AMD’s Radeon R9 290X graphics card is an excellent, top-of-the-line piece of PC hardware, and is easily one of the best graphics cards you can get your hands on today. In fact, it’s so popular that it’s reportedly sold out here in the US.
Why it’s sold out is another matter though. And no, it’s not because hordes of video editors and PC gamers are swiping them off shelves to build multi-GPU systems. While that is likely happening too, that doesn’t appear to be where most of the demand for this card is these days.
Instead, the Radeon R9 290X’s current lack of availability has allegedly been driven by the demand of Litecoin miners. The card isn’t cheap either. Though the Radeon R9 290X launched with an initial $549 MSRP, some sites and stores have sold it for over $600 and $700, taking advantage of two main factors: low supply and high demand.
Mining Litecoin, or any kind of cryptocurrency that’s worth anything, is extremely taxing on computer hardware. Therefore, you need super powerful hardware in order to get the job done. In fact, mining Bitcoin, Litecoin, and other altcoins is so stressful that there’s hardware built specifically for the purpose.
It’ll be interesting to see how long the R9 290X will remain to be in short supply, and whether this will begin to spur increased sales of certain Nvidia graphics cards, like the Nvidia GeForce GTX 780Ti.
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