What just happened? Intel has announced availability of its Arc A-series 3 desktop graphics cards in China, one of the first being a custom version of the Arc A380 from Chinese manufacturer Gunnir. The entry-level product is priced at 1030 yuan (around $153), and Intel says it is up to 25% faster than AMD's bottom-of-the-stack Radeon RX 6400.

Gunnir's dual-fan Arc A380 Photon 6GB OC packs Intel's ACM-G11 GPU made on TSMC's 6nm process node. As the name suggests, it packs three 15.5 Gbps 2GB GDDR6 memory modules and a 2,000 MHz base clock with a 2,450 MHz overclocked boost. While the memory is slower than the 16 Gbps reference specs, this OC model will likely have a higher boost clock than the standard A380.

Other stats include eight Xe cores, each with up to 128 ALUs for a total of 1,024 ALUs, eight ray tracing units, and 4MB of L2 cache. The Arc A380 Photon also packs three DisplayPort outputs and one HDMI 2.0 port, and the 92W TBP (total board power) rating means it only requires a single 8-pin PCIe power connector.

Intel is positioning the Arc A380 as a cheap card that is still capable of passing 60 fps with medium settings in less demanding games like Apex Legends and Dota 2. It also notes that its Xe Media Engine enables hardware AV1 encoding acceleration while supporting HEVC, H.264 encode/decode, and 8K resolution media processing. That should make it a more enticing option than the $160 Radeon RX 6400, which has a PCIe 4.0 x4 interface, no hardware encoding, and no AV1 decode.

Intel says other Arc A380 cards will come from Acer, ASUS, Gigabyte, HP, and MSI starting this month. The release will begin in China and expand globally during the summer, so expect to see the cards land in the US before AMD's Radeon RX 7000 and Nvidia's RTX 4000 lines get here.