During the day, AMD’s privacy agreement for the Radeon RX 6900 XT expired and SweClockers was able to publish its test of the graphics card. With this, the company has formally released the trio that was presented during the autumn, but the road here has been anything but straightforward. Unrealistic recommended prices and non-volumes have characterized the graphics card fall 2020.
► SweClocker’s test of the AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT
When AMD launched the Radeon RX 6800 XT and RX 6800, the major retailers received a total of just over a hundred graphics cards from AMD’s reference design – which were sold at the recommended price and then discontinued. These were replaced directly by partner-made models that were several thousand bucks above the recommended price AMD communicated.
When the Radeon RX 6900 XT is launched, it will have even lower volumes. In contact with retailers, it appears that most of the major players have not received any at all, one speaks of “a handful” and another of “a few”. In total, for the whole of Sweden and the Nordic countries, there are about ten Radeon RX 6900 XTs. Here, too, the reference design will be in a limited edition and will be issued in favor of partner cards.
The graphics card has a recommended price of SEK 10,600 including VAT, but like the siblings Radeon RX 6800 XT and RX 6800, it is a figure without an anchor of reality. With AMD’s own reference card calculated, it is partner models that apply and here the prices seem to land at around SEK 14,000 or even higher. Among other things, Asus TUF Gaming is at just over SEK 15,000 and then it is not the flagship.
The fact that the prices of AMD’s graphics cards are well above the recommended ones is not attributed to the fact that they are significantly increased at the delivery stage. Instead of distributors and resellers taking the opportunity, partner manufacturers testify that AMD has pushed margins to “historically low levels”, which clearly suggests that the problem lies in the prices AMD sells its loose graphics chips for.
A recent report from French Cowcotland claims that there is a shortage of GDDR6, which is the type of graphics memory AMD uses for the Radeon RX 6900 XT, RX 6800 XT and RX 6800. Whether it will be a contributing factor in the future is not yet known, but so far there is no reason given by AMD’s partner manufacturers.
According to AMD, they will “enable” the Radeon RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT to be available at a recommended price in early 2021. How AMD will meet its own recommendation is not known, but the most obvious alternative would be to lower its prices to partners. Another is that AMD delivers a temporary solution with temporary campaigns. Whether they also plan to “enable” the RX 6900 XT to hit its recommended price remains to be seen.
Finally, the availability status is unchanged. Swedish retailers are still groping blindly about future deliveries and how many graphics cards they will receive. However, there are many indications that the shortage will continue throughout the first quarter of next year and that it may even continue well into the second.
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