AMD graphics card pricing skyrockets due to cryptocurrency mining
Cryptocurrency fueled demand has driven the price of AMD Radeon cards through the roof in recent weeks, and consumers are feeling the pinch. This is a trend we remarked on several times in the past, but rocketing prices have hit new heights in recent days, with the price of the R9 290X briefly breaking $900 over the weekend. Considering the card carries an official $550 MSRP, that a massive 64% over premium. (Oops: When I started writing this story, Newegg had a handful of cards in stock for $700. Now, it doesn insanity, however, isn confined to the highest end cards. Here a comparison of the official AMD MSRPs and the current selling prices.
Even the R9 270 cards are selling for 30 40% over MSRP, while the R9 280X a GPU that supposed to cost $300 is actually selling for $489. We can zoom in on one particular card thanks to website price tracker CamelEgg, and see the greater problem.
Save for a brief period in late November and immediately after Christmas, the gap between official selling price and street price on the R9 290 has been enormous. It also corresponds exactly with the rise of alternative cryptocurrency mining(Litecoin, Dogecoin, et al.) as Bitcoin became too difficult to work with.
This might sound like a great deal for AMD. Huge demand for video cards lifts prices, prices drive profits. E Burberry Factory verybody wins, right?
Maybe. Unfortunately it not that simple. AMD hasn changed its MSRPs, which means much of this price gouging is likely dropping into the pockets of Newegg and Amazon resellers, not Sunnyvale itself. Just because AMD hasn cha Burberry Factory nged its MSRPs, of course, doesn mean it isn quietly charging higher wholesale prices, but its ability to claim some of the bubble earnings for itself is likely limited by previously agreed upon contract prices as well as the volatile nature of the market. Add in board partners (AIBs) won pay huge premiums for chips when they know the market for those processors depends on something as volatile as the cryptocurrency markets.
Downstream complicationsBeyond making life fun for reviewers, who have to take practical cost considerations into account when evaluating different GPUs, there another problem here. AMD entire GPU strategy since October of 2013 has relied on steep price cuts to fuel sales. The Radeon R9 290 and R9 290X were killer cards partly because they equaled or bettered Nvidia GTX 780 or GTX Titan, but at far lower price points.
At $400, the Burberry Factory R9 290 was faster than the GTX 780 and the GTX 780 is $100 more expensive. When the R9 290 is selling for $600, the entire value equation around AMD MSRP falls apart. An R9 280X for $489 is an absolutely terrible investment; the Nvidia GTX 780 will demolish that price performance ratio but that where things sit today.
These price trends are particularly worrisome given that AMD has just launched its new Mantle API. It essential that AMD illustrates strong demand for its graphics cards in gaming. GPUs sold into the cryptocurrency market at huge prime premiums could wind up driving gamers away from AMD at the very time Sunnyvale needs to win them over.
That not to say we see companies dropping Mantle it just makes the way forward that much harder for AMD. When it comes to Mantle, a GPU sold to a gamer and a GPU sold to a miner aren fungible. The modest positive impact on AMD graphics revenue may not be worth the long term complications or potential loss of market share.
Tagged InLitecoin (and many others) use a different algorithm which is very hard to parallelise on FPGAs (in short because of how much memory it needs). This was deliberately done to stop the whole FPGA/ASIC thing from happening again.
As a result FPGA miners do exist (possibly ASICs as well) but it generally not really been better value for money to try using those than it is normal GPUs.
Factor in how long it can take to get hold of these FPGAs/ASICs once ordered compared to just visiting any online PC component store, and you can see for most miners it hasn been worth their while to bother.
Wouldn Nvidia cards also do well as the same as the AMDs . Mean same cards at same price point . Past tense. Is it something with the Mantle API moreso than Nvidia, or is that moot.
I really dont want to see this happen. Heard there was a Chinese new year. Where things were not exactly shipping. Then we here,have Presidents Day weekend. Still I don do the quantity buying. Supplies should show their own relevance.
Hope doesn turn like gas supplies do. Would seem that a price at a given seller,would stay the same. They would simply be of stock Wouldn be as is being told. Don know though. Didn assume retailers where on to E bay type products selling the same.
1). NV and AMD GPUs are typically extremely competitive at MSRP. Inflating MSRPs d Burberry Factory rastically (of either company) creates a situation in which gamers will substitute. AMD GPUs are being sucked up for use in an area where they are not fungible, and that hurts the market where they are.
2). Fewer gamers buying AMD GPUs (due to significantly higher prices) translates into smaller gaming market share. Normally this wouldn matter much. With Mantle having just launched, AMD has a vested interest in pushing its market share as high as possible to encourage developers to support the API.
3). Consumers who would otherwise buy AMD will instead buy Nvidia or delay purchase. GPU demand is elastic. This does not necessarily hurt the customer, who can buy a different product, but it does hurt AMD (see Point 2 regarding Mantle).
I am spinning nothing. This is a complex problem with long term knock on effects that blunt the positive impact of high demand.
But isn there a reasonable chance that the market share for AMD video cards will increase dramatically once the demand for cryptocurrency mining drops off (assuming it will soon)?
All of those video cards that have been snatched up for mining will most likely be sold off at a fraction of retail price and thus make them a very attractive option for a gamer on a budget.
AMD cards are already priced very competitively, but if used mining cards suddenly began to flood the market, things could start to look very good for both gamers and AMD.
I have. But I also had a conversation with the chief architect of Mantle, who told me, and I quote, that Mantle is only closer to what consoles already use for development.
I didn say Mantle wasn important. I said encouraging developers to use Mantle will depend significantly on the number of gamers with AMD hardware in their PCs.
The fact that a game ported from the Xbox One or PS4 might run better on GCN has nothing to do with whether or not the developer sinks time and money into using Mantle on top of GCN.