So much for a price war eh? Originally viewed by gamers as a catalyst (pun not intended) for a new war with Nvidia’s Kepler series, the performance-competitive Radeon R9 was suppose to bring prices down. However, thanks to an improved efficiency in crypto-currency mining compared to Nvidia’s offerings, the Radeon R9′s prices have skyrocketed from their original MSRPs.
As reported by Anandtech, the Radeon 290x series managed to hit $900 on Newegg (MSRP: $550) before someone decided to bring it back down to a more reasonable $700. This trend has also spilled into the rest of the R9 series; the Radeon 270x which I bought for $220 in January has jumped to around $280 to $330 as of this post. Oddly enough, EU prices have remained steady (possibly due to electricity costs), making this one of the rare occasions where fellow Smashers from those regions can laugh hysterically at the plight of us North American gamers.
To make matters worse, AMD is seizing on the fact that the cards are being bought en masse by miners and are thus advertising it:
Though their marketing department may have missed a certain point: most of the mining appears to be for Litecoin, with Bitcoin becoming far more difficult as saturation continues to grow.
In the meantime, gamers are free to switch to Nvidia’s offerings, though they probably won’t be lowering their prices anytime soon either.