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Is AMD Misleading PC Gamers With the Launch Price of RX Vega 64?

Did AMD intentionally mislead PC gamers and tech reviews over the launch price of RX Vega 64?

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In the aftermath of the less than punctual arrival of the AMD Radeon Vega GPUs, the lukewarm vibes surrounding the launch may be a long way from turning positive. PC gamers that want to get their hands on the RX Vega 64 may have to pay more than was initially promised, and the difference is not caused by cryptocurrency mining for a change.

When AMD officially unveiled the Radeon RX Vega at SIGGRAPH in late July, it proclaimed that the series flagship RX Vega 64 would hit retailers this week at $499. The $499 price tag is crucial for viability of the GPU as it’s competing directly with nVidia’s GTX 1080, not only in benchmarks, but at the same price tag. The RX Vega 64 trades blows with the 16 month-old GTX 1080, but draws significantly more power to do so. Overclocking the RX Vega 64 sends power usage into the stratosphere and does not make it measurably faster than an overclocked GTX 1080.

Having the card at retail for $499 is critical for the Vega 64 to maintain its value proposition and to retain some mindshare for a struggling Radeon Technologies Group. In a report over at OC3D, the popular UK PC system and parts retailer Overclocker’s UK was given a rebate from AMD on their initial allotment of reference RX Vega 64 cards. This £100 rebate allowed the retailer to offer its introductory batch at £449. OC UK claims that AMD informed them that the rebate will be ending soon, leaving the cards to be sold at £549 (~$599). The new price effectively makes the cards the same cost as the previously announced Vega bundles that pack in two Bethesda games for an extra upfront cost.

OC3D reports that the “discounted” RX Vega cards sold out within minutes and were replaced with the cards carrying the 20 percent markup. They also say that AMD never informed them that the announced launch price was only a temporary offer and to their knowledge, no other reviewer was told, either. OC3D says the price hike would no doubt affect the conclusion of any RX Vega 64 review. At present, there is no way to buy the RX Vega 64 at launch price, unless the customer is willing to shell out for one of the Ryzen/FreeSync hardware bundles at the time of purchase. At the time of this writing, North American retailer NewEgg is only offering the hardware bundles, the cheapest of which start at over $1000.

AMD’s Raja Koduri, the face of the company’s Radeon brand, has mentioned several times in the last few months that the company was planning on getting as many Vega GPUs into gamers’ hands as possible. Koduri’s Twitter account, which is normally always busy, has been dormant for almost a week. It seems weird that the frontman for AMD’s gaming division would stay silent on social media during and after the most important launch the company’s graphics division has had in years.

Is AMD misleading PC gamers with less than honest launch pricing information? Let us know in the comments. We will continue to follow this story as it develops.

Contributing Tech Editor

From The Chatty

  • reply
    August 16, 2017 6:40 AM

    Chris Jarrard posted a new article, Is AMD Misleading PC Gamers With the Launch Price of RX Vega 64?

    • reply
      August 16, 2017 6:43 AM

      The Vega64 seems like a bad buy. But the Vega56 looks like a good buy unless nVidia either drops the price of the 1070, or introduces a 1070ti.

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        August 16, 2017 6:47 AM

        Technically, the price of the 1070 is already lower, but crypto mining is still causing price spikes. You could regularly find 1070s nearing the $300 mark prior to the crypto boom in June.

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          August 16, 2017 7:25 AM

          I'm also wondering if RX Vega 56 availability will be similar to Vega 64 where most of the cards are only sold in the Radeon Packs. Currently, the Vega 64 is only available at MSRP if bought in these bundles that give a $100 discount for buying a $599 Vega 64 Black in addition to a full priced Ryzen CPU and motherboard.

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            August 16, 2017 8:14 AM

            Yeah same thing. They are just pushing the 64's now the 56 pack is "coming soon".

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        August 16, 2017 8:10 AM

        If the GTX 1070 was at it's MSRP of $380, it'd be fine. That said, if you think Vega 56 is going to be just $400 then LOL jokes on you.

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          August 16, 2017 8:13 AM

          Yeah I know. People are going to be buying the Vega 56 at the $500 price and then just throwing away the coupons.

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            August 16, 2017 8:19 AM

            I am also debating just building a new machine and was more than likely going to go with a Ryzen for that. Which makes the bundle pay for itself.

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              August 16, 2017 9:50 AM

              The trouble is the bundle is for components that are more expensive than the ones you are likely to choose otherwise. If you want that monitor it's ok but otherwise it's far from a great deal.

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                August 16, 2017 10:35 AM

                Yeah I don't need a monitor. Basically I would just use the $100 coupon for the motherboard. And besides the ASUS one the other 2 are in the $200-250 range which isn't that far out of range.

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                  August 16, 2017 12:16 PM

                  Yeah, the coupon thing didn't really work out that way after all. You must buy the CPU, motherboard, and GPU upfront in the same transaction.

        • reply
          August 16, 2017 8:14 AM

          Nvidia dropped the MSRP on 1070s to $349 when the 1080 Ti launched. Not that it helps, with all the miners snapping them up.

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            August 16, 2017 8:27 AM

            They actually started dropping to around that price point too but then the miner 'craze' hit and boosted them back above 400.

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              August 16, 2017 8:33 AM

              Yup. :( I'm hoping the Vega 56s turn out to be awesome mining cards so maybe I can get one this fall.

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            August 16, 2017 8:58 AM

            Even then I never really saw them at that price. I bought mine like a month after that and still payed just over 400.

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              August 16, 2017 12:16 PM

              Certain aftermarket cards will always cost more, but there were lots of blower-style and budget oriented cards from Gigiabyte, EVGA, ASUS, Zotac, and MSI that sold under $349 for a couple of months.

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                August 16, 2017 1:00 PM

                Yeah. I was holding out for a sale, then the coin miners discovered them. :/

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              August 16, 2017 3:15 PM

              There were bunches under $400 for quite some time prior to eth blowing the market up.

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            August 16, 2017 3:15 PM

            There were some deals <$350 for that month or three prior to the Eth surge. I think I saw Asus Turbo once for $299.

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          August 16, 2017 3:18 PM

          It seems to be calming back down quite a bit at least. The 1060's can be had under $250 again and even 6GB version at around $275 on Newegg now. That's at least back to about launch prices.

          $430 for a 1070 is still not an awful deal. Way better than $550-600+...

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      August 16, 2017 2:12 PM

      I'm not ashamed to say,I don't understand any of this. Bitcoin,blockchain,Ethereum,it's all Greek to me.

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      August 16, 2017 3:13 PM

      Nice article! Indeed, seems like the rug has been pulled back out here. $399/$499 pricing just barely makes sense for the Vega 56 and 64 vs the 1070 and 1080 respectively, any move up from that price point turns the somewhat sour apple (in terms of power) into a stinky turd.

    • reply
      August 16, 2017 8:40 PM

      Lame