RX Vega prices inch downward in our latest graphics-card spot check


— 11:28 AM on October 18, 2017

A couple weeks back, I posited that the market for powerful graphics cards was cooling off a bit. That trend appears to be continuing, as Radeon RX Vega graphics cards are inching toward their bare-board suggested prices. A glance at Newegg's wares today shows four RX Vega 56 cards available for $460 to $470 from PowerColor, MSI, Gigabyte, and Sapphire. That's down from the $500 or more those cards demanded when Newegg was selling them as part of Radeon Packs, although one doesn't get the two "free" games that used to come in those bundles any longer. (In fact, Radeon Packs seem to have disappeared from Newegg entirely.) Newegg will even kick back $20 on Gigabyte's RX Vega 56 card for a grand total of $450 if you chance a mail-in rebate.

We found that the reference Radeon RX Vega 56 held its own against a hot-clocked GeForce GTX 1070 in our testing, so we'd have welcomed the apparent decline in RX Vega 56 prices as a competitive development as recently as a couple weeks ago. However, GeForce GTX 1070 prices are also in the midst of a re-entry of late. Surveying all of Newegg's GTX 1070 offerings shows that it's possible to get one of those cards for as little as $400 right now, just $20 over Nvidia's suggested price at launch. Most custom GTX 1070s seem to top out at about $450 at the moment, so buyers have a wide range of alternatives to the reference RX Vega 56 for similar money.

RX Vega 64 cards also seem to be on the edge of a price decline. Newegg is selling both the reference and limited-edition Vega 64 cards from Sapphire for $570 right now, even as many other such cards sell for $610 or $620. That's a drop from launch pricing at retail, but it still isn't enough to make the Vega 64 an appealing choice against the GeForce GTX 1080. In fact, GTX 1080 prices are bad news for the GTX 1070, the RX Vega 56, and the RX Vega 64 alike. Newegg has a triple-fan MSI GTX 1080 for just $490 at the moment (with a free copy of Destiny 2, to boot), and our initial testing suggests the GTX 1080 will still deliver the smoothest and most fluid gaming experience around for that kind of money. For $530 or so, one has an enviable choice of custom cards from EVGA and Gigabyte that will likely run quieter and dump less waste heat than the RX Vega duo.

While these data points are just a tiny slice of the graphics-card market as a whole, they do suggest that the demand crunch we saw this summer is continuing to ease across the board. We're still far from the glory days when an RX 480 4GB cost as little as $150, but at least prices are no longer downright oppressive. Perhaps the market will continue to cool as the leaves continue to fall around the TR labs.

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