As far as high-end graphics cards go, AMD’s Radeon R9 290X is a pretty good value. The $550 sticker price is $100 lower than the going rate for the GeForce GTX 780, but the Radeon is faster overall. Heck, it performs better than the $1000 Titan.
The first Radeon R9 290X reviews hit the web yesterday, and cards were supposed to appear at online retailers right away. AMD even said so in its press release announcing the card. However, no one seems to have the thing in stock. Of Newegg’s nine listings for the 290X, four are "coming soon," while the remainder are out of stock. None of the listings have availability dates attached. Amazon, NCIX, and TigerDirect don’t even have the new Radeon listed on their websites.
Interestingly, Bottom Line Telecommunications has a couple of 290X cards in its catalog. This Sapphire variant is due to arrive November 6, while this Gigabyte version is expected on the 14th. Both are priced higher than the MSRP, though. The Sapphire card is listed at $570, and the Gigabyte is a whopping $698.
At Newegg, only one of the 290X cards is priced at $550. Four of the others are listed at $580, and those all include free copies of Battlefield 4. The other listings are devoid of pricing. Since all the cards appear to be reference models with stock coolers, I’d expect final pricing to closely match those two figures. Paying only $30 to add BF4 is a nice deal considering the game’s $60 asking price.
Update: We asked AMD about the situation, and it told us that "all the etailers are getting stock daily." More cards are supposed to pop up at Newegg next week, the company said. A trusted source tells us that one major North American etailer is having trouble gettings its hands on the card, though. At least initially, it looks like Radeon R9 290X availability could be limited. AMD says demand for its new card is "massive." The supply apparently isn’t.