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Intel Arc A770 vs NVIDIA RTX 3060: A Comprehensive Comparison

As a Digital Technology Expert with over a decade of experience reviewing PC components, I‘ve closely followed the evolution of graphics cards from both NVIDIA and AMD. But the GPU duopoly was shaken up in 2022 with the arrival of the Intel Arc A770 – Team Blue‘s first real attempt at a gaming-focused discrete graphics card.

Priced at $349, the Arc A770 is positioned against NVIDIA‘s popular RTX 3060, which typically sells for around $329. These two GPUs are currently the top choices for mainstream gamers looking for solid 1080p performance without breaking the bank.

But which one should you buy? As with most tech purchases, the answer is nuanced and depends on your specific needs and preferences. In this in-depth comparison, I‘ll dive into the key differences between the A770 and 3060 to help you make an informed decision.

Gaming Performance

First, let‘s examine how these two GPUs stack up in terms of raw gaming performance. I‘ve compiled benchmark data from trusted sources like Tom‘s Hardware, TechPowerUp, and Gamers Nexus to paint a complete picture of how the A770 and 3060 handle modern AAA titles.

Here are the average framerates across several popular games at 1080p resolution with maximum quality settings:

Game Intel Arc A770 NVIDIA RTX 3060
Assassin‘s Creed Valhalla 67 fps 75 fps
Cyberpunk 2077 53 fps 62 fps
Forza Horizon 5 81 fps 92 fps
Horizon Zero Dawn 88 fps 101 fps
Red Dead Redemption 2 72 fps 84 fps

As you can see, the RTX 3060 consistently outperforms the A770 by about 10-20% in these demanding titles. The performance gap narrows slightly at 1440p resolution, but the 3060 still maintains a clear lead overall.

It‘s worth noting that all of the above games are optimized for DirectX 12, where the A770 tends to perform at its best. In older DX11 titles, the performance delta between these GPUs is often much larger in NVIDIA‘s favor.

For example, in Rainbow Six Siege at 1080p Ultra settings, the 3060 averages a whopping 272 fps compared to the A770‘s 186 fps – a 46% advantage for NVIDIA. Similarly, in GTA V, the 3060 is about 35% faster than the A770 with all settings cranked up.

The A770‘s lackluster DX11 performance can largely be attributed to its immature drivers. While Intel has been steadily improving compatibility and stability since the Arc launch, they simply haven‘t had as much time to optimize their drivers for the huge back catalog of popular DX11 games.

In newer Vulkan titles like Doom Eternal and Wolfenstein Youngblood, the A770 does fare better, coming within 5-10% of the 3060‘s performance. But overall, if you primarily play older DX11 games, the RTX 3060 is clearly the better choice from a performance standpoint.

Ray Tracing and Upscaling

Both the A770 and 3060 offer hardware-accelerated ray tracing, allowing for realistic lighting, shadows, and reflections in supported games. In raw RT performance, the two GPUs are actually quite evenly matched, trading wins depending on the title.

Here are some sample benchmarks of ray-traced games at 1080p:

Game Intel Arc A770 NVIDIA RTX 3060
Control 49 fps 45 fps
Cyberpunk 2077 22 fps 24 fps
Metro Exodus Enhanced 51 fps 49 fps
Watch Dogs Legion 39 fps 41 fps

As you can see, the differences are minimal, with the A770 slightly ahead in some games and the 3060 in others. However, NVIDIA‘s more mature RTX implementation and superior upscaling tech give it the overall advantage in ray traced workloads.

DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) is NVIDIA‘s AI-powered upscaling technology that can significantly boost performance in supported titles by rendering at a lower internal resolution and intelligently upscaling the image. The latest version, DLSS 3, uses frame generation to boost performance even further while maintaining excellent image quality.

In comparison, Intel‘s XeSS is a newer upscaling solution that works across Intel, NVIDIA, and AMD GPUs. While XeSS does provide tangible performance gains in supported games, it‘s not quite as efficient or widespread as DLSS at the moment.

To illustrate, here are benchmarks of Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition with ray tracing enabled at 1080p, with and without upscaling:

GPU Native With DLSS/XeSS FPS Increase
Intel Arc A770 51 fps 68 fps (XeSS) 33%
NVIDIA RTX 3060 49 fps 73 fps (DLSS) 49%

The RTX 3060 with DLSS enjoys a larger performance uplift of 49% compared to the A770 with XeSS at 33%. DLSS also tends to provide slightly better image quality and is supported in more games overall. For serious ray tracing, the 3060 is the more capable and flexible choice, especially as DLSS continues to evolve.

Power Consumption and Thermals

The Arc A770 and RTX 3060 are both relatively power-efficient GPUs, but there are some notable differences. The A770 has a TDP (Thermal Design Power) rating of 225W, while the 3060 is rated at 170W. In actual gaming workloads, the A770 tends to consume about 40-50W more power on average.

Here are some power consumption figures from Tom‘s Hardware‘s testing:

Game Intel Arc A770 NVIDIA RTX 3060
Cyberpunk 2077 231W 180W
Forza Horizon 5 220W 188W
Red Dead Redemption 2 228W 186W

The higher power consumption of the A770 means it requires a beefier power supply and cooling setup. NVIDIA recommends a 550W PSU for the 3060, while Intel suggests a 650W unit for the A770.

In terms of thermals, the A770 reference design peaks at around 74°C under load with its dual-fan cooler. Custom 3060 models with triple-fan setups can run 5-10°C cooler while being quieter. The A770‘s larger die size and higher power draw make it a bit more challenging to cool effectively.

Overclocking potential is similar between the two GPUs, with the 3060 having a slight edge. Most 3060 samples can achieve a stable ~10% overclock, while the A770 tends to top out at around 7-8% over stock speeds. However, the A770‘s overclocking performance may improve over time as the drivers mature and users find optimal tweaking methods.

Drivers and Software

One of the biggest challenges Intel faces with its Arc GPUs is delivering robust, stable, and optimized drivers. As a new entrant in the discrete GPU market, Intel‘s drivers are currently less mature than NVIDIA‘s long-established GeForce driver stack.

NVIDIA has had decades to perfect its drivers and develop close relationships with game developers to ensure ideal performance and compatibility. Intel has made admirable progress since Arc‘s launch, but there‘s still significant work to be done to match NVIDIA‘s polish and reliability.

Some common issues Arc users have reported include:

  • Inconsistent performance in DX11 and older games
  • Crashes and stability problems with certain titles
  • Bugs with multi-monitor setups and hardware acceleration in productivity apps

To its credit, Intel has been diligent about releasing regular driver updates to address these concerns. And in supported DX12 and Vulkan titles, the A770 generally runs quite well. But for now, NVIDIA still has a clear lead in overall driver quality and game compatibility.

On the software front, NVIDIA offers a more robust suite of tools for things like game capture, streaming, and performance monitoring. GeForce Experience is a handy all-in-one app that keeps your drivers up to date, optimizes game settings, and enables features like Ansel screenshot capture and Freestyle post-processing.

Intel‘s Arc Control software is more barebones, with basic overclocking and monitoring functionality. It does offer a unique feature called Game On Driver that automatically switches between an optimized "Game Driver" and more stable "Standard Driver" depending on the game or app being used. But overall, NVIDIA‘s software ecosystem is more comprehensive and polished.

Pricing and Value

The Intel Arc A770 launched at an MSRP of $349, while the NVIDIA RTX 3060 currently sells for around $329. However, real-world pricing for both cards can vary depending on supply and demand.

In terms of pure rasterization performance, the 3060 offers better value overall. It‘s consistently faster across a wider range of games and is more power-efficient. The A770 does have some advantages like more VRAM (16GB vs 12GB on the 3060), AV1 encoding support, and slightly faster ray tracing in some titles. But for most gamers, the 3060‘s superior DX11 performance, DLSS, mature drivers, and cheaper price make it the better buy.

That said, the Arc A770 is an impressive first showing from Intel and should only get better over time. If Intel can iron out the driver kinks and continue to optimize performance, the A770 could become a very compelling option in the sub-$400 price bracket. Intel‘s aggressive pricing strategy also bodes well for future Arc releases.


For mainstream gamers, the choice between the Intel Arc A770 and NVIDIA RTX 3060 ultimately comes down to priorities. If you primarily play newer DX12/Vulkan titles and don‘t mind dealing with some early adopter growing pains, the A770 is a solid GPU that offers good performance per dollar. It‘s also an exciting glimpse at what Intel‘s GPU division is capable of.

However, for most people, the RTX 3060 is still the safer and better overall choice. Its more consistent performance, superior DX11 compatibility, mature drivers, and robust software ecosystem give it the edge for the average gamer. NVIDIA‘s DLSS technology is also a huge selling point for those interested in ray tracing and futureproofing.

The Arc A770 shows that Intel is serious about competing in the discrete GPU arena, and that‘s an exciting development for consumers. With three major players in the market, we can expect more competitive pricing, faster innovation, and a greater diversity of options going forward.

But for now, the smart money is still on NVIDIA‘s tried-and-true RTX 3060. It may not be the flashiest or newest GPU on the block, but it‘s a rock-solid performer that ticks all the right boxes for 1080p gaming. The A770 is a promising start for Intel, but it needs a bit more refinement before it can truly go toe-to-toe with NVIDIA‘s best.