It’s been a long time coming. After delays, leaks, and lots of speculation, the first Intel Arc graphics card has appeared on sale—in a manner of speaking. The card is listed with a price and specifications, though at the time of writing, it was listed as sold out over at JD.com (opens in new tab), a Chinese retailer.
The price is, err, interesting. It’s listed at ￥3999 including VAT, which is roughly $595 USD (£488, AU$897). That’s simply light years above the official ￥1030 price that was revealed last week (opens in new tab) indicating this is either a placeholder, or a retailer hoping to cash in from curious early adopters (and first-past-the-post tech reviewers).
The retailer listing is for the Gunnir Intel Arc A380 proton 6G (opens in new tab). The full product page for the card is online, giving us an official look at the first discrete Arc graphics card to go on sale. Specifications include 8 Xe cores, or 1024 shader units clocked at up to 2,450MHz, 6GB of GDDR6 memory and a 92W total board power rating. With specs like these, it’s definitely an entry level offering.
The card itself looks good in my opinion. It features a subtle back shroud and small Intel Arc logo. The Gunnir logo is backlit and other than the contrasting aluminium heatsink, it doesn’t look cheap. The card has a standard set of video outputs, almost certainly made up of 3x DP 1.4 and HDMI 2.1 ports. Those four video outputs could see it earn favour among users looking for triple monitor support, a feature that’s distinctly lacking from AMD’s RX 6400 and RX 6500 models.
The folks over at My Drivers (via WccfTech (opens in new tab)) obtained a card and took pics of the card from all angles (opens in new tab). They also removed the cooler, giving us a look at the PCB. It’s pretty basic as you’d expect from a cheap card. The use of an 8-pin power connector seems like overkill. It features what appears to be a simple 2+1 phase VRM and 16Gbps GDDR6. The GPU die looks small too, so Intel’s bill of materials shouldn’t be high for this card.
We’re yet to see reliable benchmarks for the A380 so its difficult to draw conclusions. One thing is for sure, it will sink like a stone if that￥3999 price is even remotely accurate. At ￥1030 (around $150 USD), it should find itself a niche among uses playing older or web games, HTPC users (thanks to full AV1 support (opens in new tab)) and workstation users who want multi monitor support more than 3D grunt.
Intel’s low-key Chinese launch would indicate that it’s somewhat testing the waters ahead of a wider global launch. The early benchmark leaks showing the performance of an A730M mobile GPU weren’t all that impressive (opens in new tab). It’s no surprise that Intel wants to take as much time as it can to make sure it can extract the maximum performance from its cards.