Intel’s ARC GPUs certainly have something to turn heads. True challengers to the Radeons and other GeForces, they should be displayed at unbeatable prices and offer excellent performance. Intel even announces that they can encode videos in AV1 format, a royalty-free format introduced in 2018 that offers a much better level of compression than its competitors.
While you can actually find H.264 or H.265 all over the web now, its competitor AV1 still struggles with democratization† Microsoft has it natively integrated into Windows 10 two years ago, and it was only natural for Windows 11 to follow suit. AV1 videos have been available on YouTube since 2018, while Vimeo launched the following year. And since 2020, Netflix offers its movies and series encoded in AV1 on TVs, PS4 and Android devices.
However, on the hardware side, manufacturers still tend to drag their feet. Admittedly, AMD and Nvidia make it possible to decode videos in AV1 through their hardware solutions. On the other hand, coding, the nerves of war for Youtubers and video editing specialists, is still not supported by the two tenors of graphics cards. Nowadays everything relies on the CPU to encode a video in AV1, no matter how short it is. And you have to be patient… Very patient in fact.
ARC GPUs can encode native ARC videos, saving time!
Things inevitably change in the person from Intelwhich has just formalized its new GPU architecture with the sober title “ARCHERY BOW” (code name: Alchemist). According to the manufacturer full AV1 support, both when decoding and encoding videos. Intel explains that its solution can: generate video in AV1 50 times faster than current solutionsthat rely on pure software coding.
The manufacturer casually ensures that AV1 is 20% more efficient than HEVC† Also note that ARC GPUs can also handle other video formats: VP9, HEVC and AVC are fully supportedboth encoding and decoding.
The ARC architecture is available in three series: 3, 5 and 7. At the moment, only the ARC 3 has actually been announced and should be released soon. You will have to be patient for ARC 5 and ARC 7, because nothing is planned for the summer of 2022.