ASRock Challenger Arc A580 Review: Budget 1080P Gaming Powered By Intel

ASRock Challenger Arc A580 GPU Review: An Affordable Card That Punches Above Its Weight Class

ASRock Challenger Arc A580 8GB OC: MSRP $169

We test the  ASRock Challenger Arc A580 graphics card for mainstream gamers and assess where this GPU fits in the current market.

hot flat

  • Excellent Connectivity At This Price
  • Good Value

not flat

  • Inconsistent Performance
  • High Power Draw Idle & Load
  • Large Form Factor
  • Dual 8-Pin Power Requiremente

We dig Intel’s Arc A750 and A770 around these parts. They’re capable GPUs for the money and, after two-years-plus of hard work from Intel’s driver team, Arc GPUs provide a solid user experience at this paint. Some titles still have questionable performance, but that’s true with AMD and NVIDIA GPUs, sometimes.

As with any large processor, you’re going to have some manufactured units that are functional, yet won’t pass muster as a high-end product. We figure that Intel must have had some marginal DG2-512 dies laying around, so it decided to bring out the Arc A580 as a mid-tier step between the entry-level Arc A380 and the “upper-entry level” Arc A750.

And so we have in our hands today the ASRock Challenger Arc A580 8GB OC. Don’t let the “OC” in the name fool you, though. Despite what ASRock says, it runs the same 2 GHz boost clock as every other A580 card. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how the Arc A580 compares to its closest siblings:

Obviously, the Intel Arc DG2-512 is a much larger GPU than the DG2-128 used on the A380, and even cut down as it is in A580 form, the biggest Alchemist GPU is considerably more powerful and more performant than the little A380. However, comparing against the A750, the A580 definitely does look less potent in a few ways. Sure, the memory bandwidth is both identical and surprisingly high, but the A580 has less compute resources, less cache, and a lower clock rate.

However, Arc has struggled to deliver on the promise of its impressive specifications. Based on what Intel told us during the Lunar Lake briefings, this is largely down not to drivers, but actually to architectural decisions made when designing Alchemist. The Arc A770 has many similar specifications to AMD’s Radeon RX 6800 XT, yet that card will handily outpace the entire Arc product stack. It’s possibly for that reason that the difference in the A580 and A750 is smaller than it might seem.

This card is available at retail for just $160 as of this writing. For this type of affordable, entry-level GPU with few frills and no RGB LED embellishments, ASRock’s still put some effort into the design of the Challenger Arc A580, so let’s take a closer look at it.

ASRock’s Challenger Arc A580 8GB OC Graphics Card In Detail

You’ve already seen the front up top, so let’s take a look at the back of the Challenger A580.

cardback challenger a580

Looking at the backside of the card really highlights just how egregiously gigantic the cooler on this GPU is. Sure, Alchemist is power thirsty, but this GPU cooler could work on an RTX 3080. It’s a shame that the giant cooler is so distracting, because the aluminum backplate is both attractive and very thick. It feels sturdy, and the rough anodized finish gives it an oddly appealing texture.

iocluster
Moving around to the rear panel, the I/O cluster on this card consists of three DisplayPort 1.4 connections and a single HDMI 2.1 port. It’s surprisingly robust for a $160 graphics card. The MSI RTX 3050 Ventus card that we used for comparative testing in this review had one each of HDMI and DisplayPort, and then a DVI-D connection, and that card was actually more expensive than this one.
asrock challenger photo2

Here’s a photo of our actual card installed in our test bench, such that it was. Keen-eyed readers will have already spotted another major curiosity of this card. That’s right: it requires dual eight-pin power connectors. Yes, this mainstream Arc A580 graphics card requires 375W of power delivery despite that Intel specs the A580 GPU for just a 175W TDP. 

To be clear, it doesn’t come anywhere near that kind of power draw in our testing, but the requirement is onerous, as many lower-end systems are simply not going to have the power connectors to feed this thing. A single 8-pin connector should have been more than sufficient; even a six-pin and eight-pin combo (like on the Arc A750) would have been preferable. Of course, lower-end systems may not be able to fit this big boy in their cases, either.

But that’s enough about specs. You’re probably here for benchmarks, so let’s hop to it…