Intel Arc A380 gaming performance disappoints in early review

Why is it important: Intel may have wanted to use a window of opportunity with its Intel Arc GPUs, but the company had to delay their release and even limit initial availability in the Asian market. Now that the first independent review of the Arc desktop graphics card is out, Intel’s hesitation in its discrete GPUs seems justified.

We have yet to see any Intel Arc GPUs outside of South Korea and China, despite the company’s initial promise to flood the market with a wide range of desktop and laptop models. However, based on early testing and relatively slow driver development for Team Blue’s discrete GPUs, the company may have decided to take a slower approach to releasing them to the global market.

Intel said last month that its Arc A-series desktop graphics cards would only be sold in China for a few months. The first model to hit the market was the Arc A380, an entry-level GPU launched a week ago for 1,030 yuan, or just over $150.

The new graphics card is hardly impressive in terms of cooling, video outputs, or overall aesthetics. However, Intel claims it is 25% faster than AMD’s Radeon RX 6400 at a similar price. If you look at the specs, the Arc A380 has some quirks such as six gigabytes of GDDR6 memory connected via a 96-bit bus, a PCIe 4.0 x8 interface, and three DisplayPort 2.0 ports.

However, an early independent review posted by user Bilibili Shenmedunengje suggests that the Intel part doesn’t perform as well outside of synthetic benchmarks, where it sits between the Radeon RX 6500 XT and the Nvidia RTX 3050. If you run the 3DMark Port Royal and Timespy benchmarks, you’ll even get the impression that the A380 has some ray tracing features on compared to AMD’s entry-level offerings.

In real gaming tests, the Arc A380 proved to be less powerful than the AMD Radeon RX 6400, including popular titles such as PUBG, GTA 5, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, League of Legends, Forza Horizon 5, and Red Dead Redemption. 2. In fact, the entry-level Intel graphics card performs worse than the Nvidia GTX 1650 in DirectX 11, DirectX 12 and Vulkan games.

It would be hard to justify such poor performance compared to the GPU Nvidia released back in 2019, especially since the card was paired with an Intel Core i5-12400 processor – a great gaming processor.

One wonders if Intel is trying to buy more time to improve drivers for the Intel Arc, but the performance of the A380 GPU is disappointing, apart from its relatively low price. Higher-end models may tell a different story, but we’ll have to wait and see.

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