Now available for purchase in the US is the first Intel Arc desktop graphics card

In order to get at this point, quite a journey was required. But now is the moment for Intel to make its grand debut into the Western desktop graphics card market, if one can use such a word to describe a low-end graphics processing unit (GPU). Asrock was an early manufacturing partner of Intel’s Arc graphics cards in China and has recently extended to the US market. At the time of this writing, Newegg is selling a fully-functional Arc A380 card powered by pure Intel processors for for 140.

As the least expensive and powerful Arc card that Intel has shown off so far, the A380 performs poorly in comparison to even the entry-level Radeon RX 6400. It has a 96-bit interface and 6GB of GDDR6 memory, which operates at 2GHz on eight proprietary Xe cores from Intel. Asrock’s GPU has a slightly faster core frequency of 2.25GHz and comes with three DisplayPort 2.0 connections and an additional HDMI port. The dual-slot card supports a maximum resolution of 8K at 60Hz using DisplayPort and only requires a single 8-pin power rail from the PC’s power supply.

The Arc 380’s early performance benchmarks are generally in line with its 140 price tag, which puts it in the same ballpark as the Radeon RX 6400 and GeForce GT 1030. If you do decide to buy one, know that you will receive, um, “budget” performance in pretty much everything else except newer games that use the open API capabilities of DirectX 12 and Vulkan. When it comes to driver and software support for games using older APIs, Intel is still much behind Nvidia and AMD, as its own officials have conceded.

Although the introduction of more powerful versions like the Arc A750 seems to be delayed, we anticipate a more comprehensive rollout from Intel later this year. Intel has poured resources into its fledgling discrete GPU business, but it is difficult to identify areas in which it is competitive (though it is excelling at video encoding). Whether or whether the company’s stated intention to aggressively compete on price with its three-tier game model is reflected in actual retail pricing remains to be seen.