It’s been a long road, getting from there to here. But it’s finally time for Intel to make a glorious entrance into the desktop graphics card market in the west…if a bottom-tier GPU can be described as “glorious.” Asrock, one of Intel’s first partners to make Arc graphics cards in the Chinese market, has now expanded its offering to the US. You can buy an Arc A380 card running on pure Intel power at Newegg right now — it’s going for just $140 at the time of this writing.
The A380 is the cheapest and least-powerful Arc card Intel has revealed thus far, competing at a level well below even the bottom-rung Radeon RX 6400 in initial benchmarks. It’s packed with eight of Intel’s custom Xe cores running at a clock speed of 2GHz with 6GB of GDDR6 memory at a bandwidth of 186 GB/s with a 96-bit interface. Asrock’s version of the GPU has a slightly boosted core clock of 2.25GHz and features three DisplayPort 2.0 ports with one HDMI port on top. The maximum resolution is 8K at 60Hz over DisplayPort and you’ll need a single 8-pin power rail from your power supply to run the dual-slot card.
At $140 with no current discounts, the Arc 380 slots in just below the Radeon RX 6400 and just above the GeForce GT 1030 in price, which is roughly in line with its initial performance benchmarks. If you happen to pick one up, you can expect some surprisingly good output in newer games that support the open API features of DirectX 12 and Vulkan and some, uh, “budget” performance in just about everything else. Intel, as its own representatives have admitted, is still far behind Nvidia and AMD in terms of driver and software support for games running on older APIs.
We’re expecting a more general launch from Intel later this year, though the debut of more powerful models like the Arc A750 seems to be troubled at the very least. Intel has invested a lot of money into its nascent discrete GPU business and it’s hard to see any area in which it’s competing evenly with the competition (though it is excelling at video encoding). The company has indicated that it intends to compete aggressively on price with its three-tier game approach, but just how that translates to retail pricing remains to be seen.