Monday, August 21st 2017

AMD Issues Official Statement on RX Vega 64 Pricing Woes

Update: Related to this story, feast your eyes on Newegg's deal of the day, with a reference, standard Sapphire RX Vega 64 for $689.99 with two "free" games. I don't think I've ever seen such a conturbated launch as this. Also, considering the scope and content of the article, I will be updating the tag for this piece as an Editorial.

There has been somewhat of an uproar in recent times regarding AMD's lack of clarity on pricing of their newly-launched Vega 64. While AMD themselves told reviewers and consumers that their RX Vega graphics cards would be available for $399 (Vega 56) and $499 (Vega 64), recent events have, at the very least, cast some doubts on Vega's supposedly clean-cut pricing. Some popular reviewers and YouTubers have even gone so far as to say they won't be accepting any more samples from AMD due to a perceived slight at the erroneous information provided by the company; when someone reviews and analyses a product based on a fixed price-point advanced by a company, and then that pricing seems to have turned out nothing more than smoke and mirrors... People's work is put out the window.

Now, AMD has come out to put rumors of false Vega pricing announcements to rest. Except the skeptic in me remains, well... skeptic. Here's what AMD has said: "Radeon RX Vega 64 demand continues to exceed expectations. AMD is working closely with its partners to address this demand. Our initial launch quantities included standalone Radeon RX Vega 64 at SEP of $499, Radeon RX Vega 64 Black Packs at SEP of $599, and Radeon RX Vega 64 Aqua Packs at SEP of $699. We are working with our partners to restock all SKUs of Radeon RX Vega 64 including the standalone cards and Gamer Packs over the next few weeks, and you should expect quantities of Vega to start arriving in the coming days."
Do you agree with me when I say that AMD isn't committing to a base $499 pricing for RX Vega 64? Expressions like "limited launch quantities included standalone Radeon RX Vega 64 at SEP of $499" don't really clear the air as to when (if) such pricing will be restocked. At best, AMD seems to only be saying that they'll restock some token offerings for their RX Vega graphics cards, if nothing else, simply looking to curb doubts on RX Vega's MSRP. Yes, it does start at $499 - but there is no true availability at that pricing, because AMD only restocks limited quantities at that pricing through (apparently) rebates and other offerings to retailers. And AMD left a crystal clear sentence of "we'll be restocking Vega SKUs at the announced $499 pricing" conspicuously absent.

The issue is that multiple retailers have come out, one way or another, to say that AMD have, in fact, issued changes to the RX Vega 64's retail pricing. OC UK's Andrew Gibson (Gibbo), the source we quoted in our first story that put forward some doubts on AMD's real RX Vega pricing intentions, gave KitGuru some clarifications on his initial claims on OC UK's forums: "Launch price was $499 with NO games for the Black card, as outlined to us by AMD as a launch only price. AMD allowed us to sell a set amount at this price, which was several hundred, clearly not enough as they were sold out in approximately 15 minutes. After this the regular price was $599 with FREE games for both the black and silver cards, $699 for the aqua card plus taxes." Another retailer, this time Norwegian komplett.no, also said that AMD's RX Vega 64 stock to be sold at MSRP $499 was limited to 275, as the company was "allowed to sell at a favorable price at launch. The RX Vega 64 version we had for sale was in a limited edition of this price and will unfortunately not be put up for sale again."

OcUK's Andrew Gibson went on to say that AMD's launch price of £449 "(...) is not possible, $499 is below what they cost us direct from the board partners by a large chunk of cash, AMD rebated us to hit $499 on a set amount of units. As such $599 is now the minimum." The retailer representative also went on to say that "Unfortunately AMD did not make the launch pricing plan clear at all to the press or the consumer, which has caused a lot of confusion, if we could sell cards at £449 and make money, they'd be at that price. If that was the case we probably would have sold around 5,000 units now at OcUK, whereas the reality is we've sold a little over 1000."

Over at Gamers Nexus, Steve Burke has voiced what sources inside the retailer family have been quietly putting out: that AMD did allow retailers to sell limited quantities of the RX Vega 64 SKU at $499 through time and quantity-limited rebates so as to allow retailers to sell part of their Vega 64 cards at AMD's announced pricing. AMD's Radeon Packs have apparently seen the highest alocation of Vega graphics cards on AMD's part, because this allows the company to recoup their losses at selling RX Vega 64 - and soon, RX Vega 56 - at their announced MSRP. It seems that AMD's BOM for their monolithic, 484 mm² dies and exotic HBM2 memory (as well as R&D expenses, naturally) have increased RX Vega's manufacturing cost to the point where (sources are claiming; take this with a grain of salt) AMD loses more than $100 on each RX Vega consumer card sold. Perhaps it's only a coincidence that Vega's retailer pricing increase covers both AMD's estimated manufacturing costs, as well as retailer's margins. Perhaps not. But there has been enough smoke dotting the aftermath of Vega's rise that it's likely there is fire.Sources: IO Tech, via Videocardz, JayzTeoCents @ Twitter via Reddit user wickedplayer494, KitGuru, Tek.No, Gamers Nexus
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153 Comments on AMD Issues Official Statement on RX Vega 64 Pricing Woes

#1
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
I do like how they're bundling hardware with other hardware (monitors, motherboards, and processors) which makes them unattractive to miners. Unfortunately, that doesn't work for people looking to just upgrade their GPU.
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#2
Raevenlord
News Editor
FordGT90Concept said:
I do like how they're bundling hardware with other hardware (monitors, motherboards, and processors) which makes them unattractive to miners. Unfortunately, that doesn't work for people looking to just upgrade their GPU.


Sceptic is a weird way to spell skeptic.
I'm skeptic that you've seen what you think you've seen...

Thanks =)
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#3
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
I certainly hope they're not losing $100 per card @ $500. If it is, no wonder NVIDIA is avoiding HBM2 like the plague and AMD did an epic stupid.
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#4
Liviu Cojocaru
I am not sure why people even buy the Vega 64, maybe for the compute power. Imo this card is a total fail for gaming
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#5
Dave65
FordGT90Concept said:
"prciing" on the last line.

I certainly hope they're not losing $100 per card @ $500. If it is, no wonder NVIDIA is avoiding HBM2 like the plague and AMD did an epic stupid.
It's not stupid, it brings HBM2 into the main stream, companies do this often..
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#6
gdallsk
Dave65 said:
It's not stupid, it brings HBM2 into the main stream, companies do this often..
By sacrificing themselves for the greater good in the process? I don't think I have heard anyone doing this before.
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#7
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Dave65 said:
It's not stupid, it brings HBM2 into the main stream, companies do this often..
$500+ is not mainstream.

I get what you mean though that SK Hynix/Samsung/AMD are trying to get volumes up so HBM2 will become more affordable. At the same time, NVIDIA is in a lot better financial position to do that than AMD is. I'd still argue what AMD did is incredibly stupid if it's true.
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#8
Fluffmeister
This whole launch has been a mess, and it does seem increasingly likely they can't really compete on price no matter how they try to spin it.

The 314 mm² GP104 must have given them countless sleepless nights.
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#9
vega22
a well written piece dude. clearly highlighting the known facts, and current rumours, along side your own take on the events. pieces like this are why many of us love tpu, compared to the others who only incite the hate.

i wonder if any of the aib/aic partners are going to lift the lid on this hot box and let us all see what these smoke and mirrors are hiding?

i doubt it, but we can live in hope, right :D

help us msi, you're our only hope!
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#10
nemesis.ie
Raevenlord said:
I'm skeptic that you've seen what you think you've seen...

Thanks =)
"sceptical" surely. ;)
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#12
bug
Demand my ass. People don't care about Vega: Vega64 and Vega56 reviews combined got a little over 300 comments on TPU. One review for RX 580 (the Sapphire one) got 170 - and that was just a refreshed product.

Vega may be a stepping stone for AMD, but people were expecting another Ryzen and Vega is not one. As soon as Nvidia bothers to slash prices a little on the 1080 and 1070, Vega will be forgotten.
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#13
etayorius
FordGT90Concept said:
"prciing" on the last line.

I certainly hope they're not losing $100 per card @ $500. If it is, no wonder NVIDIA is avoiding HBM2 like the plague and AMD did an epic stupid.
Stupid is a rather small word for that. So the RX 64 equal or slower than the GTX1080, with higher TDP and actually more expensive. All of this while Vega is at 14nm and Pascal at 16nm. This was supposed to be Raja's baby...

I'm still going to get one because the hashrate is high enough, and i pay peanuts in electricity cost, so it fits my needs... but as a gaming GPU i would never consider this power Hog. It's not horrible, just late and too power hungry.
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#14
xkm1948
Summoning @RejZoR @Vya Domus for the defense of the sacred RTG.

Seriously though I wish @W1zzard can alter the review score for the Vega64 and 56. As it stands now it is quite misleading in terms of performance per dollar.

Bad Raja, bad RTG. As someone who has been exclusively using ATi GPU to this point I am disgusted
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#15
RejZoR
bug said:
Demand my ass. People don't care about Vega: Vega64 and Vega56 reviews combined got a little over 300 comments on TPU. One review for RX 580 (the Sapphire one) got 170 - and that was just a refreshed product.

Vega may be a stepping stone for AMD, but people were expecting another Ryzen and Vega is not one. As soon as Nvidia bothers to slash prices a little on the 1080 and 1070, Vega will be forgotten.
Well, a lot of people go with Vega because of FreeSync (a lot of them were waiting for higher end AMD product for this very reason). I personally don't care because I have a classic monitor that's neither FreeSync or G-Sync (well, can be upgraded to G-Sync, but I don't care, am using Fast/Adaptive V-Sync). AMD, even if it cocked up performance crown position, they've bet a lot on FreeSync and it kinda paid off for them apparently. And with added Enhanced Sync, they kinda locked in current users with normal monitors who might buy FreeSync monitor soon. Looks like this whole pushing of FreeSync is one of better marketing thinsg AMD did in quite a while...

As for the whole "Performance per dollar" thing and all the bitching over price shift, people really look at those numbers alone when deciding for purchase? When I checked for GTX 1080Ti, I just scrolled through tests of interest at 1080p, roughly compared it to my current card to see how much of a difference there is to evaluate if it's worth it and when I was satisfied with the findings, I went to online stores and checked the models I fancy. When I found one of my liking, I bought it. It's literally that simple and I've been buying graphic cards like this for years and years. This becomes even more of an issue when looking fancy aftermarket cooled ones where prices can vary quite a lot. I could go with cheapest one, but decided to go with beefier cooler, better cooled VRAM, better backplate etc. Perf per dollar really only applies between reference models where design isn't a factor in the pricing. I don't know, I just make the decision how much certain performance is worth on my own.
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#16
dozenfury
I'd give AMD more benefit of the doubt, if not for the fact that they specifically explained that their reason for the long Vega delay (and over a year after the NV 1070/1080 release) was to make sure that there was plenty of inventory so this would not be an issue.

And regardless, even with very underwhelming mining performance, everywhere sold out within hours if not minutes. We also got the price gouging right at launch as well. I honestly don't know why someone would purchase one for mining with it's MH/s and power numbers. Unless Ether doubles in price soon buyers will never even break even much less a profit. I can only imagine how bad inventories would be if the Vega actually did do 70-100 MH/s if the false pre-release rumors had turned out to be true.

Vega is modestly competitive at retail prices. At $100+ over retail, people must have money to burn.
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#17
zo0lykas
we will see much cost nvidia next year when they jump on ddr6

and amd will have expierence with hbm2, and next generation navi will be much better and cheaper if we compare perfomance per price.

FordGT90Concept said:
I certainly hope they're not losing $100 per card @ $500. If it is, no wonder NVIDIA is avoiding HBM2 like the plague and AMD did an epic stupid.
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#18
the54thvoid
It's nice to see everybody's friend AMD being dishonest.

I swear to almighty Jen-Sun Huang that if Nvidia had done this, it'd be WW freaking 3. (I'm trying to swear less).

I watched the Linus WAN thing somone posted up recently and it was fun to watch. He was quite clear that AIB partners made a lot less money from AMD. Also, he was critical of Nvidia too for the unboxing nonsense for 1080ti but hey - it's the fashion now- free press for either brand. Then he went back to the panel and they said it would be quite correct for all reviewers to re-evaluate scores based on value as AMD simply lied about the general pricing.

Yeah, AMD lied, misled or were dishonest. Suck on those shiny red plums.
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#19
Vya Domus
xkm1948 said:
Summoning @RejZoR @Vya Domus for the defense of the sacred RTG.
Yeah , the defenders of sacred RTG , both owners of Nvidia cards :laugh:. We're more like exiled traitors still carrying the red flame in our hearts.

I have nothing to say. AMD screwed up the prices. Doesn't benefit anyone really , AMD makes probably close to nothing on these cards. I am not surprised at all , I have said it long before this , Vega is expensive as fuck to manufacture , seems like they tried to price is too low to the point when it became unprofitable not only to them but to AIBs and retailers as well and it all backfired.

Considering how few of these were available in the first place , I am hard pressed to say this is such a huge thing. After all prices of 1060/1070/480/470/580/570 in the last months have screwed up the perf/price ratio as well , haven't they ? And in much larger quantities. We can't see the forest for the trees or what ?
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#20
EarthDog
Mmm.. shiney red plums....:D
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#21
the54thvoid
Vya Domus said:
Yeah , the defenders of sacred RTG , both owners of Nvidia cards :laugh:. We're more like exiled traitors still carrying the red flame in our hearts.

I have nothing to say. AMD screwed up the prices. Doesn't benefit anyone really , AMD makes probably close to nothing on these cards. I am not surprised at all , I have said it long before this , Vega is expensive as fuck to manufacture , seems like they tried to price is too low to the point when it became unprofitable not only to them but to AIBs and retailers as well and it all backfired.

Considering how few of these were available in the first place , I am hard pressed to say this is such a huge thing. After all prices of 1060/1070/480/470/580/570 in the last months have screwed up the perf/price ratio as well , haven't they ? And in much larger quantities. We can't see the forest for the trees or what ?
You're missing a really tangible point here man, c'mon dont be so weirdly AMD apathetic/defensive. Ready?

If AMD cannot manufacture a competitor in terms of R&D and BOM costs to the competition (who we know is fleecing us), in terms of business, they are in very big trouble. We're not talking abouty mining screwing up price/perf like you appear to be trying to deflect, we're talking about a company barely able to push out a top tier competitor at a reasonably profitable margin. If you can't make a profit margin on a product it's game over. Not that I'm saying AMD is finished but for this round Vega is a concrete block around their neck.

We all wanted Vega to be a match for 1080ti (look back a few months - that was the TPU wishlist ballpark) so we could see a price war but no, it's nowhere near a match and it's wildly more expensive than we're used to for AMD pricing. AMD need to change their approach.
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#22
Vya Domus
the54thvoid said:
You're missing a really tangible point here man, c'mon dont be so weirdly AMD apathetic/defensive. Ready?

If AMD cannot manufacture a competitor in terms of R&D and BOM costs to the competition (who we know is fleecing us), in terms of business, they are in very big trouble. We're not talking abouty mining screwing up price/perf like you appear to be trying to deflect, we're talking about a company barely able to push out a top tier competitor at a reasonably profitable margin. If you can't make a profit margin on a product it's game over. Not that I'm saying AMD is finished but for this round Vega is a concrete block around their neck.

We all wanted Vega to be a match for 1080ti (look back a few months - that was the TPU wishlist ballpark) so we could see a price war but no, it's nowhere near a match and it's wildly more expensive than we're used to for AMD pricing. AMD need to change their approach.
I don't think I am missing anything.

Every time I say Vega is not for gaming but for datacenters everyone loses their minds. There you have it , this situation is the ultimate argument for that.

AMD didn't have to beat anyone , more precisely they cannot afford to beat anyone this round , they don't have the resources. RX Vega fulfilled it's purpose as far as AMD is concerned , and that is to make people know they are still in the game. Not top dog but still alive. What they'll do next remains to be seen.
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#23
Totally
So the black card is more limited than the limited edition.
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#24
efikkan
Vya Domus said:
I don't think I am missing anything.

Every time I say Vega is not for gaming but for datacenters everyone loses their minds. There you have it , this situation is the ultimate argument for that.

AMD didn't have to beat anyone , more precisely they cannot afford to beat anyone this round , they don't have the resources. RX Vega fulfilled it's purpose as far as AMD is concerned , and that is to make people know they are still in the game. Not top dog but still alive. What they'll do next remains to be seen.
No, Vega is nowhere near what AMD intended. And where is the 4× in performance per watt they promised?
Vega was intended to be the gaming king, but it turns out the performance per clock is worse than Fiji. Those who have been following it closely noticed a change in narrative around the demo at the end of last year, when AMD realized Vega10 would be in the GP104 league. Ever since then they've tried to focus on the "value" of Vega (with FreeSync) and it being "good enough".
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#25
coolernoob
I have only one issue with amds gpu pricing and BS they are giving.... we live in a free world and it is free market out there, so if miners are ready to buy out all of the cards (there were not many, but who cares) in first day for 999$ - we can not prevent that... Only issue in this is the "paper price" in reviews, were reviewers concluded something like: "for that price amd actually delivered a decent product"... and that I still must read how amd says it is "499" and "399" - even these numbers never were true - amd delivered very crappy card, even if this card would arrive in 2016 it still would be total crap - that should be reviews conclusion, not "for 399 it is actually good value"...
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