PCWorld is reporting AMD’s launch of its Radeon R9 280 graphics card, and that it “hopes Litecoin miners stay away”.
The card is intended as a lower-priced option relative to other R9 series cards. It is a scaled-down version of the R9 280X launched in October. Interestingly, its price is $279- only $20 less than the 280X. In terms of features, the differences are also fairly negligible: The quantities of texture units and stream processors, and its boost clock speed, are all lower by roughly the same proportion of around 10%.
The question is: what gives?
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The company had experienced supply problems due to surging demand for cryptocurrency mining, especially for Litecoin for which the cards are ideal and have greatly outperformed competing cards from the likes of Nvidia. Prices were way above the MSRP. In a press release, the company said:
“Following the exceptional demand for the entire R9 Series, we believe the introduction of the R9 280 will help ensure that every gamer who plans to purchase an R9 Series graphics card has an opportunity to do so.”
High demand at inflationary prices would normally be a dream, but in AMD’s case they would only receive the amount based on the MSRP from the retailer, who can technically pocket the rest.