is challenging. On an architectural level, the differences between the two cards make it difficult to determine which one is superior. Additionally, Intel plans to release two versions of the Arc A770: one with 8GB memory and the other with 16GB. However, the 8GB version will be released by board partners, making its availability uncertain.

The main showdown will inevitably occur between the 16GB Arc A770 and the RTX 3060. Let’s delve into the specs and compare them.

As shown, the two Arc A770s are almost identical, except for the significant difference in memory size: 16GB and 8GB. The RTX 3060 sits in between with 12GB, surpassing the RTX 3070’s 8GB. Ultimately, the Arc A770 boasts more memory, faster bandwidth, and a higher boost clock. However, it does come at the cost of total board power (TBP) — an additional 55 watts.

Performance

Forza Horizon 5 1080p benchmarks.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

We’ve extensively tested the Arc A770 and A750, comparing them to similar options from Nvidia and AMD. In this article, we’ll focus on how the A770 performs against the RTX 3060. However, if you’re interested, we have the numbers for AMD’s RDNA 2 GPUs as well.

Intel itself acknowledges that Arc Alchemist excels at running DirectX 12 and Vulkan titles compared to DX11 and older versions. Our tests confirm this. We evaluated the 16GB version of the Arc A770 at 1080p and 1440p in various games, examining both pure gaming performance and ray tracing capabilities compared to the RTX 3060.

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In Forza Horizon 5, running at max settings, the Arc A770 averaged 85.9 frames per second (fps), outperforming the RTX 3060’s 76 fps. The RTX 3060 Ti leads with 96 fps.

Red Dead Redemption 2 1080p benchmarks.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Red Dead Redemption 2 showcases the true prowess of the Intel Arc A770, defeating not only the RTX 3060 by a wide margin but also the RTX 3060 Ti by a slight edge. The Arc A770 achieved an average of 93 fps, while the 3060 Ti scored 88 fps and the RTX 3060 lagged behind at just 67 fps. However, Nvidia takes the lead in Cyberpunk 2077, with the RTX 3060 achieving 60 fps compared to the A770’s 58 fps. It’s a minor difference, and the only game where Nvidia emerges victorious.

Ray tracing benchmarks for Intel Arc GPUs at 1080p.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Similar results were observed at 1440p. On average, the Arc A770 16GB performed between the RTX 3060 and the 3060 Ti in gaming scenarios at this resolution. Furthermore, the Arc A770 showcased impressive ray tracing performance, surpassing the options offered by AMD. Although Nvidia remains the king of ray tracing, Intel has the potential to disrupt the status quo, as it outperforms the RTX 3060 on average — and let’s not forget that Nvidia is renowned for its ray tracing capabilities.

Initially, the anticipated performance of the Arc A770 was closer to that of the RTX 3070 or even the 3070 Ti. While this is no longer the case, it’s evident that Intel can compete fiercely with Nvidia’s RTX 3060 in terms of raw performance, winning most benchmarks. Results may differ in DX11 or older titles, as Intel still has room for improvement in optimization. However, for future releases, Intel’s Arc GPUs appear ready to compete.

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Pricing and Availability

The Arc A770 graphics card running in a PC.
Image by Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Prior to the release of Intel Arc, the company made it clear that while it may not surpass the best GPUs in terms of performance, it intends to remain competitive in terms of pricing. So far, it has stayed true to its word, although the price differences between the three (or two, in actuality) cards won’t be significant.

  • Intel Arc A770 16GB — $350
  • Intel Arc A770 8GB — $330
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 — $329

You may be wondering about the price difference, as the RTX 3060 is presumably cheaper than Intel Arc. However, the actual price of the RTX 3060 often varies. Nvidia’s board partners sell the card for anywhere between $380 and $450. Additionally, the Founders Edition is not sold directly by Amazon, but various retailers offer it on the platform for up to $500.

On paper, Intel Arc appears more expensive. However, in reality, it may turn out to be cost-competitive. However, this depends on availability and the demand for this new graphics technology. Intel Arc GPUs will be available for purchase starting from October 12, 2022.

As mentioned, Intel will exclusively sell the Arc A770 16GB Limited Edition GPU directly. The 8GB version may become available through its board partners, but the timing remains uncertain. Regardless, for only $20 more, the 16GB version provides significantly better value.

Intel Surprises with Performance

The Intel logo on the Arc A770 graphics card.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Intel Arc had a challenging start, facing multiple delays, driver issues, and performance that fell short of Nvidia’s and AMD’s flagship GPUs. Competing with established players in the GPU market is no easy task, which is why Intel must fight to attract Team Green and Team Red enthusiasts.

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However, our tests speak for themselves — the flagship Intel Arc A770 16GB GPU outperforms Nvidia’s RTX 3060 in most scenarios. In some cases, it even comes close to matching the RTX 3060 Ti. Although it may be slightly more expensive in theory, the real-world cost of the A770 remains in the same price range as the RTX 3060. However, it does require considerably more power with its 55-watt higher TBP.

So, which one is better — the A770 16GB, the A770 8GB, or the RTX 3060? If your focus is mainly on playing newer titles, the Intel Arc option is a reasonable choice, despite being relatively new and experimental. For those primarily interested in older games, the decision is more challenging due to Intel’s ongoing battle with optimization in DX11 games.

If you don’t mind a bit of experimentation, go for the Intel Arc — it has proven itself to be a solid card within this price range.

Editors’ Recommendations:

  • Nvidia’s RTX 4060 might not be such a disappointment after all
  • Nvidia RTX 4060 Ti vs. RTX 4070: comparing Nvidia’s midrange GPUs
  • The Nvidia RTX 4070 is still selling for list price. Here’s where to buy it
  • Nvidia RTX 4060 rumor claims even worse specs than the RTX 3060
  • Intel targets RTX 3060 takedown with Arc Alchemist price cut

OnSpec Electronic, Inc.

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