Intel Arc Graphics Driver 126.96.36.19977 and later are approved for use with 3DMark only when "Advanced Performance Optimizations" are disabled in Intel ARC Control for all 3DMark tests. This is the default behavior for approved Intel drivers.
Scores from this driver version can be used to compare with hardware from other vendors only if the user does not enable these optimizations.
SystemInfo 5.51 or later is required for automatic detection and validation of driver settings from submitted results. Any results using an older version of SystemInfo cannot be validated and should be re-run with SystemInfo 5.51 or later installed.
The following Intel drivers are approved for use with 3DMark
Please note that this list includes only public driver releases.
- Intel Arc Graphics Driver 188.8.131.5277 with Advanced Performance Optimizations disabled (default settings)
Any driver released prior to 184.108.40.20677 is not approved
Drivers often include optimizations for popular games to improve performance and compatibility with low-level graphics hardware. These optimizations can range from simple tuning for efficient memory use to complete shader replacement.
For the launch of Intel Arc Graphics processors, Intel has been optimizing its software stack for a wide range of real-world workloads, especially top games and content creation workloads. Before releasing this driver, Intel informed us that they included 3DMark benchmarks in this optimization process.
The Intel Arc graphics products are a new entrant to the discrete GPU landscape, and a lot of shader programs assumed certain characteristics about the underlying GPU architecture that simply don’t match well with the Xe HPG architecture.
Our approach uses shader replacement to ensure games and workloads run smoothly on Intel Arc graphics. This technique detects when specific shader programs are loaded and modifies the shaders directly – while preserving bit accurate output. By modifying the shader program, we can greatly improve compatibility and sometimes performance for older titles.
As part of our effort to optimize software capabilities, we tested some application-specific optimizations in popular benchmarks from UL, including 3DMark Time Spy and Port Royal, and then applied some of those optimizations to benefit real-world games. But other optimizations have not yet scaled into general game performance uplift and remain applicable only to Time Spy and Port Royal for now.
Read the full post from Intel.
UL works closely with all hardware vendors to ensure that their platforms can be benchmarked according to our policies. Intel let us know that these 3DMark-specific benchmark optimizations are enabled in Intel Graphics Driver 220.127.116.115 and later drivers prior to 18.104.22.16877. They are aware that benchmark-specific optimizations are not allowed under our benchmark rules, which is why 3DMark results using the Intel Graphics Drivers listed above display the "Graphics driver not approved" warning message.
The Intel Arc Graphics Driver 22.214.171.12477 and later drivers include a UI option to the Arc Control interface that will let you toggle the benchmark-specific optimizations on and off. The default setting has these optimizations disabled.