Radeon RX Vega 56 availability check: just barely

AMD's Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics card, the lowest-priced and most attractive member of the Radeon RX Vega triumvirate, goes on sale today. The extremely limited retail availability of the air- and liquid-cooled versions of the Radeon RX Vega 64 led us to expect that the GeForce GTX 1070-targeting RX Vega 56 could be even harder to find for sale. So far, our findings bear that notion out.

Newegg has a single Radeon RX Vega 56 card listing: an XFX reference unit that's marked as "out of stock." Amazon doesn't have any listings for the RX Vega 56, but the retailer does have RX Vega 64 cards from third-party sellers for $690. Searches for Radeon RX Vega 56 on Adorama, Microcenter, Walmart, and Sam's Club all turned up empty.

Best Buy has a listing for an XFX Radeon RX Vega 56 reference card in stock for $499.99, a $100 markup from the $399 price AMD promised when it announced the Radeon Vega cards at Siggraph a month ago. That XFX card appears to be a standalone card that's not part of an AMD Radeon Pack, too. Even so, Best Buy lists that card as "out of stock" at that price.

Given the relatively small gap in performance we saw between the RX Vega 56 and RX Vega 64 in some titles, it's no surprise that any cards that were available were snapped up by eager gamers and cryptocurrency miners as soon as they arrived on e-tail shelves. We are in the first hours of Vega 56 availability, however, so more stock of the cards may trickle out to more retailers as time goes on.

For its part, AMD spoke to us last night and advised us that suggested prices for the RX Vega 56 have not changed, but that demand for Vega products has been unprecedented. The company says it'll be working as hard as it can to make these cards available for gamers at or near their suggested prices over the coming weeks. Still, demand from cryptocurrency miners may be such that retail pricing for Vega 56 and Vega 64 cards will remain well above what gamers would consider reasonable.

It's worth noting that high retail prices aren't just a problem for AMD, either. The RX Vega 56's best match from the green team, the GTX 1070, has been similarly set upon by miners for some time now, and custom GTX 1070s are selling for anywhere from $50 to $100 (or more) above Nvidia's $379 suggested price. We'll have to see whether AMD's efforts pay off in light of this cryptocurrency-dominated GPU buying landscape.

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