According to a new post on Weibo, Intel AIB partner Gunnir has released a stock clocked lower-tier variant of the Arc A380 called the Index. Most notably, this model ditches the 6-pin power connector altogether, greatly increasing the GPU's compatibility in lower end systems.
Compared to the factory-overclocked Photon variant, the card's physical form factor is barely any different. The card is physically a few mm thicker, but it features a more basic greyish color scheme, with no LED lighting at all.
The most distinguishable differences between the Photon and the new Index, are in the card's specifications. The Index has no factory overclocking whatsoever, limiting its stock frequency to 2000MHz flat — a 450MHz deficit compared to the factory overclocked Photon.
But on the flip side, the Index ditches the 6-pin supplementary power connector — which can be found on the Photon — altogether. This can be an advantage for the Index as it reduces the Index's power limit to the PCIe limit of 75W, allowing users to install the GPU in lower-end systems which lack supplementary power connectors.
For most gamers who actually want an Arc GPU in the first place, the Photon will still be the better card due to the additional power and frequency headroom. But for users looking to put an Intel GPU in their system with a low-end power supply, the Index will fill that role nicely.
To recap, the Arc A380 is Intel's new entry-level discrete GPU, featuring 8 Xe Cores, 8 Ray Tracing Units, and 128 Matrix Xe Vector engines. Stock frequencies peak at 2000mHz with a TBP of 75W running on a PCIe 4.0 x16 interface.
In our review of the A380, we found its performance to be mediocre at best, performing in between the GTX 1650 and RX 6500 XT. But its biggest problem currently surrounds Intel's immature discrete graphics drivers, which can make the A380's gaming performance very unpredictable. In some titles the A380 performs very well — in others, the A380 completely tanks while its competitors like the RX 6400 and GTX 1650 do not.
Thankfully, pricing on the Gunnir Photon version of the Arc A380 isn't too bad: $139. As a result we can expect the Index to be priced even lower than the Photon version with its lower clock speeds and lower TDP, but only if Gunnir decides to launch the Index in America — since its only available in Asia (opens in new tab) at the moment.
Just be aware of the Arc A380's unpredictable nature right now, as Intel continues to iron out the kinks in its graphics drivers.
Maybe I'm jaded by low some of the low profile and/or single slot cards in the past commanded a premium over their regular-sized counterparts.