Intel says XeSS could massively boost game performance

Intel’s Tom Petersen and Ryan Shrout have met once again for another round of information on Intel Arc. This time, they provided a deep dive into the upcoming Intel XeSS technology, which will be Intel’s answer to Nvidia’s DLSS.

The technology has been long overdue, but it seems that Intel is planning to release it soon. More importantly, based on tests provided by Shrout and Petersen, Intel XeSS could offer a huge boost in performance.

Intel XeSS is an enhancement feature found on Arc Alchemist graphics cards that are slowly making their way onto the market. It initially renders your game at a lower resolution and then uses machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) to improve its performance while maintaining good image quality. Nvidia and AMD have similar technologies, Nvidia DLSS and AMD FSR.

We’ve been waiting for Intel XeSS for quite some time – it was initially set to launch on May 20 after first being teased in 2021. Like the Arc GPUs themselves, Intel XeSS has been a long time coming, but now, the company is preparing to launch it properly.

In the video, Intel explains that it wants “the best of both worlds” with XeSS: fast rendering and high resolution, all in one package. To achieve this, he plans to use AI to drive the super-sampling process.

Before we get started, it’s worth noting that Intel XeSS will feature the following four modes:

  • super quality
  • Quality
  • Balanced
  • Performance

Ultra Quality mode focuses on image quality rather than frames per second (fps). Moving down the list, the focus is more on performance than image quality.

To showcase Intel XeSS technology along with an Arc GPU, both Petersen and Shrout played Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Both used similar computers with the flagship Arc A770 GPU and ran the game with ray tracing enabled, at 1440p, and at maximum settings. However, Petersen used Balanced mode while Shrout played at native resolution without supersampling.

Using XeSS provided a tangible boost in performance; Petersen managed to hit up to 80fps in balanced mode, while Shrout’s PC struggled to achieve a stable 50fps. Using Performance mode pushes those numbers even further, delivering up to 2.11x more frame rates than running the game without XeSS.

Intel XeSS performance figures.
Intel

Beyond talking about the technology itself, Petersen and Shrout revealed that more than 20 games will support Intel XeSS. The full list includes:

  • Anvil Vault Breakers
  • arcadegeddon
  • CHORUS
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II
  • Cavalry II
  • Death Stranding: Director’s Cut
  • Chronicle of DioField
  • Dolmen
  • Ghostbusters Spirits Unleashed
  • Ghostwire Tokyo
  • gotham knights
  • Hitman III
  • Hell: Bladepoint
  • redout 2
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  • super people
  • the crack breaker
  • settlers
  • Vampire the Masquerade: Blood Hunt

We’ve also heard from Ubisoft that Skull and Bones will be among the first games to support Nvidia DLSS, AMD FSR, and Intel XeSS when it launches on November 8. This gives us a fun little sneak peek: November 8th could be the deadline. for Intel to introduce XeSS. Intel is also already working with developers of Instincta dinosaur-themed game to be released in 2025.

Intel plans to make XeSS open to all developers to make it easier to integrate into future and existing titles. It has also partnered with the creators of the popular 3DMark benchmarking tools to create a new tool known as the XeSS Feature Test. This tool will be available on all graphics cards, not just Intel Arc, and will highlight the benefits of XeSS by offering a side-by-side image and performance comparison.

In the meantime, we are still waiting for the global launch of Intel Arc flagship products. Intel recently launched the Arc A380 in the US, so hopefully that won’t be too long. Intel XeSS also does not have an official release date yet.

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