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Intel Arc is finally here, and it’s cheaper than AMD and Nvidia

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 showed up on Newegg, priced well below similar offerings from Nvidia and AMD.

The version of the card that appeared on the U.S. market is one we haven’t seen before. Is it actually worth buying?

ASRock Challenger Arc A380 Intel Arc GPU.
ASRock

After multiple delays, the first step for Intel Arc has finally been made — the desktop version of the card is starting to have some availability outside of China. The first model to appear for sale is the A380, a GPU that’s 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’s not Intel’s own version of the A380 that made it to market, but a custom flavor prepared by ASRock. Thus far, we’ve only ever seen the Intel edition of Arc A380 and the Gunnir Arc A380 that even received its own water cooling attachment a little later on. Both of these are still yet to be seen, but you can now pick up the .

The graphics card sports 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 one 8-pin power connector. It runs the full ACM-G11 GPU, complete with 8 Xe cores and 6GB of memory across a 96-bit bus. The addition of four display connectors is a welcome surprise, but we’re only getting one HDMI 2.0b aside from the three DisplayPort 2.0 connectors.

Comparing the price of the ASRock Challenger to similar Nvidia and AMD offerings reveals that Intel seems to be staying true to its promise of being price competitive. Just yesterday, the approximate pricing of Intel’s better GPUs (the flagship A770 and the A750) was quietly revealed, and those models also seem to be quite affordable. While we’re still in the realm of speculation about the A770 and the A750, we know for a fact that the A380 is cheaper than its AMD and Nvidia rivals.

ASRock Intel Arc A380 GPU ports.
ASRock

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 go one step higher and check the RX 6500, the price hovers around $190-$240. All of these are 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. Performance-wise, it’s clear that Intel still has some driver optimization to work on, but in a budget system, the Arc A380 should do well enough.

Although the early reviews of Arc A380 were not very promising, a long time has passed since then, and things may have improved. While the Arc A380 will not be one of the best graphics cards, it very well might be a viable option if you just want to put something together while keeping the costs low.

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