Intel’s Arc A380 desktop graphics card was spotted on sale in China, in an odd situation – made all the more notable by the sky-high price tag.
As VideoCardz (opens in new tab) reports, JD.com, a major retailer in China – which is the only country where Intel has released the Arc Alchemist desktop lineup so far – has listed a Gunnir A380 Photon graphics card, but the price is ridiculous: 3999 yuan (about of $600 / £490 / AU$850).
Remember that the Intel Recommended Price (MSRP) for the A380 in China is pegged to a quarter of that asking price, so it’s pretty much an astronomical premium here (more than the high levels Nvidia’s current GPUs reached at the height of last year’s graphics card inventory crisis, where prices were triple the MSRP briefly).
Please note that the A380 graphics card in question is currently out of stock, as well as being present only in the Chinese market.
Analysis: Placeholder pricing – or cashing in on upfront interest?
Why the extremely inflated prices? Well, as you can see, the Intel Arc A380 shouldn’t be on sale independently yet – JD.com should only sell pre-built PCs with the A380 inside (and the same is true for all resellers). So flogging a separate boxed copy of the graphics card seems to be breaking the rules anyway.
What could be happening here is that the price could simply be a placeholder – it’s unclear if the card was briefly on sale, then went out of stock, or is simply not in stock yet – or the retailer may have raised the price to profit from what it perceives to be the likely initial demand for the Arc A380.
In other words, JD.com might be thinking it can get away with charging for the novelty of being able to buy the first Intel Arc desktop GPU (at this asking price, you’d even wonder if maybe this will release as a collector’s item, maybe a piece of graphics card history).
Whatever the case, the price makes absolutely no sense given the kind of entry-level performance the A380 offers, and it could be readjusted when the Gunnir A380 is actually in stock. There’s no way to compare the asking price with any other retailer in China, of course, because no stock of the A380 is available elsewhere.
For now, this remains an anomaly, although it’s very interesting to see that a standalone Arc graphics card could be available for purchase – presumably – on a very short notice. From what Intel has officially said, we only expected Arc desktop GPUs to be present in OEM PCs in June.
That’s all for the Chinese market, of course, and global availability won’t start until a little later – maybe late July if we’re lucky, but possibly more like August, and again, Arc desktop products will only be on sale. Pre-built PCs to begin with (or so we’re told).