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The $180 Intel Arc A580 is Team Blue’s new budget GPU

The $180 Intel Arc A580 is Team Blue’s new budget GPU


Say that five times fast.

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A blue metal GPU, with silver plate on the end to attach it to a PC case.
Can’t wait to put a Sparkle Orc into my computer.
Image: Sparkle

One YouTuber says it humiliates Nvidia’s RTX 3050! Another says it takes on AMD’s RX 6600. But while both these things are true and it sounds like a decent 1080p card, the new $180 Intel Arc A580 probably isn’t the budget GPU you’ve been waiting for.

For one thing, both that Nvidia card and that AMD card weren’t great when they were new! Ars Technica called the RTX 3050 “an overpriced 1080p GPU” over 20 months ago. The AMD RX 6600 is two years old this month. Still, those are the cards in the same price band as the new Intel A580 — since the RX 7600, RTX 3060, and RTX 4060 cost more.

The better comparison, and problem for Intel, is that the company’s own Intel Arc A750 is a superior gaming card for just $10-$20 more, as Tom’s Hardware repeatedly points out. Here’s a $190 Intel A750. Here’s a $200 A750. Intel’s own discontinued reference design A750 is currently $200 for Amazon Prime members. The A580 doesn’t lag too far behind the A750, but it’s enough that you should probably pick the beefier one.

The good news is that Intel seems to be willing to hit prices with new cards (and 256-bit memory interfaces for fewer 1440p bottlenecks) that its competitors aren’t always willing to match. And while drivers aren’t yet mature, they are maturing to the point that some journalists are willing to recommend the A750 as a budget alternative to Nvidia and AMD.

I’d suggest waiting until Intel releases its Battlemage GPUs in 2024 instead of picking up this last vestige of the Alchemist GPU generation. Hopefully, AMD and Nvidia will do better with budget GPUs, too — it’s been a rough run for entry-level desktop PC gamers recently.

But if you’ve only got $180 to spend and really can’t budget for an A750? Well, maybe go for for the ASRock A580 instead of the Sparkle A580 since both Tom’s Hardware and TechPowerUp found the Sparkle has unusually loud fans. TechPowerUp says the ASRock doesn’t seem to have that issue.