Intel Arc GPUs don't natively support HDMI 2.1

Intel has released a new video on its Arc GPU mini-site with an overview of what display tech its soon-to-be-released cards will support. Along with stating that adaptive sync gets a tick on the feature list, it also confirms that HDR support is present and correct, and that it natively supports DisplayPort 2.0. What it doesn't do though is support HDMI 2.1, at least not without some extra magic.

Intel's Arc graphics cards natively support HDMI 2.0, but in order to bump this to HDMI 2.1 its graphics card partners and laptop builders will need to use a PCON to convert the DisplayPort output to HDMI 2.1. Whether card manufacturers will want the extra outlay on these more affordable cards is another question.

We recommend using DisplayPort over HDMI wherever possible, although when it comes to some of those big cheap 4K TVs that isn't an option. And if you want to drive those at above 60Hz then you're going to need support for HDMI 2.1, which is good for 4K at 120Hz.

It's a shame these first budget Arc GPUs don't support it natively then, and that these PCONs are needed. As Ryan Shrout, who hosts the video, states: "Our Intel branded A750 and A770 limited edition graphics cards do integrate that and thus will fully support HDMI 2.1." 

He also explains that Intel will be, "validating 100+ top VRR displays to make sure you have an amazing experience when the Intel Arc A700 family of cards launch." Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) may not be the sexiest tech in town, but promising a tear-free experience is certainly good news. Hopefully, this won't introduce another brand name like AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync, though. 

Ryan Shrout shows off the benefits of these display technologies by playing Death Stranding, which the A750 appears to handle without much hassle. Although, to be fair, it generally involves standing inside or outside buildings with not much happening on screen. Still, you're looking at 80fps+ at the default settings at 2560 x 1440, which isn't bad at all.

We still don't have a firm date on when we're going to be able to buy Intel's much-anticipated Arc A750, but surely it must be soon. You know, before AMD and Nvidia launch their next-gen cards.


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Alan Dexter

Alan has been writing about PC tech since before 3D graphics cards existed, and still vividly recalls having to fight with MS-DOS just to get games to load. He fondly remembers the killer combo of a Matrox Millenium and 3dfx Voodoo, and seeing Lara Croft in 3D for the first time. He's very glad hardware has advanced as much as it has though, and is particularly happy when putting the latest M.2 NVMe SSDs, AMD processors, and laptops through their paces. He has a long-lasting Magic: The Gathering obsession but limits this to MTG Arena these days.