Intel has announced a price cut on its first-party edition of the Arc A750 graphics card, bringing the cost down to $249 from its $289 launch price - just four months after the card was released.
It’s a bold move from Intel, which has yet to see significant traction gained in the GPU market by its recently-launched Arc card series. The Arc A770 and A750 launched in October last year, and while they performed reasonably well, 2022 was definitely more of a triumph for Team Blue’s CPUs while its GPU department went through no end of struggles.
The A750 is still the second most powerful card in the current Arc desktop lineup - though leaks indicate that more heavyweight ‘Battlemage’ GPUs will be arriving in 2024 - and it was already aggressively priced at $289 considering its performance. The price cut is currently only for the US market, but Intel has stated that a similar reduction will follow in other regions.
The A750 is ostensibly a 1080p card (though 1440p is definitely an option in many games), and sits in performance competition with AMD’s RX 6600 and Nvidia’s RTX 3060.
While the Nvidia card does strip ahead slightly on average, it’s also a fair bit more expensive right now; you’ll be lucky to find an RTX 3060 south of $350 at the moment, despite it matching the $330 MSRP of the RX 6600 - a card that performs much closer to Intel’s competitor in the majority of games.
Intel is invading the budget gaming space, but only AMD should really be concerned
It’s worth noting here that we’re comparing the A750 to a pair of two-year-old GPUs. That’s mainly because Nvidia and AMD haven’t actually released any ‘budget’ cards from their respective current-generation lineups, with the cheapest released so far being the $799 RTX 4070 Ti.
Nvidia would no doubt consider the 4070 Ti to be a ‘midrange’ card, with plans for RTX 4060 and 4050 GPUs to cover the budget space later on, but let’s be honest here: $799 is not a midrange price tag. That’s the same price as the RTX 3080, which was a decidedly high-end card back when it first launched.
With this in mind, we’re going to make a bold statement here: while the A750 might be blowing the RTX 3060 out of the water on value right now, Nvidia simply doesn’t care about the budget GPU market any more. The sky-high pricing on RTX 4000 GPUs (combined with constant online scalping that worsens the situation) shows that Team Green are more comfortable at the premium end of the scale, going all in on its ‘omniverse’ guff for professional creators with mighty - and expensive - AI-powered graphics cards.
AMD, on the other hand, is trying to make itself the choice for gamers, insisting that Moore’s Law is alive and well and that its GPUs won’t keep seeing hefty generational price hikes. If Team Red can’t compete with Nvidia’s performance at the high end, the most logical approach is to provide better value for money with more affordable cards instead.
The Intel Arc GPUs have potential to throw a real spanner in those works, though; Team Red has been enacting some serious price reductions on the best AMD graphics cards from the previous (6000-series) generation, and now Team Blue has muscled in to drop the bar even lower.
$249 for a very competent 1080p/1440p gaming GPU with solid ray tracing support is actually pretty bonkers. The Arc A750 goes toe to toe with the AMD RX 6600 (and even the RX 6600 XT) in most games, and actually beats out AMD in ray-traced tests. It does draw a bit more power than the RX 6600, but Intel’s continual performance boosts via driver updates mean that the A750 is extremely competitive at this new price tag.
AMD - and potentially Nvidia too - will certainly have a chance to claw back some ground in the budget arena this year with lower-end cards from their next-gen selections, but Intel clearly isn’t messing around; for anyone looking to build a straightforward 1080p gaming PC, the A750 just became the new best choice.