AMD Radeon RX 6800/6800 XT Custom Partner Card Prices Reportedly Won’t Hit MSRP Until Early 2021

8D53AC59 29A2 4878 B646 23BE7A5B7BFA
This year, we've encountered a chaotic failure of both the red and green teams with respect to being able to meet demand at the launches of their flagship graphics cards. Stock disappeared almost immediately for both, but on the AMD side, the prices of cards from AIB partners especially have been over-inflated. According to the folks at AMD, however, this inflation situation could be changing soon.

Steve and Tim, of HardwareUnboxed sat down and dove into a Q&A session from commenters, and the questions were largely about GPU pricing and availability, as that is on everyone’s mind of late. The first question to come up was by user Seconds, asking, “What are your thoughts about the insane pricing of the AIB RX 6000 series cards?” While the nearly nine-minute segment is interesting to watch, they simply describe it as “absurd, horrendous, insane, ridiculous,” and “disgusting.” Later in the conversation, however, Steve notes that “[HardwareUnboxed] had a private conversation with AMD, and they’ve assured us in 4 to 8 weeks there will be AIB cards available at MSRP.”

asus tuf gaming 6800XT
ASUS AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT $160 Over MSRP on Newegg

While it would be nice to see prices drop, the change after reviewers and customers get their hands on cards could cause problems for all. While reviews may be skewed in some ways, as mentioned in the Q&A video, early adopter customers lose out too. The customers who buy cards before anyone else are likely the biggest fans of AMD, so lowering prices after these people bought cards could annoy the strongest customers. On the other hand, stock has been limited for all GPUs, so increased prices is a must in the current market until a company can normalize their stock. When supply meets demand, prices should start to drop as we may see soon, and the company that manages to pull that off could win the GPU race this year. On a side-tangent, another interesting thing is AMD’s estimation of when pricing for AIB cards would decrease, as four to eight weeks puts us squarely at the beginning of 2021. Scott Herkelman, AMD Radeon VP and GM, reported on Twitter that AMD would be only making reference cards through early 2021.  Perhaps AMD was looking to play out their own sales before allowing AIBs to come in with their own designs.
While we cannot definitively draw conclusions from what could be happenstance in timing, it shows that the GPU market is volatile and constantly evolving at best. Hopefully, we will see pricing settle and stock improve over the coming weeks as AMD races to bring their cards to market at a reasonable price to compete with NVIDIA.

At the end of the day, as AMD's Frank Azor said in our recent interview on the 2.5 Geeks Podcast along with AMD's Scott Herkelman, the company wants to get graphics cards into the hands of gamers as soon as possible, but this pricing issue is obviously prohibitive of that effort as well.