Intel made its entry into the gaming GPU market in 2022 with the release of the Arc Alchemist series. While being a newcomer in this space, Intel has managed to compete with industry giants Nvidia and AMD, even in the realm of cutting-edge gaming technology. One such innovation is Intel Xe Super Sampling (XeSS), a software solution designed to enhance image quality.
In this article, we will delve into the features and capabilities of XeSS, its competition with DLSS and FSR, and its potential impact on the gaming landscape.
A Competitor to DLSS and FSR
XeSS is the latest addition to the growing field of image quality enhancers, joining the ranks of DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) and FSR (FidelityFX Super Resolution). These technologies aim to boost performance by rendering games at a lower resolution and then using advanced algorithms to upscale and enhance the image quality, creating the illusion of higher resolutions. By doing so, gamers can enjoy higher frame rates without sacrificing visual fidelity.
However, it is important to note that XeSS requires explicit game support, and currently, only around 50 games offer XeSS compatibility. In comparison, DLSS and FSR support is available in approximately 300 and 250 games, respectively. While the limited game support may seem like a disadvantage for XeSS, it is worth considering that Intel’s Arc GPUs are relatively new to the market. With continued support and development, XeSS has the potential to catch up to its competitors in terms of game compatibility.
Unique Technical Approach
What sets XeSS apart from DLSS and FSR is its dual functionality. Like DLSS, XeSS utilizes machine learning and leverages the AI hardware present in Arc GPUs, known as XMX units. This enables XeSS to employ the most advanced machine learning models available, comparable to the capabilities of DLSS with RTX GPUs and their dedicated Tensor cores.
Furthermore, XeSS can also run on a wide range of modern GPUs, making it accessible even to users without Arc GPUs. In such cases, a slightly less advanced machine learning model is used, but XeSS still offers image quality enhancements on Nvidia and AMD GPUs. This compatibility across different GPU brands aligns XeSS with the selling point of FSR, ensuring broader adoption within the gaming community.
To achieve optimal performance with Intel XeSS, a powerful GPU is essential, but so is ample storage capacity. This is where HDDs shine, providing the necessary space to store high-resolution textures and game assets, allowing Intel XeSS to upscale graphics seamlessly. Learn more about the crucial role of HDDs in enhancing the gaming experience in our article dedicated to HDD technology:
Performance and Reception
While comprehensive testing data on XeSS is currently limited, initial reviews were generally positive, positioning XeSS as a viable competitor to FSR. However, it is crucial to note that XeSS’s image quality on non-Arc GPUs might be slightly inferior due to the absence of XMX units. Nevertheless, the fact that XeSS is available across all Arc GPU models, including the budget-friendly A380, makes it an enticing option for gamers on a tighter budget.
Intel’s decision to develop XeSS, despite the compatibility of AMD’s FSR with Intel GPUs, demonstrates the company’s commitment to delivering the best quality possible to its users. Should XeSS gain widespread adoption and feature in a significant number of games, it will undoubtedly become a compelling proposition for gamers across different GPU platforms.
Intel XeSS represents Intel’s foray into the field of image quality enhancement for gaming. While XeSS is currently playing catch-up with the broader game support of DLSS and FSR, Intel’s commitment to improving and expanding its software offering shows promise.
With its unique combination of machine learning capabilities and broad compatibility, XeSS has the potential to become a noteworthy technology that benefits not only Intel GPU users but also Nvidia and AMD users alike. As Intel continues to refine and evolve XeSS, the gaming community eagerly anticipates the growth of this exciting innovation.