Intel have finally launched the first of their Arc Alchemist graphics cards, the Arc A380, but only in China for now. VideoCardz spotted the press release for the small-scale launch, which confirms some of the A380 specs, its comfort zone of 1080p / 60fps on medium quality settings, and a recommended price: 1030 yuan. That's about £127 / $153, not accounting for regional tax maths.
Honestly, I was expecting more of a song and dance for the first dedicated Arc GPU, even if it's a low-end model. This is the first real challenge to the Nvidia vs. AMD duopoly in pretty much ever, and a sub-£150 price could be a big deal in itself when all the best graphics cards are upwards of £250. Still, the plan is for the rest of the world to get the Arc A380 and other Arc GPUs by the end of summer, and it's nice to get a more solid idea of specs.
Speaking of, the Arc A380 has 6GB of GDDR6 memory running at 16Gb/s, with a memory bandwidth of 192GB/s and base clock speeds of 2000MHz. Its TDP is only 75W, nearly half that of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050; there also don't appear to be any 6- or 8-pin power connectors on the outside of Intel's reference design, so it could be one that's powered entirely through the PCIe slot. It probably won't be able to match the RTX 3050 on games performance, though it may stand a fighting chance against AMD's Radeon RX 6500 XT.
Like all of Intel's Arc Alchemist cards, the Arc A380 will also support ray tracing and XeSS, Intel's take on DLSS-style spatial upscaling. This should provide a tidy performance gain in games that have implemented it, like Hitman 3, Chivalry 2, and Death Stranding Director's Cut, though XeSS itself hasn't officially launched yet either.
As for the rest of the Arc family, a couple of mobile graphics chips - the A350M and A370M - have already found their way into certain laptops in Asia and the US, though no such luck yet here in the UK. Rumor has it has six more desktop GPUs, ranging from the 8GB Arc A550 to the 16GB Arc A780, are also on the way – these will be the ones to watch out for if you're looking to upgrade to smooth 1440p or max-quality 1080p Intel's recently concluded Arc scavenger hunt suggested the most powerful models could cost up to around $800.