Intel Arc A380 desktop GPU goes on sale – but you shouldn’t buy it

Intel’s Arc A380 desktop graphics card has been spotted on sale over in China, in what’s an odd situation indeed – made all the more remarkable by the sky-high price.

As VideoCardz reports, JD.com, a major retailer in China – which is the only country in which Intel has launched the Arc Alchemist desktop range thus far – has listed a Gunnir A380 Photon graphics card, but it’s priced at a ridiculous level: 3999 yuan (around $600 / £490 / AU$850).

Remember that Intel’s recommended price (MSRP) for the A380 in China is pegged at a quarter of that asking price, so it’s pretty much an astronomical premium here (more so than the towering levels Nvidia’s current GPUs reached at the height of the graphics card stock crisis last year, where prices were triple the MSRP briefly).

Note that the A380 graphics card in question is currently out of stock anyway, as well as only being present in the Chinese market.

Analysis: Placeholder pricing – or cashing in on early interest?

Why the hugely inflated pricing? Well, as you may realize, the Intel Arc A380 isn’t even supposed to be on sale in standalone form yet – JD.com is only meant to be selling pre-built PCs with the A380 inside (and the same is true for all retailers). So flogging a separate boxed copy of the graphics card appears to be breaking the rules anyway.

What could be happening here is that the price may simply be a placeholder – it’s not clear if the card was briefly on sale, then went out of stock, or just isn’t in stock yet anyway – or the retailer might have jacked up the price tag to cash in on what it perceives to be likely early demand for the Arc A380.

In other words, JD.com could be thinking it can get away with charging for the novelty of being able to buy the first Intel Arc desktop GPU out there (at that asking price, you’d even wonder if maybe this is pitched as a collector’s item, a piece of graphics card history perhaps).

Whatever the case, the pricing makes absolutely no sense given the kind of entry-level performance the A380 provides, and it may well be readjusted when the Gunnir A380 is actually in stock. There’s no way of comparing the asking price to any other retailer over in China, of course, because no inventory of the A380 is available elsewhere.

For now, this remains something of an anomaly, although it is very interesting to see that an Arc standalone graphics card might be up for purchase – presumably – in very short order. From what Intel officially said, we were only expecting Arc desktop GPUs to be present inside OEM PCs in June.

This is all for the Chinese market, of course, and global availability won’t kick off until somewhat later still – maybe late July if we’re lucky, but quite possibly more like August, and again, Arc desktop products will only be in pre-built PCs to begin with (or that’s what we’ve been told).

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