Intel Arc A310 GPU Makes Its US Debut And Is Super Affordable, Should You Buy It?

Intel Arc A310 news
While Intel's Arc Alchemist series is almost exclusively known for the Arc A750 and Arc A770, which are midrange gaming GPUs, there are several other members of the family. There's now another model you can get at retail: the Arc A310. The A310 technically launched late last year, right alongside the A750, but it was an OEM-only graphics card originally. However, one of Intel's GPU partners, namely Sparkle, launched a retail model recently. At $110, it stands unrivaled as the cheapest current generation GPU you can buy, taking that title from the A380, which retails between $120 to $140.

So, what kind of performance can you expect from this card? That's a bit hard to answer confidently, since there's no reviews for this GPU and there are hardly even any benchmarks from the community to give us a hint. Thankfully, we have complete specs for the A310, and since it uses the same chip as the A380, but has six Xe cores rather than eight, we can probably assume it will have at least 75% of the performance at the same clock speed, perhaps closer to 80% to 90% depending on the workload. Both of Sparkle's A310 and A380 cards run at 2,000MHz, though ASRock does offer an A380 running at 2,250MHz.

sparkle arc 310 spine

Worst case scenario, SPARKLE's $110 A310 has about the same bang for buck as its $140 A380, and perhaps it could offer even better performance than the spec sheet implies, which would make its value even higher. However, that faster A380 from ASRock is currently going for $120, and since it'll be at least as fast as Sparkle's A380, saving $10 to lose what is likely a decent chunk of performance and 2GB of VRAM seems like a tough sell, depending on where street pricing eventually lands.

On the other hand, the A310 doesn't need to be evaluated based on gaming performance. Sometimes people just need a graphics card for display output and basic content creation work, which the A310 does without even needing a power cable. It also comes with AV1 encoding like the A380, making it the cheapest GPU with AV1 support. The A310 might even be a little more efficient than the A380 due to being cut-down, though this is purely speculative.

sparkle arc 310 angle

At its current price on Newegg, it's too close to the A380 and the RX 6400 to really make sense for gaming, at least on paper. While this card probably should go for less than $110, it's always been pretty difficult to offer graphics cards at such a low price point, and it's pretty common for $100 GPUs to have poor performance per dollar metrics. However, if you just need a display device and want AV1 encoding along with it, then the A310 will save you $10 and maybe offer a little extra efficiency. It's not shaking up the low-end but at least it pushes down the entry price a little.