Intel’s Arc A380 is finally on sale in the US – well, almost. The Challenger Arc A380 6GB Desktop Graphics Card from ASRock is available to order at newegg.com (opens in new tab)scheduled for release on August 22. Surprisingly (read: not shockingly), it didn’t sell out in the pre-order phase.
The Arc GPU line has been having serious problems for a while now, becoming a troubling black hole of wasted investment for Intel and its CEO Pat Gelsinger. With estimated losses of $3.5 billion and analysts suggesting that Intel should sell its discrete GPU operation, it’s hard to see how this new card will turn these turbulent tides.
The Arc A380 GPU that ASRock is selling has already appeared on the Chinese market since Gunnir manufacturer, while MSI produced a compact, low-power version of the graphics card for laptops and small desktops. The A380 is one of the cheapest GPUs in the Arc line, competing with the AMD Radeon RX 6400 and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1630.
Review: This GPU may serve a niche purpose, but the Arc is still in trouble
One interesting thing to note here is the price. While the Arc A380 doesn’t seem like a very impressive GPU, it’s cheaper than its two main competitors at $139.99; although neither the RX 6400 nor the GTX 1630 are particularly good, so the bar isn’t that high. Pricing in other territories is not yet confirmed, but converts to around £115/AU$200.
Compared to these two cards, ASRock’s A380 GPU benefits from 6GB of VRAM, factory overclocked speeds, and superior AV1 video encoding. This could give you a niche market position like the best budget GPU for light work PCs or media center systems even if game performance is poor.
Still, that doesn’t seem like the big release needed to snatch the Intel Arc from the clutches of death. The far superior AMD RX 6500 XT is currently available for just $155 in the US and should offer much better performance for just $15 more. Intel continues to tease the most powerful (and potentially most interesting) Arc A7 boards, but with no US release date yet, Team Blue is still in trouble – even if its current generation Alder Lake CPUs are doing very well.
The A380 won’t even be able to slide into an affordable GPU niche for professional PCs, because as part of Intel’s ever-confusing Arc release plan, it also just announced a series of Dedicated professional GPUs. As much as we’d love to see Intel’s graphics venture succeed, it seems like this is a small stumble when the company should be running ahead.