Update: That didn’t take long. Already out of stock at TigerDirect’s online store and “only available in store.”
Currently TigerDirect has the Sapphire Radeon R9 290X
in stock for $649.99 after an instant $70 off discount with free shipping. Quick back-story: This is one of those rare moments in computing where components get MORE expensive after being released into the market. During mid-February, lineups of the Radeon R9 290X got hit with a price increase to $699 due to supply/demand issues, and strangely, the demand is still going strong even with the price bump. Retailers everywhere are sold out (NewEgg, Amazon, etc) – with prices rising even higher at third party resellers.
So it’s a bit strange that TigerDirect isn’t milking things for all they’re worth, or it may be a sign that supply is starting to catch up once again. News reports have surfaced in recent days that tie Litecoin mining to the R9 290X’s supply issues, as people gobble up the AMD GPU to mine one of the largest market capitalization crypto-currencies. (Litecoin is currently sitting at a market cap of around $406 million.)
Supply is such that the non-X vanilla R9 290 is going for $599 in certain reseller markets – a $100 increase from its MSRP. While the price increase and demand for the Radeon high-end GPU may be all fine and dandy in the near term, AMD may find itself in the weird position of losing gamer sales due to non-gamers picking up the GPU, forcing others to go with the GTX 780 as an alternative. It’ll be interesting to see if supply catches up and prices normalize for the Radeon R9 290X in the coming days.