The launch of Intel’s GPU Arc was a messy, staggered process, beset on all sides by delays and leaks. But the Arc A380 discrete desktop board is finally about to launch in the US market, starting at $129, and some new information has suggested it might not be the most cost-effective desktop GPU Intel has in the works.
Alexey Nikolaychuk, the developer behind MSI Afterburner, has posted an image of an unannounced Intel Arc A3 GPU that will use a single I/O slot and draw power directly from the motherboard’s PCIe slot, meaning it doesn’t need additional power cables. That seems to put it squarely in competition with AMD’s Radeon RX 6400, which retails for $159.
The as-yet-unnamed Arc GPU (which will likely be an A320 or A310) is estimated to be around $300, and we still don’t know what that will be – the version Nikolaychuk photographed has aftermarket 3D. printed cooler attached to it – but we can assume it will be a “low-profile” GPU that can easily fit into compact PC cases.
Analysis: Can Intel conquer the low-end GPU market?
What we don’t know is whether this GPU will actually make it to the broader consumer market; it may end up only available to OEMs for compact pre-built PCs. Still, even that could bode well for Intel, especially after all the struggles it had with the Arc release.
Nvidia’s Lovelace GPUs seem to absolutely dominate the high-end gaming graphics card market, so Intel might be making a smart move to counter AMD’s budget GPUs here. While we have no idea how this Arc A3 GPU will perform, it is believed to be powered by Intel’s ACM-G11 graphics processor – which has superior media processing and display output capabilities for the Navi 24 architecture that powers the AMD RX 6400.
Obviously it won’t be for high-end gaming, but this new GPU could be a boon for compact media center systems (like home theater PCs) and similar low-powered computers. It can also serve as a viable upgrade for OEM PCs without a discrete graphics card as it does not require an extra PCIe power cable.
If it’s significantly cheaper than the RX 6400, Intel can step in and secure the super-budget space very quickly. Nvidia doesn’t have any real horses in this race right now; the ill-fated GTX 1630 was dead on arrival, and it doesn’t look like the RTX 4000 series will be a serious budget offering; end – a significant blow to your main competitor.