Up to 1.8x FASTER DirectX 9 gaming with Intel's latest Arc GPU driver

Intel Arc DirectX 9
(Image credit: Intel)

What you need to know

  • The Intel Graphics Beta Driver 31.0.101.3959 supports Arc A-series GPUs, including the A310, A380, A750, A770, and mobile chips.
  • Performance improvements include optimizations for games running DirectX 9, including League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
  • Enhancements to recent DirectX 11 and 12 titles include Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 (DX12) and DOTA 2 (DX11.)
  • Intel reports average framerates were up to 1.8x faster than the previous driver in its internal testing.

Intel has released beta driver 31.0.101.3959 for the Arc series of GPUs, including improvements for games targeting DirectX 9 and above. This latest update supports its A-series desktop cards and mobile chips, including the Intel Arc A750 and A770 that launched as recently as October 2022.

Compared to the v3490 launch driver, the top-end Arc 770 shows a significant improvement (via Intel) in testing benchmarks, including an average of 318 FPS in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive running DirectX 9 in 1080p with the new v3953 driver, an impressive increase from 177 FPS average in the same game previously.

(Image credit: Intel)

In a video presentation, Intel confesses its dissatisfaction with DirectX 9 performance upon the launch of the Arc GPUs. They continue demonstrating improvements in this new driver, including the claimed 1.8x faster performance for average FPS versus the previous version.

Side-by-side footage shows overall improvements to smoothness during CS: GO gameplay, thanks to 2.3x faster performance on the 99th percentile of FPS with the new driver, at least on the Arc 770 Limited Edition GPU. Closing out its video shows the configuration of its test bench, and it's no slouch.

  • CPU: Intel Core i9-12900K
  • Motherboard: ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero
  • RAM: Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB 32GB (2x 16GB) DDR5 @ 5600MHz C36
  • Storage: Corsair MP600 Pro XT 4TB NVMe SSD
  • OS: Windows 11 Pro 22621.608

Taking only these components into account would run a budget of around $2,400 minimum (via PC Part Picker,) somewhat separating it from the intended marketing of Intel Arc 700-series GPUs being great value for mid-range gaming versus the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060. Still, the improvements are something to behold and should reflect on practically any suitable system using these affordable graphics cards.

Not entirely focusing on DirectX 9 legacy titles, this latest driver also includes improvements for DirectX 11 and 12 titles. New Intel Game On support includes modern titles such as World of Warcraft: Dragonflight (opens in new tab) and The Callisto Protocol, which recently launched a flawed PC version, requiring tweaks to improve performance (opens in new tab).

"We won’t be stopping here; we still have more work to do! Further improvements for games based on legacy APIs and general driver enhancements are on their way and future drivers will continue our march to a refined and more performant product," says Ryan Shrout, senior director of graphics marketing at Intel.

Performance improvements of this magnitude to GPUs only two months after release are impressive, and Intel claims they are committed to the future of its Arc range. You can download the new beta driver from the official Intel website.

Ben Wilson
Channel Editor

Ben is the channel editor for all things tech-related at Windows Central. That includes PCs, the components inside, and any accessory you can connect to a Windows desktop or Xbox console. Not restricted to one platform, he also has a keen interest in Valve's Steam Deck handheld and the Linux-based operating system inside. Fueling this career with coffee since 2021, you can usually find him behind one screen or another. Find him on Mastodon @trzomb@mastodon.online to ask questions or share opinions.