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AMD Clarifies Vega Price Structure, Working to Get More Card to Market

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Last week, we covered rumors that AMD might be raising its GPU prices, as reported by a UK retailer. At the time, AMD wasn’t able to offer us any kind of public comment. Now, the company has made remarks on the future of its Vega products and what consumers should expect these cards to sell for, both now and in the future.

PCGamesN caught up with AMD’s Gerald Youngblood at Gamescom and asked him to comment on the company’s price strategy and availability. “Our SEPs, and the price tag that we announced is our full intention of where we would suggest the product be priced. Not just for launch, but ongoing.”

According to Youngblood, AMD is working with board vendors to get its GPUs back in stock and selling for their SEP (Suggested Etail Price) as quickly as possible. Right now, the market for AMD GPUs is badly distorted; the cheapest RX Vega is $ 689, compared to $ 509 for the cheaper GeForce GTX 1080. At those prices, Nvidia has a definite advantage over AMD in terms of price / performance, and the sooner AMD can get its GPU prices pulled down, the better.

VegaRX1

AMD’s RX Vega

When AMD launched Vega, it put significant emphasis on its own plans for packs and bundles. While the company-provided coupons for a new monitor or additional games was welcome, AMD appears to be depending on the coupons to add meaningful value as opposed to pricing its GPUs more reasonably. This could reflect higher costs for HBM2; we’ve speculated that a delayed HBM2 ramp or higher RAM prices could have been behind Vega’s delays. Alternatively, it could be that AMD simply doesn’t want to slash its SEPs when it knows that GPU manufacturers will continue to sell cards at inflated rates so long as the cryptocurrency market is expanding.

AMD’s GPUs are currently selling well above where they ought to be, even in the midrange. The cheapest RX 570 at Newegg is $ 372; the cheapest RX 580 is $ 396. As we’ve discussed before, that extra cost doesn’t go to AMD; the company hasn’t adjusted its base GPU price. The price gouging is happening at the OEM side of the equation, but the impact is the same. The RX 580 is already an imperfect competitor against the GTX 1060, but with the RX 580 selling for almost as much as the GTX 1070 (cheapest 1070 is $ 429), the field is tilted towards Nvidia. While the degree of inflation isn’t as high as what we saw back when Hawaii launched, it’s high enough to price AMD out of the market and leave gamers looking towards Nvidia for their GPU requirements. Either way, we can at least put paid to the rumor that AMD plans to raise its GPU prices at some point in the future.

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