AMD R9 Fury X In Short Supply, Sees Huge Price Surge – Selling For Up To $899, Used Cards For Over $650
AMD Radeon R9 Fury X graphics cards have recently become so hard to come by, that even used cards now cost more than the official $650 MSRP. Prices for new Radeon R9 Fury X cards have climbed up even higher. With new cards now being listed for up to $899 on Amazon.com, a full $250 over the official MSRP. The Radeon flagship from the red team has repeatedly went out of stock in all major US retailers since its official launch a couple of months ago. The demand for the card is evidently still strong, while the supply hasn't clearly improved since launch. Combine the two and the result is the significant inflation that we see today.
AMD CEO Lisa Su had previously addressed the issue of supply after it was posed in a question by an Analyst during the company's Q2 2015 earnings call.
[July 16 2015] Lisa Su :
Our initial ramp-up has been as expected, we’re pleased with the Fury X ramp-up. Certainly the fact that it’s out of stock is not a bad thing cause it gives us good confidence that the customers are appreciating the product. Fury just launched actually this week and we will be launching Nano in the August timeframe. I think overall the High Bandwidth Memory ramp-up is going as expected and we have a number of products coming out.” Said Dr Lisa Su, AMD President and CEO.
Used AMD Radeon R9 Fury X Cards Are Now Worth More Than What People Paid For Them When They Were New Two Months Ago
Currently Amazon has multiple R9 Fury X cards listed with an asking price that ranges between $799 and $899 from third party retailers as Amazon itself had run out of stock and so has Newgg.com. At those prices we're looking at a $150+ mark-up imposed by retailers over the official MSRP of $650 which would translate to an inflation rate of 23%-38% over MSRP.
So prices have noticeably climbed up and it's the same story for used R9 Fury X cards as well. On ebay there's currently only one listing for a used R9 Fury X, an auction with 37 bids and a current bid of $660 as I write this. So it's quite amazing when you think about it. Those who bought their R9 Fury X cards at launch for $649 can actually sell their used cards today and make a profit.
Air cooled Radeon R9 Fury cards on the other hand ,from Asus and Sapphire, are still widely available in-stock at both Amazon and Newegg and carry asking prices that match the official MSRPs. So as things stand right now, the issue seems to be limited only to the top of the line R9 Fury X.
limited supply for a prolonged period of time can prove to be problematic as AMD would attest to. The cryptocurrency boom in early 2014 drained the Add-In-Board channel of R9 290X and R9 290 supply. The limited supply and the exceedingly high demand allowed the retailers to push the prices up significantly. In some cases asking for double the MSRP. This was bad for both gamers and AMD as many gamers who wanted to buy these cards couldn't get them. And because AMD continued to sell the GPUs at their original prices in the channel all the additional profits were gobbled up by the retailers.
Hopefully we don't see a repeat of the same scenario again. Thankfully however the fact that retailers still have a reasonably good supply of R9 Fury cards listed at prices that matche official MSRPs should help allay those concerns.
AMD Radeon R9 Nano Launch, Possibly The Reason Behind The Shortage
The more interesting story in all of this is the launch of AMD's highly anticipated R9 Nano graphics card. At an MSRP of $650 the Nano is the most expensive and the most powerful mini-ITX graphics card we have seen to date. Notably, the R9 Nano features the exact same GPU as the R9 Fury X. A Fiji XT chip with all of its 4096 GCN cores unlocked. The air cooled Fury cards on the other hand are based on Fiji pro, a cut down variant with 3584 GCN cores.
Seeing as how the shortage has so far been limited only to the R9 Fury X, it's a possibility - and this is entirely speculative - that AMD may have been allocating more Fiji XT GPUs to go into R9 Nano cards. Which would explain why the supply constraints have only affected the R9 Fury X and spared the R9 Fury. And if that is indeed the case then we should see the R9 Nano enjoy wider availability than the R9 Fury X at launch.
This makes sense from a business perspective as the R9 Nano with its smaller and more economical cooling solution is more margin accretive than its bigger brother with the more expensive liquid cooling solution. So it would make sense for the company to want to sell more Nano cards than Fury X cards. The R9 Nano is also more uniquely positioned in the market than the R9 Fury X as it does not face direct competition from any other product. Which is why it may prove to be more popular then the R9 Fury X. And from that point of view it would make sense for AMD to want to provide a sufficient supply of cards in the channel to meet the initial rush of demand.
A couple of months ago we reported that a bottleneck in the supply chain of components necessary to manufacture the HBM powered Fiji GPUs was alleviated. And just like any new cutting edge technology, supply will continually improve with time. And as the whole ecosystem around High Bandwidth Memory matures, we are less likely to see any serious supply constraints become apparent the further along we are in the lifecycle of the technology.