The Arc A380 just about makes it to 60 fps across our 1080p medium test suite, but of course that means some games are falling below that mark — sometimes by quite a lot. Overall performance comes in just ahead of the RX 6400, with a slightly larger improvement over the GTX 1650. The RX 6500 XT and GTX 1650 Super remain significantly faster, however, and the meager 3% improvement from overclocking isn't going to narrow the gulf.
Checking out the individual game results, Borderlands 3 and Total War: Warhammer 3 are the biggest wins for the A380 in comparison to the RX 6400 and GTX 1650. The A380 also makes it to 30 fps or more in every game in our standard test suite. Microsoft Flight Simulator and Warhammer 3 are the only games that didn't average 60 fps or more, and both remained playable.
Looking at the AMD and Nvidia competition, the A380 does reasonably well for our selected games. The RX 6400 only manages to beat the A380 in Forza Horizon 5 (by 5%) and Red Dead Redemption 2 (9%), with everything else either tied or favoring the A380. Nvidia's GTX 1650 meanwhile takes a 6% lead in Flight Simulator, but the A380 counters with more significant leads Borderlands 3, Horizon Zero Dawn, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Warhammer 3.
One final point of interest is the Core i9-9900K results with the A380. With the latest drivers, most of the differences between the i9-12900K and the i9-9900K are negligible. Overall, the 12900K is 5% faster, but there are a couple of larger leads. Forza shows an 8% win for the newer platform and Horizon Zero Dawn shows a 16% lead, while the remaining six games show a 5% or less difference.
Moving to 1080p ultra actually improves the A380's positioning relative to the GTX 1650 and RX 6400, mostly thanks to the extra VRAM. Overall, the A380 is 13% faster than the GTX 1650 and 27% faster than the RX 6400. It also just barely manages more than a 30 fps average across our test suite, where the 1650 and 6400 come up short.
In the individual games, if you're merely aiming for adequate performance (meaning 30 fps or more), half of the games we tested make that mark and half fall short. The games that don't get to 30 fps are Flight Simulator, Forza Horizon 5, Total War: Warhammer 3, and Watch Dogs Legion.
Where there was little difference between the A380 on the 9900K and 12900K at 1080p medium, the same can't be said for our 1080p ultra performance. Higher resolution textures and other data mean the GPU has to access information over the PCIe interface more often, and with an x8 PCI 3.0 interface that appears to be a problem in quite a few games. The 12900K is 20% faster at 1080p ultra overall, with Forza Horizon 5 showing a 40% improvement and Red Dead Redemption 2 running 71% faster. Only Flight Simulator and Warhammer 3 don't seem to care that much about the drop in interface speed.
What about 1440p Ultra? Yeah, that's not going to work well unless you're playing less taxing games. Far Cry 6 and Horizon Zero Dawn both manage to break 30 fps on the A380, barely, but everything else falls well short — as in, 20 fps or less, with Total War: Warhammer 3 almost falling into the single digits.
It's perhaps interesting to note that the A380 does manage to pull ahead of the RX 6500 XT in our 1440p ultra test suite, by 5% overall. That's a pyrrhic victory, and it's not just the extra VRAM helping out. The GTX 1650 Super for example still has 4GB but maintains its overall lead over the A380. Memory bandwidth in other words limits what the RX 6500 XT can do at 1440p ultra.
Intel Arc A380 Ray Tracing Performance
With only eight RTUs (ray tracing units), we didn't really expect much from the Arc A380's ray tracing capabilities. However, it does end up being a bit better than AMD's RX 6500 XT and RX 6400… sort of.
The problem is that AMD's 4GB cards can't enable DXR in Control, while the A380 currently doesn't work with Minecraft. Minecraft is quite a bit more demanding than Control, but even if we omit those two games from our test suite, the A380 still pulls ahead of the RX 6500 XT, never mind the even slower RX 6400. Looking just at the four remaining games, for reference, the A380 averages 18.8 fps, the RX 6500 XT averages 12.7 fps, and the RX 6400 gets just 10.4 fps.
Does that matter much? For the A380, no, not really, but it does perhaps bode well for Intel's higher spec Arc GPUs like the A580, A750, and A770. Those will of course cost quite a lot more than the A380, but we're already seeing potentially better ray tracing performance from just eight Intel RTUs compared to 12 and 16 AMD Ray Accelerators.
At the same time, looking at Nvidia's slowest RTX solution, the RTX 3050, shows just how much further AMD and Intel need to go before they can reach competitive levels of performance in demanding DXR games. The 3050 has 20 RT cores compared to the RX 6600's 28 Ray Accelerators, and the RTX 3050 is still 7% faster in our DXR suite. By way of reference, in non-DXR games, the RX 6600 outperforms the RTX 3050 by over 30%.
The RTX 3050 demolishes the A380 by 80% at 1080p medium, though it's also about twice as expensive. Even if the A380 does poorly with DXR compared to Nvidia, we can't help but be curious about how an Arc A750 with 24 RTUs might fare, not to mention the 32 RTUs on the A770. For that matter, even the rumored Arc A580 with 16 RTUs might be able to compete with the RTX 3050, but we'll have to wait and see.