AMD has been criticised for misleading consumers over the price of its freshly launched Radeon RX Vega graphics cards, after one of the biggest PC component retailers suggested earlier this week that the prices quoted at launch were little more than an "introductory offer" - and, indeed, has already cranked up its prices.
At launch last week, AMD suggested that Radeon RX Vega air-cooled cards - broadly speaking, intended to take on Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1080 - would be available for $499. The Radeon RX Vega 56, meanwhile, which AMD pitched against Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1070, would be available for $399.
However, Overclockers UK revealed that the prices that AMD had quoted on launch weren't entirely straight.
In a post on the company's own forums, it warned: "The good news is [that] AMD are rebating early launch sales to allow us to hit £449.99 on the standalone black card…
"This is a launch-only price, which AMD at present are saying will be withdrawn in the near future. When [this will] happen is unknown, but remember do not be shocked if the price jumps nearly £100 in a few days."
And, indeed, Radeon Vega RX 64 prices have already been increased just days after that statement, with the cheapest Radeon RX Vega (the Sapphire Radeon RX VEGA 64 8GB, priced at £449.99 at launch by Overclockers.co.uk) has already gone up in price by £100.
Prices elsewhere online also don't come close to the prices quoted by AMD only last week, while the Radeon Vega 56 is conspicuous by its absence from listings.
The Videocardz website is just one of many PC websites that have lashed out at AMD, not just over the issue of pricing (graphics cards are typically expensive at launch and come down in price in the ensuing weeks and months, not the other way round) but also confused marketing, inadequate time for testing, lack of an online livestream for the formal launch, inadequate stocks at launch and drivers that did not appear to be ready.
Many enthusiasts fear that AMD is being cushioned by its popularity among crypto-currency miners, even going as far as providing optimised drivers, who have pushed up prices and scooped-up inventory before cards can even make it into the shops.
WCCFTech.com, in an opinion piece was also critical of AMD's "anti-consumer behaviour", which saw limited Radeon RX Vega stocks scooped up by crypto-currency miners almost as soon as they were launched, despite AMD claiming that its ‘Radeon packs" were intended to discourage bitcoin miners from elbowing everyone else out of the way.
"Consumers will now pretty much be forced to by Radeon Packs at gunpoint. One thing is for sure however, every reviewer needs to update their conclusions based on the new MSRPs," it concluded.
AMD, meanwhile, claims that the shortages - and high prices - are simply down to overwhelming demand.
In a statement to V3, the company said: "Radeon RX Vega 64 demand continues to exceed expectations. AMD is working closely with its partners to address this demand...
"We are working with our partners to restock all SKUs of Radeon RX Vega 64, including the standalone cards and ‘Gamer Packs' over the next few weeks, and you should expect quantities of Vega to start arriving in the coming days."
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