Intel has officially launched its first desktop discrete graphics card in the line Arc Alchemist, the A380. Right off the bat, the A380 also gets its first custom version with higher clock speeds, made by Gunnir.
The entry-level GPU is positioned to rival AMD’s Radeon RX 6400. The bad news is that you probably won’t be able to get your hands on Intel’s first graphics card for a while yet.
Some of us were starting to think it would never happen, but here we are: after numerous delays, Intel is officially launching its first discrete gaming GPU based on the Xe-HPG architecture.
Following the launch of the Arc series in laptops, Intel’s new standalone graphics card keeps the specs fairly modest, but the price is set low enough to match them. Gunnir has quickly followed the intel announcement with news of its own: the Arc A380 is also arriving in a custom flavor, dubbed the A380 Photon, with a dual-fan setup and factory overclock. Let’s take a look at how these two GPUs compare.
The Intel Arc A380 features the full ACM-G11 GPU configuration and comes with 8 Xe-Cores. It has a 2000MHz base clock, 192GB/s memory bandwidth, and 6GB of GDDR6 memory at the 16Gbps frequency via a 96-bit memory bus. It does not consume much power as the TDP has been set to a default value of 75 watts.
Intel’s version of the Arc GPU, pictured above, has a simple design with a single fan configuration. To be fair, that should be enough: the GPU is compared to the AMD Radeon RX 6400, which also has a single fan. Although the A380 can’t hope to compete against the best GPUs in terms of specs or performance, Intel still promises to deliver enough power to keep gamers going.
Intel claims that the card can support a “smooth gaming experience of 1080p at 60 frames per second (fps) and higher” on several popular and less demanding titles. This includes games like League of Legends, Naraka: Bladepoint, PUBG: Battlegrounds Y Moonlight Blade. The card’s gaming capabilities are aided by the full range of DirectX 12 Ultimate features, complete with hardware-accelerated ray tracing. The GPU will also support Intel XeSS, which is Intel’s AI-based super-sampling technology, somewhat similar to Nvidia’s DLSS.
Although Intel is primarily focused on selling the A380 as a gaming GPU, it also highlights that it can be used for content creation. It will support hardware AV1 encoding acceleration as well as HEVC and H.264 for encoding and decoding. The GPU is said to support up to four 4K 120Hz HDR displays or up to two 8K 60Hz displays, as well as a maximum of 360Hz in 1080p and 1440p.
Gunnir’s custom version Intel Arc A380 is an interesting model. With a dual-fan setup, the A380 Photon should offer a performance boost over the entry-level Intel GPU. It comes with three 2GB GDDR6 memory modules, each clocked at 15.5Gbps, which is actually slower than the reference model. However, it should be faster than the A380 due to an increase in maximum clock speed – Gunnir bumps the numbers up to 2450MHz. The TBP has also been increased to 92 watts. The GPU comes with a single 8-pin power connector and four display connectors: one HDMI 2.0 and three DisplayPorts.
While Gunnir has yet to reveal the price of the custom A380, Intel has already lifted the veil of suspense. At the moment, the Arc A380 is priced at 1,030 Chinese Yuan, which translates to around $153. Unfortunately, the GPU will only be available in China to begin with. Intel’s rollout plan begins with OEMs putting the Arc A380 into custom PC builds. Later, the card will be available in the DIY market for those who want to build their own PC, and it will be released in other regions as well.