Linux Developers Discover Intel Arc GPU Firmware Updates Require Intel CPU

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Enlarge / An Intel Arc graphics processor.

Intel

In our Intel Arc GPU reviews, we’ve been generally impressed with their performance for the price, especially as a first-gen product. But buyers have plenty of potential caveats to consider, including unstable drivers, inconsistent performance, and a few weird issues you need to fix. dig into your computer’s BIOS settings solve.

Linux devs working on Arc support seem to have discovered another oddity regarding maps. According developer Richard Hughes (as reported by Phoronix), firmware update on Arc GPUs seems to be run by the Intel Management Engine, a small microcontroller that is only included in PCs with Intel processors. Hughes encountered the issue specifically in the context of IBM’s POWER CPU architecture, but it appears to make firmware updates impossible on any non-Intel platform, including those based on AMD or Arm processors.

Fortunately, these types of GPU firmware updates don’t happen very often, and when they do do happens, it’s usually to fix a specific obscure problem or add minor features – using a GPU with outdated firmware isn’t the end of the world. On the other hand, if ever a GPU was going need significant firmware updates somewhere down the line would be this first generation of Arc cards, which are Intel’s first widely released dedicated GPUs and have already proven exceptionally rough around the edges in many other ways.

We’ve contacted Intel to ask if they plan to change the way Arc firmware updates are installed, and we’ll update this article if we receive a response.

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