Intel Arc A580: A New Challenger in the Gaming Graphics Card Market

Intel has finally launched its long-awaited Arc A580 graphics card, a mid-range product that aims to compete with the likes of NVIDIA and AMD in the gaming and content creation segments. The Arc A580 is based on Intel’s Xe HPG architecture, which promises high performance, power efficiency, and advanced features such as ray tracing and AI-enhanced super sampling.

What is the Arc A580?

The Arc A580 is the fourth and final member of Intel’s Arc A-series lineup, which also includes the A380, A750, and A770 models. The Arc A580 is positioned between the entry-level A380 and the mid-tier A750, offering a balance of performance and price for mainstream gamers and creators.

Intel Arc A580: A New Challenger in the Gaming Graphics Card Market
Intel Arc A580: A New Challenger in the Gaming Graphics Card Market

The Arc A580 features 24 Xe cores and ray tracing units, along with a boost clock speed of 2000 MHz. It also comes with 8 GB of GDDR6 memory on a 256-bit wide memory bus, delivering a memory bandwidth of 512 GB/s. The card has a total board power of 185 W, which is slightly lower than the A750’s 200 W.

The Arc A580 supports PCI Express 4.0 x16 interface, HDMI 2.1, DisplayPort 1.4a, and USB Type-C ports. It also supports DirectX 12 Ultimate, Vulkan, OpenGL, and OpenCL APIs. The card is compatible with Windows 10 and Linux operating systems.

How does it perform?

Intel claims that the Arc A580 can deliver a smooth gaming experience at 1080p resolution with high settings in most modern games. The company also touts its AI-enhanced Intel Xe Super Sampling (XeSS) technology, which uses Intel Xe Matrix Extensions (XMX) to upscale and reconstruct low-resolution images to higher resolutions with minimal performance impact. XeSS can also work with games that use other super sampling methods, such as NVIDIA’s DLSS or AMD’s FSR.

According to Intel, the Arc A580 can achieve up to 2x performance improvement with XeSS enabled in some games, such as Cyberpunk 2077, Control, and Death Stranding. The company also claims that the Arc A580 can handle hardware-accelerated ray tracing in games like Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition, Watch Dogs: Legion, and Minecraft with RTX.

In terms of content creation, the Arc A580 boasts dual hardware-accelerated AV1 decode and encode engines, which allow creators to work with the codec of their choice. The card also supports Intel Quick Sync Video, which enables fast video transcoding and editing. Additionally, the card can leverage Intel XMX for high performance in AI workloads, such as generative models and neural style transfer.

How much does it cost?

The Arc A580 is priced at $179 (approximately ₹13,500), which makes it one of the most affordable graphics cards in its segment. The card is available from various partners like ASRock, GUNNIR, and Sparkle. The card is being launched globally and available starting today.

The Arc A580 is expected to compete with NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1660 Super and AMD’s Radeon RX 6600 XT, which are priced at $229 and $379 respectively. However, both NVIDIA and AMD are facing supply shortages and price hikes due to the global chip crisis, which could give the card an edge over its rivals. However, Intel also faces challenges in establishing its brand and reputation in the gaming graphics card market, which is dominated by NVIDIA and AMD.

What are the reviews?

The Arc A580 has received mixed reviews from critics and users, who have praised its performance, price, and features, but also criticized its power consumption, driver support, and availability. Some of the reviews are as follows:

  • PC Gamer: “The Intel Arc A580 is a solid entry into the mid-range gaming graphics card market, offering decent performance for 1080p gaming with ray tracing and super sampling. However, it also consumes more power than its competitors and suffers from some driver issues and bugs. It’s a good option for budget-conscious gamers who want to try out Intel’s new technology, but it’s not a game-changer.”
  • TechRadar: “The Intel Arc A580 is a surprising product that delivers more than what its price tag suggests. It can handle most games at 1080p with high settings and even some ray tracing effects, thanks to its XeSS technology. It also has some advantages for content creators, such as dual AV1 encode and decode engines and XMX support. It’s not perfect, though, as it has a higher power draw than the A750 and a lower memory bandwidth than the GTX 1660 Super. It also faces stiff competition from AMD and NVIDIA, who have more established brands and ecosystems in the gaming graphics card market.”
  • Tom’s Hardware: “The Intel Arc A580 is a disappointing product that fails to impress in any aspect. It has lower performance than the A750 and the RX 6600 XT, higher power consumption than the GTX 1660 Super, and fewer features than both. It also has poor driver support and availability, making it hard to find and use. It’s not worth buying unless you are a die-hard Intel fan or you can find it at a very low price.”

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