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Daily Authority: 👉 Intel Arc GPUs are go

Intel's GPUs are finally here, OnePlus 10 Pro launch today, plus all the tech news from the world around us!
By
March 31, 2022
Intel Arc A Series 1
Intel

👋 Good morning! The OnePlus 10 Pro launches today, and apparently it’s World Backup Day too, so check your cloud, check your local storage… Before we hop into today’s tech news, we’d like to thank OPPO for sponsoring this newsletter!

Oppo Find X5 Pro Promotional Image
OPPO

The OPPO Find X5 Pro brings a new sense of futuristic design by sporting stylish ceramic curves that break from the glass-and-metal tradition. The MariSilicon X Imaging NPU drastically increases both of its videographic and photographic abilities — especially in low-light situations — and it’s all powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset.

Head over to OPPO to learn more about the Find X5 Pro and get this slick new flagship in your pocket.

Intel ARC

Intel Arc A Series 3 5 7
Intel
On March 30, 2022, Intel launched Intel Arc graphics processing units for laptops. Intel Arc 3 graphics offer enhanced gaming and content creation. Coming in early summer, Intel Arc 5 and Arc 7 graphics will deliver increased graphics and computing performance. (Credit: Intel Corporation)

Intel launched its first discrete GPUs yesterday as the blue team takes on Nvidia and AMD, though it’s not at all a battle at the top-end yet.

What happened:

  • Intel announced its new Arc A-series GPUs for laptops.
  • They support DirectX 12 and have dedicated ray-tracing hardware.
  • What was announced for laptops yesterday was Intel’s least powerful GPUs via its Arc 3 series, which are more for creative applications than gaming.
  • The bigger hitters for gaming laptops come from the Arc 5 and Arc 7 GPUs, which will contain multiple more graphics cores, memory, ray-tracing units, and so on, arriving later, in “early summer.”
  • (The Arc 3, 5, 7 naming matches Intel’s i3, i5, i7 naming convention).
intel arc
Intel

The details:

  • So far, what we’ve seen from the Arc 3 series is that these comfortably beat out Intel’s integrated Iris Xe graphics, by as much as double, though that’s still only okay.
  • Still, competitive game benchmarks provided by Intel for Fortnite running 1080p gameplay on medium setting, shows 94fps on the higher-end Arc 3 card.
  • Performance may differ depending on the specific laptop build and overall cooling, and of course, it’ll mean a lot more when third parties run a full suite of tests rather than relying on Intel’s published benchmarks…
  • The A350M has six Xe-cores and six ray-tracing units, and the A370M has eight Xe-cores and eight ray-tracing units.
  • From the limited benchmarks Intel offered, it didn’t compare to Nvidia or AMD directly.

In short:

  • Anything with an Arc 3 series doesn’t exactly mean a gaming laptop.
  • But it seems better entry-level capabilities will be a win, and at a competent performance per watt.
  • For creative people, similar benefits abound for creative tasks, with Intel showing performance improvements for tasks using tools like Adobe Premiere Pro.
  • They have useful video encoding and decoding support, including 8K 10-bit HDR AV1 encoding as well.
  • But we lack real reference points to understand the full picture just yet, in terms of versus Nvidia and AMD, and Apple for that matter, and how battery life on entry-level laptops is affected.

What’ll come with it?

  • The Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro will be the first laptop to offer Arc 3 GPUs as an option.
  • The likes of Acer, Asus, Dell, Lenovo, and many more will also offer Arc laptops, starting as low as $899.

What’s next?

  • This is clearly the start of Intel’s Arc journey and the takeaway is that it’s …okay.
  • It’s a step, not a revolution.
  • The Arc 5 and 7 GPUs in the next round of higher-end gaming laptops will be much more scrutinized for how they compete. Intel won’t be able to omit comparison benchmarks by then.
  • The attempted shake-up from Intel to deliver real competition happens at both the high and low-end, and we start at the low-end.

Roundup

📅 OnePlus announces its OnePlus 10 Pro launch about three hours after this newsletter is sent (Android Authority).

🎤 WhatsApp’s voice messages just got much better with multiple new features (Android Authority).

😬 It appears Apple and Facebook both handed over user data to hackers who forged legal requests and added false urgency. First reported over on KrebsOnSecurity, but the Apple/Facebook detail is a lot (Bloomberg, $).

🍎 Apple’s Studio Display guts feature a remarkable feat of over-engineering (Engadget).

🍏 Apple will yield to Dutch dating apps to use other payment options within existing apps, but the ol’ commission isn’t exactly going away. Apple hopes it stops being fined, too (The Verge). Also, Apple now allows Netflix, Spotify, and other “reader” apps to link to their sites for payment, as part of a settlement in Japan, though restrictions apply (Engadget).

🚲 eDirtySixer lays claim to title of “world’s biggest ebike,” with 36-inch wheels for the really tall (NewAtlas).

📌 Google’s next US antitrust issue: Google Maps. How much bundling can Google get away with? When it comes to cars, not much? (Ars Technica).

👁 Your contact lenses can now seep antihistamines into your eyes, if you want, the start of a simple way to treat eye problems? (Gizmodo).

Hubble discovers the farthest star to date: 12.9 billion light-years away. The James Webb will further investigate its characteristics (NASA).

🛰️ What happens when an old satellite is no longer in use but can still broadcast? Hacker shenanigans! (Wired).

🧊 “ELI5: How do icebreaker ships work?” (r/explainlikeimfive)

Throwback Thursday

Gmail on smartphone and tablet stock photo 2
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

There’s something about April 1. Tomorrow, as we dodge tricks from pranksters both online and offline, it’s also a significant date for actual real tech.

In particular:

  • April 1, 1976 — Apple Inc. was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne.
  • April 1, 2004 — Gmail launched.

Memories:

  • Being younger than Apple, I don’t remember it being founded.
  • But boy do I remember Gmail’s launch: offering 1GB of data storage, it seemed way too good to be true, especially for a free service launched on April 1, though you had to get an invite in the early going.
  • Anyway, if you get a moment, read the launch recap from Time, published 10 years after Gmail launched.
  • It includes details on Paul Buchheit, Gmail’s creator. Buchheit didn’t build it on the company’s 20% time, but was instructed to “Build some kind of email something.”
  • Buchheit also suggested Google’s former company motto, “Don’t be evil,” in a meeting on company values in the year 2000.

Cheers – I’m away tomorrow, but Paula will be with you!

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.