Retail Pricing For Radeon R9 Graphics Cards Back To Normal; AMD Promises … – Forbes
Some very reassuring news just crossed my desk and it should introduce a welcome — and hopefully permanent — respite for gamers who’ve been holding off buying newer Radeon graphics cards due to wildly fluctuating and inflated prices. AMD has indicated that their entire lineup of R9 GPUs is available and in stock at retailers worldwide, and street prices have returned to normal.
The communication from AMD headquarters was worded very carefully, so as not to blame the shortages and price inflation on the Altcoin (Litecoin, Dogecoin, etc) boom. For those not following that movement, Radeon GPUs have an affinity for doing the type of computing required for mining, but the recent IRS tax ruling and a bunch of other factors has led to increased difficulty and a decline in profitability for said miners.
What I’ve ascertained by reading between the lines of their email is that AMD is breathing a serious sigh of relief that gamers can once again snatch up their products with ease, instead of cryptocurrency enthusiasts snatching them up in bulk. That’s just my assumption, but there’s no denying the fact that it’s good news for AMD.
I did some checking on NewEgg and found the majority of the R9 lineup is indeed in stock and priced normally:
- Sapphire R9 270: $179
- Sapphire R9 280X: $299 (plus a $10 mail in rebate card!)
- PowerColor R9 290X: $549
- ASUS R9 295X2: $1499, although it’s listed as out of stock. That said, Amazon has the hybrid liquid and air-cooled card from Sapphire in stock at $1499.
Late last year and in the first quarter of 2014, the R9 series was frequently found at between 15% to 30% higher than MSRP. In their email, AMD promises that these prices will now remain stable.
This news has an impact on the press as well, at the very least yours truly. One of the natural evaluation points of AMD graphics cards reviews is the price of similar competitor products from Nvidia. A great example is my comparison between Nvidia’s 750 Ti and AMD’s R7 265. Even though it was part of the R7 lineup and not the R9 lineup, I was forced to write the following:
“AMD’s decisive performance lead is cancelled out by price inflation and scarcity. If you can find a Radeon 265 between $149 and even up to $169, I confidently suggest pulling the trigger. It’s an exceptional card for 1080p PC gamers — or it could be if AMD can get e-tailers back to offering its exceptional price.”
When that article was published, the cheapest R7 265 I could find was $184.99. Now the base models are in stock and once again $149, causing me to reevaluate that particular review as well as several others now that prices have fallen back down to earth. My instincts may be spot-on, as AMD admits in the email that “you have most likely not had many of these boards in your lab, and we have samples available from multiple board partners waiting to be benchmarked.” It’s clear that AMD wants to renew the fight against Nvidia now that they’re on a more level playing field.