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Could cryptocoin miners be driving demand for Radeon RX 570/580 GPUs?

MSI Radeon RX 580 Gaming X+ 8G
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends
Update: Added speculation on the reason behind the high demand for midrange Radeon RX GPUs.

Where did they all go? AMD launched its new family of Radeon RX-branded graphics cards in the middle of April. Two months later, some are hard to find, especially the RX 580 and RX 570 models. Perform a search on Newegg for the RX 580 and what little the company has listed are all out of stock. Amazon has a thicker batch of Radeon RX 580 cards for the picking, but their prices are so jacked up that customers may option for a Nvidia GeForce-branded card instead.

For instance, go to AMD’s website and you’ll see a long list of Radeon RX 500 Series cards to purchase. The company lists a PowerColor Radeon RX 580 card with a starting price to $230, but when you follow the link to the card’s listing on Amazon, the sole seller has the card’s price cranked up to $600. As a reference, Nvidia sells its GeForce GTX 1080 card for $550, which packs loads more performance.

Here are a few other inflated prices we found:

Gigabyte Radeon RX 580 Gaming 4GD
AMD listed price: $210
Amazon: $700

Asus ROG Strix Radeon RX 580 O8G
AMD listed price: $275
Amazon: $480 used, $850 new

PowerColor Red Dragon Radeon RX 580
AMD listed price: $230
Amazon: $600

MSI Radeon RX 580 Gaming X 8G
AMD listed price: $255
Amazon: $900 to $1,000

XFX GTS Black Core Edition RX 580 8GB OC+
AMD listed price: $360
Amazon: $500

The good news here is that not all resellers have increased their prices … at least, not yet. MSI’s Radeon RX 580 8G card (R5808) is listed as $239 on SuperBiiz and $260 on B&H Foto & Electronics. Even more, the RX 560 and RX 550 cards seem to be plentiful for now, but the RX 570 cards appear to be just as scarce as the RX 580 models.

A search on Newegg shows all listed RX 570 as out of stock. They’re available on Amazon, but again at increased prices, such as Gigabyte’s Aorus Radeon RX 570 4GB card selling for $650, and PowerColor’s AXRX 570 4GBD5-3DH/OC selling for as much as $470. There are even listings for cards that have “used” prices that are higher than their inflated “new” prices.

Ultimately, PC gamers wanting one of AMD’s Radeon RX 500 Series cards may want to shy away from Amazon altogether, and follow AMD’s links to retailers like Micro Center, Fry’s Electronics, and SuperBiiz. Their prices mostly appear to match what AMD lists on its website, give or take $20. However, some may lead to dead ends, such as a $260 Asus Radeon RX 570 listing that points to NCIXUS, which currently doesn’t have the card in stock.

While there are a lot of factors that play into a GPU supply and demand chain, there may be an oddly simple answer for the high demand. These cards are valued by cryptocoin miners for their appealing price point, low power draw, and high computational power. As several commenters have noted, this niche market has invested heavily in the RX 480 and RX 580, driving prices for even broken cards close to $200 on the secondary market.

AMD launched its Radeon RX 500 Series of graphics cards as “affordable” solutions for upgrading a desktop for high-definition gaming and virtual reality. Prices weren’t meant to be outrageous, costing $360 at the most. But AMD’s Radeon RX Vega family of graphics cards looms on the horizon, and with a current limited availability of high-end Radeon RX 500 cards, inflated pricing is not surprising one bit.

To find out why the prices are insanely more expensive than their original MSRP, check out our article here.

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