Regarding the best graphics cards, compatibility is just as important as performance. While AMD and Nvidia don't have many issues in that department, Intel's Arc Alchemist still has some kinks to work out since the company's graphics cards struggle with legacy APIs.
Unlike other publications focusing on the Arc A380's performance, German news outlet PC Games Hardware took the graphics card for a spin through 50 games that launched between 1999 and 2022. The site used Gunnir's Arc A380 Photon 6GB OC for the tests, one of three custom Arc A380 models available on the market.
Overall, the Arc A380's compatibility across the 50 titles was pretty decent, considering the state of Intel's Arc drivers. The graphics card only had problems with nine games out of the 50 that PC Games Hardware tested. If we want to simplify the results, Arc A380 would have issues with every 1 out of 5 games. It's not an awful ratio, but Intel's drivers ultimately have a lot of optimization headroom.
It did surprise us that the Arc A380 didn't play nice with Doom Eternal, Quake 2 RTX, Halo Infinite, or Spider-Man Remastered, considering that these titles leverage the Vulkan or DirectX 12 APIs. Of course, Arc should work remarkably with games on modern APIs. But then again, let's not confuse performance with compatibility.
PC Games Hardware's results also revealed that Arc runs flawlessly on APIs that precede DirectX 12. Popular games, such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (DirectX 9) or The Witcher 3 (DirectX 11), worked without hiccups. However, it's surprising that the German publication left out other most-played Steam, including Dota 2 (DirectX 11), Apex Legends (DirectX 11), and Lost Ark (DirectX 11), out of its testings.
Do remember that PC Games Hardware tested for compatibility. Performance, on the other hand, is another story. Intel has admitted that Arc performs poorly on DirectX 11 and older APIs. The chipmaker aims to close the performance gap between legacy APIs and DirectX 12, but it's a long work in progress or a "labor of love forever," as Intel Fellow Tom Petersen calls it.
The Arc A380 has been available in China for a couple of months now. The ASRock Challenger Arc A380 model recently arrived on U.S. soil via Newegg for $139.99, and it's already sold out. We're still waiting for Intel's Arc A5 and A7 series, which will hopefully land before the end of the year.
The drivers are still a work in progress with the Intel card though, so there will be more glitches and more improvements.
If you meant on the high end, not everybody wants a 400w-500w video card. It might not pay for Intel to take on Nvidia for the "most powerful video card" title when they probably just want to get into the market and go from there after they smooth things out.
I bought one to play with to see what it can do. And to have some fun messing around with it. There is a bunch of new with these cards and some parts like the video processing is better than the competition. But I'm not typical in that I'm fine with paying $140 just to mess around with some new hardware/gpu arch/ drivers that are likely to be creative like that DX9 wrapper thing. And they are now on backorder at NE for whatever that means. Could be a good seller or not a lot made.
I see Arc is promising. Too bad it's not available in my country atm. I wonder how much they'd ask for it.
In other words, it's dead already unless Intel is willing to prove they are long term committed to said projects. But for this gen, too little, too late, too expensive.
I'm not even sure why it's news worthy when they aren't even in the ballpark yet. They quite simply are NOT a viable alternative.