AMD spent much of last week riding high on a wave of positive vibes generated by their keynote presentation and product announcements at CES 2019. In addition to showing off the next generation of its Ryzen desktop CPUs and EPYC server hardware, the company made a big show of announcing the world’s first 7nm gaming GPU in the form of the Radeon VII. A new report claims that AMD has no plans to launch the graphics card on a wide scale, limiting total production to under 5000 units worldwide.
A report published over at TweakTown this afternoon made claims of artificial scarcity for the Radeon VII based on information gained from unnamed sources. The sources said that AMD is simply repurposing Radeon Instinct MI50 cards for the Radeon VII launch and that the company will be losing money on each unit sold at its $699 MSRP. The source also claimed that there will be no custom AIB variants of the Radeon VII, with all GPUs to make use of the new cooler design shown during the AMD keynote at CES.
Hardware enthusiasts were already skeptical at the potential profit margin that AMD could be making on these graphics cards when it was announced that they would ship with 16GB of HBM2 memory. This type of memory is incredibly expensive, though it offers power efficiency and bandwidth that exceeds the limitations of the more conventional GDDR5X and GDDR6 memory found on most current generation graphics cards.
The Radeon VII is expected to go on sale February 7 for $699. This is the same MSRP as NVIDIA’s competing GeForce RTX 2080. If the Radeon card is truly in such limited supply, demand for the card could drive street prices into the stratosphere, putting it out of reach for most PC gamers who would prefer to use AMD hardware for their high-end gaming machines.
AMD faithful have already been waiting ages for a true competitor to NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. The GTX 1080 Ti has already reached the end of its shelf life and was replaced by the RTX 2080. It has been 1 month shy of two years since the GTX 1080 Ti first went on sale, and for AMD to only match it at the same price has been a letdown for Radeon fans. The chance that the Radeon VII could be a limited-availability product that was released only to make headlines would be a gut punch that could drive faithful customers to purchase NVIDIA hardware.
Perhaps this is the reason that NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang chose to throw shade at the Radeon VII when questioned about its launch during CES.
Chris Jarrard posted a new article, Report: AMD Radeon 7 limited to 5000 units, sold at a loss
This article seems to use the word "report" in place of "rumour."
I feel like trying for the 3game bundle version of the R7, so hope this is true, though I'm worried the '5000 units' rumor might refer to just that bundle. Guess we'll see!