Intel has yet to produce a substantial Arc launch in North America and Europe, but that hasn’t stopped its marketing team from putting together a bundle for its eventual launch. Intel Arc GPUs will offer a number of trending features, such as ray tracing and AI image upscaling, and the developers want you to try it out. Early adopters that purchase Intel Arc GPUs in qualifying prebuilt systems will receive a bundle of software, which includes games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered to try out XeSS at launch.
Intel calls the bundle for pre-built systems and laptops running its latest Arc XeSS-capable hardware the Software Advantage Program. The promotion began in August and runs through December 31. As an incentive for customers to adopt Intel’s latest CPUs and Arc GPUs, it is giving away a mix of games and creative software valued at about $370 USD. It certainly adds value to the proposition of buying Arc but does little to mitigate worries of potential bugs and performance issues.
In the promotion’s terms and conditions Intel lists a variety of new games and productivity software to choose from. The headlining title is obviously Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered, but the list also includes Gotham Knights, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodhunt, and Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed. The games all coincide with a launch list of titles that support Intel XeSS. For the creative software, PowerDirector 365, D5 Render, MAGIX Video Pro X14, Topaz Gigapixel AI, and XSplit Premium Suite are all included.
The bundle is mostly for laptops until more desktop Arc launches
Eligible systems will be defined by which of Intel’s discrete GPUs are selected from the following pre-defined list:
The qualifying systems list contains a mix of mobile and desktop GPU variants, including the A5 and A7 models. This makes sense since the majority of customers will only have access to the mobile variant of the GPU as of now. Intel’s desktop Arc GPUs are still largely unreleased. For the laptop category, however, this is a very good value proposition, provided you don’t mind being an early adopter.
XeSS is Intel’s AI image upscaling technology, meant to compete with Nvidia DLSS and AMD FSR. Just like the competition, the claim is that XeSS lets users to render games at lower resolutions like 1080p, leaving the algorithm to upscale the final image to something comparable to what you’d get by natively rendering at 1440p or 4K. This allows end users to get better quality out of the hardware they’re running. Interestingly enough, you’ll be able to try XeSS on AMD and Nvidia GPUs as well.
For the creative software included, the XSplit Premium Suite should interest those in content creation. MAGIX Video Pro X14 is also there for video rendering if you want to throw together highlights of your best gameplay.
Considering the lukewarm reception to Intel’s GPU launch and the fact that Arc GPUs will not have polished driver support, it’s easy to see why Intel feels the need to give a little extra value to get the ball rolling on its foray into the discrete GPU market. More Arc cards are supposed to launch “soon,” whenever that is.