Intel Wants to Bring Path Tracing to the Affordable Intel Arc GPUs and iGPUs

Lately, Intel Arc GPUs have gained significant competitiveness. The brand has brought out a good number of affordable options that are perfect for gamers with a strict budget. But these GPUs lack high-end rendering features like Path Tracing.

Well, Intel has disclosed its plans to make Path Tracing to everyone. In fact, according to the various research papers published by Intel, the Arc GPUs, along with all kinds of iGPUs, in the future might feature real-time neural rendering. This could let all gamers enjoy the true physics of light in games without spending tons of money.

What Path Tracing and Why Does It Matter

Wondering what exactly is Path Tracing? At the core, Path Tracing is a computer graphics technique that simulates how light behaves in a realistic environment. In other words, it makes the light in the games feel more real and makes it behave naturally.

Path Tracing can achieve stunning visual effects. That includes:

  • Soft shadows
  • Depth of field
  • Motion blur
  • Caustics
  • Ambient occlusion
  • Indirect lighting

Path tracing

But it also requires a lot of computing power and can take a long time to render images without noise or artifacts. Therefore, it was always exclusive to high-end GPUs. But it could be available to the masses with the future Intel Arc and Intel iGPU developments.

Real-Time Neural Rendering Will Make Intel Offer Path Tracing On Affordable Arc GPUs and iGPUs

The papers published by Intel are all about real-time neural rendering. These papers also go through the benefits of real-time neural rendering on ray tracing, sampling, and shading. Intel believes that bringing neural rendering across its affordable Arc and iGPU lineup could make efficient and faster ray tracing available to all.

Intel ARC A770

At the time, Intel is working on multiple neural tools that will let real-time Path Tracing with up to 90% of the compression of native renderers. While doing so, the rendering technique that Intel is utilizing could also offer higher performance. Intel has discussed all of this in the “Path Tracing in a Trillion Triangles” session.

Intel says, “These are important components to make photorealistic rendering with Path Tracing available on more affordable GPUs, such as Intel Arc GPUs.”

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How Will the Budget GPUs Perform

Intel has recently provided a demonstration. In that, the company has showcased the “Efficient” algorithms on lower-powered and budget Arc GPUs. Currently, CyberPunk 2077 is the only game that offers real path-traced visuals. But, to enjoy path-traced visuals, you need an RTX 4080 or RTX 4090, which are expensive cards.

Cyberpunk 2077 path traced

If your system is not running one of these GPUs, you need to utilize DLSS algorithms. While DLSS can offer good visuals, it can compromise the visual fidelity of the native image in some instances. Intel says that the company’s approach will enable real-time Path Tracing without compromising its budget-friendly Arc GPUs.

Intel Arc A750

Intel has also talked about making the real-time neural rendering framework open source. This will enable 3rd party vendors and developers to utilize it on their own hardware and further enhance the performance of this budget-friendly solution.

Meanwhile, Nvidia is also working to bring out more Neural rendering techniques. It recently announced the Neural Radiance Caching and Neural Compression tech at Siggraph. So, with the new technique, budget-friendly Intel Arc GPUs and iGPUs could sit right next to Nvidia cards with high-end upscaling visual techs.

Another interesting point here is that the company is making the Intel Arc GPUs futureproof with this technology. There have also been good price cuts on Arc GPUs lately. You might want to consider them if you are looking to enjoy upscaled visual fidelity in your favorite games.

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