Today marks a huge step in the history of Intel Arc – the first discrete Arc GPU is now available for backorder. The entry-level Arc A380 appeared on Newegg, priced well below comparable offerings from Nvidia and AMD.
The version of the card that appeared in the US market is one that we have not seen before. Is it really worth buying?
After multiple delays, the first step for Intel Arc has finally been taken – the desktop version of the card is starting to get some availability outside of China. The first model to hit the market is the A380, a GPU that is expected to rival some of Nvidia’s and AMD’s budget graphics cards, such as the GTX 1650 or the Radeon RX 6400.
Surprisingly, it is not Intel’s own version of the A380 that has hit the market, but a custom flavor prepared by ASRock. So far we’ve only seen the Intel edition of Arc A380 and the Gunnir Arc A380 which even got its own water-cooling attachment a little later. Both are yet to be viewed, but you can pick up the one now .
The graphics card has a single fan, which should provide more than enough cooling for a card like this. It has a TDP of 75 watts and comes with an 8-pin power connector. It runs on the full ACM-G11 GPU, complete with 8 Xe cores and 6 GB of memory over a 96-bit bus. The addition of four display connections is a welcome surprise, but we only get one HDMI 2.0b in addition to the three DisplayPort 2.0 connections.
Comparing the price of the ASRock Challenger to similar Nvidia and AMD offerings shows that Intel seems to be staying true to its promise to be price competitive. Yesterday, the estimated price of Intel’s better GPUs (the flagship A770 and the A750) was quietly revealed, and those models seem to be quite affordable too. While we’re still speculating about the A770 and A750, we’re sure the A380 is cheaper than its AMD and Nvidia rivals.
Looking at Newegg, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 can be found for around $190-$240, while the AMD Radeon RX 6400 is priced lower at around $150-$200. If we step up and check the RX 6500, it fluctuates. the price around $190-$240. These are all more expensive than the new Intel Arc.
Now the question is, should you buy the Arc A380 or pay a little extra for a tried and true solution in the form of AMD and Nvidia? It’s hard to say. In terms of performance, it’s clear Intel still has some driver optimization to work on, but in a budget system, the Arc A380 should do well enough.
While the initial reviews of Arc A380 were not very promising, a long time has passed since then and it may have improved. While the Arc A380 won’t be one of the best graphics cards, it could very well be a viable option if you just want to put something together and keep costs down.