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The morning after – reflections of the Arc A380 premiere and (no) second conclusion

Disclaimer: The following article is mostly machine translated from the original German, and the translation has not been edited or checked for errors in-depth. Thank you for understanding!

I sat down yesterday after the “launch” and collected feedback first. Then I talked to colleagues and also took note of various Intel justifications for the status quo, up to PR appearances on (let’s call it benevolently) Intel-inclined YouTubers. The funny thing was that you wouldn’t actually have to explain anything afterwards if you had worked really cleanly in advance. The facts as objectively determined results speak a very clear language and this wisdom also applies to manufacturers. But: It’s always the others who are to blame anyway. I think I speak here also for the other German colleagues that the tests could not have gone much worse.

I have nothing to correct in my personal assessment either, not even the hardness. Because the card physically exists, it was originally packaged, and when three German editors come to the same conclusion independently of each other (and without communicating much with each other during the tests), then that is already fairly representative, because three experienced colleagues tested very fairly, objectively, and without prejudice, and not flag-waving influencers. I’ll leave the circumstances of the provoked procurement crime in the run-up and all the technical hurdles out of it, because the manufacturer’s game of hide-and-seek has solid reasons that you just don’t want to admit, even if it would have shown true greatness. Character, not economic.

What irritated me about making comments, however, is the sudden puppy-protector instinct that erupts whenever you want to protect something small and fragile. Yes, it is Intel’s first dedicated graphics card developed for the consumer market in what feels like ages, but it is neither a sympathetic underdog nor a fragile plant that should not be trampled on. Here, a multi-billion corporation with extensively purchased personnel and know-how (also in the heads) as well as many years of development time and almost infinite seeming resources has failed grandiosely. You cannot and must not call it anything else. The saying that money alone does not score goals, which is often used in soccer, also lives on in IT, and the fact that an unfinished product with even more unfinished drivers is sold to customers for expensive money can and must be criticized.

I wrote something about the end of Arctic Sound about a year ago and was actually right with my assessment. If you now look at the drama and the argumentation chains around and about Resizeable BAR, where Intel puts the blame on the memory controller, which is not made for trivial small stuff, then you have to ask yourself how many leftovers from failed developments were actually recycled in Intel’s Alchemist in order to at least be able to show something. Money, sand, put. Because Intel’s Arc series is not the first GPU from Intel and Xe-HP as Arctic Sound just didn’t come with graphics outputs at that time. Seen in this light, the generous forgiveness of mistakes of supposed first works is rather inappropriate. I also don’t want to know how many genes of such an unfortunate Arctic Sound Tile are still in the A380. Or is it? I am actually already curious.

Exclusive: Is Intel’s Arctic Sound already dead? – Two existing models with specs, pictures and some questions

Of course, you should feel sorry for Intel, but even more for those who have spent their money on such products because the PR machinery produces full-length propaganda at its best and you as a consumer have trusted it. Trust is also exactly the keyword that really matters here. Because I can’t use anything productively that I can’t know if it won’t destroy the work I’ve done up to that point in the next five minutes with a crashing gesture of nonchalance just like that. And there are so many technical bugs and carelessness in the drivers and GUI that you could lose faith in programming mankind. Sure, programmers don’t grow on trees, but Intel didn’t start from scratch. This should never be forgotten, and criticism should also include those who have willingly followed the call of money and have not managed anything that would really be resilient.

Products can flop, no question, but then you have to be honest with yourself and pull the plug in time. This salami launch, which has been dragging on for what feels like an eternity, where Intel is still screwing on the messed up telemetry in the background while the PR is already hyperventilating again, has a much more negative effect on the outsider than an honest statement and a serious cut. After all, Pat now has his first real Vega moment and Raja not the first déjà vu. This would not have been necessary, but it could have been avoided. I will perhaps measure a few things and also take a closer look at the A750 if it does materialize. Whether it comes from Asia or, for a change, from Africa, I don’t really care. The fact that we Europeans have been deliberately deprived of this currently non-glamorous piece of American engineering is also a kind of realization. Nor is it the first A380 product to fail. The other one was much, much bigger. But at least it worked, and it didn’t even crash or go down once.

Intel Arc A380 6GB Review: Gunnir Photon including benchmarks, detailed analysis and extensive teardown

 

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I sat down yesterday after the „launch“ and collected feedback first. Then I talked to colleagues and also took note of various Intel justifications for the status quo, up to PR appearances on (let’s call it benevolently) Intel-affiliated YouTubers. The funny thing was that you wouldn’t actually have to explain anything afterwards if you had (read full article...)

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About the author

Igor Wallossek

Editor-in-chief and name-giver of igor'sLAB as the content successor of Tom's Hardware Germany, whose license was returned in June 2019 in order to better meet the qualitative demands of web content and challenges of new media such as YouTube with its own channel.

Computer nerd since 1983, audio freak since 1979 and pretty much open to anything with a plug or battery for over 50 years.

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