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Intel Apparently Discounting 10th-Gen CPUs in Bid to Claw Market from AMD

Intel has apparently begun discounting its desktop CPUs, perhaps in a bid to try and maintain market share earning momentum the company garnered in the last few months. As AMD struggles to keep up with consumer demand for its latest Ryzen 5000 series, Intel looks to be capitalizing on its vertical integration (as well as the fact that Intel owns its own fabs and fabricates in a more than mature 14 nm process). A interesting move by the blue giant, who has generally opted out of a price reduction strategy - a move that might make Intel look on the back foot, and as an alternative budget brand, to the incommensurately smaller AMD.

Various retailers have been carrying Intel inventory with much reduced prices over their official MSRP. Amazon, for example, is offering the Intel Core i7-10700K for $344, down from its average pricing of $383. In the same retailer, the iGPU-less i7-10700F processor is down from $315 one month ago to just $229. Odds are that this is an Intel decision because if one considers the amount of demand on PC products and components due to COVID-19, it's very likely that consumers who can't get an AMD 5000-series CPU will still choose to purchase hardware - even if it has to be from Intel. So retailers eschewing part of their profits at a time like this seems slightly off-character.

UK Parliament Members Aim to Introduce Bill to Fight Scalping... But the Problem is a Complex One

Members form the UK Parliament are apparently preparing to introduce a bill that would regulate the scalping phenomenon that's being witnessed worldwide. According to Scottish politician Douglas Chapman, in an interview to IGN, "The issue of scalping first came up with constituents contacting me to explain their frustration about being unable to get hold of certain games consoles or computer components pre-Christmas." He then expanded on that by adding that "On investigation, we uncovered more details of the unscrupulous practice of 'scalping' by automated bots to bulk buy these goods and sell them on at inflated prices." Oh, and this bill is unlikely to pass, by the way.

Scalping, however, isn't done only in the UK; it's a pervasive international issue that crosses borders. And scalping, as it is known, is nothing but a form of speculation, which some might say is part of the backbone that keeps the world's capitalist blood pumping through the economy - some might even argue that scalping occurs directly due to mechanisms of supply and demand, and thus, isn't an unlawful activity in and of itself. Companies, corporations, and all other legal entities, however, have to adhere to strict anti-monopoly/anti-cartelization laws, which deal with the same base issue, although in another facet of it. The problem is that it appears that in some countries, speculation is regulated at the enterprise level, but not at the citizen level. And herein lies the crux of it.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30-Series GPU Availability to Reportedly Worsen in Q1

The availability of NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 3000 series "Ampere" graphics cards has been a problem ever since it launched. High demand paired with insufficient supply has caused quite some disturbance in the supply chain and has caused the MSRP of the GPUs to increase. Firstly, we were promised that the situation would resolve around May when NVIDIA is expecting to match the supply with the demand. However, according to the recent report, that might not be the case. Alternate, a European retailer operating in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany, has spoken to NVIDIA about the supply of the GeForce RTX 3000 series Ampere graphics cards.

According to the retailer, the situation with the card is such that the availability is scarce. When it comes to the GeForce RTX 3090, there are very few deliveries, but only a few open orders. The RTX 3080 sees very few cards coming with many open orders. The RTX 3070 has few cards incoming, but few open orders. And last but not least, the RTX 3060 Ti has very few cards coming, and a moderately high amount of open orders. If you are aiming to buy a card, your best chances would be with RTX 3090 and RTX 3070, as they do not have such high demand. On the other hand, RTX 3080 and RTX 3060 Ti cards are almost impossible to source as they all have a big waiting list. Alternate says that they work on a "first in first out" principle of delivering cards to consumers, so if you are not on the list you are likely going to wait for even longer.

Graphics Card Prices Could Soar Amid Increasing Memory Prices

The prices of graphics cards have been perhaps the most controversial topic among PC enthusiasts lately. High demand and low supply of the latest generation GPUs have lead to the massive price increase over MSRP. Graphics card makers, AMD and NVIDIA, have already announced that this situation is not going to get better until March ends. However, there seems to be another possible issue appearing slowly on the horizon. According to the Chinese website MyDrivers, the prices of graphics cards are expected to increase thanks to the increasing prices of memory used in them, presumably including both the slower GDDR6 and the faster GDDR6X memory.

The source claims that the new memory price increase is going to take place after February 12th, when Chinese New Year ends. As both the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3000 series Ampere generation and AMD Radeon 6000 series generation use GDDR6X and GDDR6 respectively, that means that the increased prices of these memory types could increase the MSRP, which is already above its original intent.

AMD and NVIDIA Address GPU Shortage with Situation Improvement on the Horizon

If anyone was looking to buy a new GPU in the past few months, the person is likely familiar with the situation we are in. It is now a fact that the latest generation of GPUs from AMD and NVIDIA are extremely hard to find, and when you come across one it is listed at some mind-blowing price. However, the makers of those GPUs, AMD and NVIDIA, are claiming that we are near the end of this situation and the things are going to be better shortly. And companies such as these two must reach out to consumers and try to satisfy their needs, even in the difficult situation that is going on now with the GPUs.

In the interview with The Verge, AMD has confirmed that it will be selling more Radeon RX 6800, Radeon RX 6800 XT, and Radeon RX 6900 XT graphics cards using its website, throughout Q1 of this year. The company claims that it will try to supply as many customers as possible, without any exact figures. When it comes to NVIDIA, the company has commented that the situation will likely resolve sometime at the end of Q1, meaning that in March things should return to normal. The company has also added that in the meantime consumers shouldn't expect to buy any of the GeForce RTX 3000 series graphics cards at their original MSRP. NVIDIA also continues emphasizing that the reason for such high prices is the high demand they are seeing, exceeding production capacity by far.

We're Changing How we Handle Pricing in Graphics Card Reviews

The major GPU releases in 2020 are all plagued by the same problem: good product, not enough stock. This has led to a perverse situation on the market: you can't just walk into your favorite store and purchase the product you want. This is a consequence of NVIDIA and AMD going to market with tiny volumes, and extremely optimistic MSRPs which opened up the market to the phenomenon of scalping. Scalpers are individuals, or groups, who buy up whatever little volume is available, often using sophisticated online shopping bots, and resell them at exorbitant premiums on marketplaces like eBay, for profit.

This system only works because there is zero retail stock available anywhere on the planet, and whatever volume comes in, is so low that it evaporates, often before hitting retailer shelves. The only way scalping can be defeated is for manufacturers to flood the market with large volumes of product that the scalpers cannot scale their purchases up to, and possibly for crypto-currency mining to become not worth it on the latest generations of graphics cards. Until these happen, marked-up pricing is an inescapable reality for consumers.

Alphacool Intros Eisblock Aurora Acryl GPX-N for NVIDIA RTX 3070 FE

Alphacool presents a new Eisblock Aurora Acryl GPX-N cooler for the RTX 3070 Founders Edition graphics cards. The block offers outstanding cooling performance thanks to the full cover design. The new backplate, which is included with the coolers, also contributes to this. This stabilizes the graphics card and ensures an even contact pressure of the cooler. The cold plates are made of solid nickel-plated copper. The coolers cover all relevant components such as voltage converters and the graphics memory.

GPUs to See Price Increase Due to Import Tariffs, Other PC Components to Follow

Yesterday, we have reported that ASUS is officially increasing the prices of their graphics cards and motherboards, due to increased component and logistics costs. What the company meant by that was not exactly clear to everyone, as it looked like the company has adjusted to the current market prices exceeding the MSRP of components like graphics cards. The GPUs are today selling at much higher prices compared to the original MSRP and it is representing a real problem for consumers. Today, we get to see what is the underlying problem behind the announcement we saw yesterday and if we are going to see more of that in the close future.

According to the New York Times, the Chinese import tariff exemptions have expired with the arrival of a new year (2021) and we can expect the tariffs to start from 7.5%-25%, which will massively increase component costs. A Reddit user has noted that MSRP will increase about $80 for every major GPU manufacturer like ASUS, GIGABYTE, PNY, Zotac, etc. so we are expecting MSRP adjustment from other companies to follow just like ASUS did. The import tariff exemptions are also supposed to increase MSRPs of other PC components like motherboards, SSDs, PSUs, cases... everything without exemption. As a product of a trade war between China and the Trump administration, it remains a question will these tariffs get easier shortly, so consumers can afford their desired components.

It's a Scalping Christmas: Scalpers of Latest Games Consoles, PC Hardware Rake In ~$39 million

Michael Driscoll, an Oracle data engineer, has written a data scraper that runs through eBay listings for the latest hardware, comparing products with their sale price. The objective was to see just how pervasive scalping actually is, and to get a (flawed and incomplete, but still extremely interesting) outlook at the scalping ecosystem and their gains with the current hardware and console shortages. Driscoll analyzed sales for the Xbox Series X|S, the PS5 (discless and disc-based) as well as NVIDIA's RTX 30-series, AMD's RX 6000 series, and Zen 3 processors. There are some assumptions on the gathering and analysis of this data, but that is part of the beast.

The results are potentially desperation-inducing. AMD's Zen 3 CPUs have sold for sometimes 240% of their MSRP (looking at the biggest offender, the Ryzen 9 5950X. The RX 6800 XT graphics card has been selling for within an inch of 200% of its MSRP as well, with a median price over the past week set at $1247 (compare that to the $649 MSRP). The RTX 3080 has been selling at 180% of its MSRP for the past week, but it has been moved at 220% of its MSRP before. The case repeats with several degrees of severity for the Xbox family and PS5 consoles.

AMD RX 6800 & RX 6800 XT Partner Cards Won't Hit MSRP Until Early 2021

The launch of the AMD RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT was plagued with a lack of availability and inflated prices. Retailers sold out of reference models almost immediately leading to price gouging and the launch of custom boards a week later did little to ease the situation. AMD has acknowledged the situation and is working with AIBs to achieve MSRP prices. In an unofficial comment to Hardware Unboxed, an AMD representative confirmed that they hoped to reach MSRP prices within 4 to 8 weeks for custom cards. The cards are currently selling for 100+ USD higher than their suggested retail prices at retailers across the globe so this news from AMD will be welcome for many.

Lian Li Launches ST120 Fans and ARGB Cable Kit

LIAN LI Industrial Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of aluminium chassis and PC accessories, is proud to give GALAHAD AIO enthusiasts the opportunity to complete their builds with the ST120, available in packs of 3, in black and in white. In addition, LIAN LI launches the ARGB Cable Kit for LIAN LI ARGB devices to solve the issue of port scarcity on modern motherboards to connect all devices. Creating a unified look and solving the headache of interconnectivity has never been easier.

Now available separately from the GALAHAD AIO, the ST120 offers users a way to improve their system performance while getting a uniform look. The high static pressure ST120s are PWM fans which operate between 800 and 1900 RPM, and deliver a maximum airflow of 69.17 CFM and air pressure of 2.6 mmH20, making them ideal replacement fans for any AIOs capable of hosting 120 mm fans.

NZXT Expands its Kraken AIO Liquid CPU Cooler Line

NZXT, a leading designer of intuitive software, hardware, and services for the PC gaming community, today announces an expansion of the Kraken X-3 RGB and Kraken Z53 expanding their existing line of AIO liquid CPU coolers. The NZXT Kraken X-3 family will introduce a new variant that will include NZXT AER RGB 2 fans for builders wanting to maximize RGB in their build. The Kraken X-3 series includes the improved iconic RGB infinity mirror design with an enlarged ring size. The cap is upgraded to be rotatable to ensure the correct orientation of the NZXT logo, accommodating more builders. With the newest 7th generation pump for Asetek, the Kraken X-3 RGB series has industry-leading cooling performance for your CPU.

The NZXT Kraken Z-3 series will now include the NZXT Kraken Z53 240 mm AIO in addition to the previously released 280 mm and 360 mm options. The NZXT Kraken Z-3 series is the perfect addition to any gaming battlestation. A beautiful 2.36"(60 mm) LCD screen provides unlimited visual customization, and is capable of displaying vital system health data as well as any custom image or animated GIF via NZXT CAM. With unparalleled aesthetics and performance, the Kraken Z-3 series is built with the 7th generation Asetek pump and provides builders the opportunity to express themselves in an all-new way while keeping their CPU temps cool.

PowerColor Teases Radeon RX 6800 XT "Red Devil" Edition Graphics Card

PowerColor, the creator of the iconic "Red Devil" flagship designs of AMD Radeon graphics cards, has today posted a teaser for the upcoming Radeon RX 6800 XT GPUs. With their custom PowerColor Radeon RX 6800 XT Red Devil graphics card, the company is bringing consumers their best engineering and design. Today, we are getting the first glimpse of what is to come. Pictured below is a backside of the GPU, with a dark metallic backplate, illuminated by the Red Devil logo. The teased picture shows a bit more of the card as well, where we can see the printed Red Devil logo. This custom design is expected to be a triple-slot and triple-fan design. With AMD reference designs being priced at an MSRP of $649, this custom card is possibly going to be pricier. Below you can see that the Red Devil has awoken amid the wait for custom cards to arrive:
PowerColor Radeon RX 6800 XT Red Devil

MSI Subsidiary Starlit Partner Sold RTX 30-Series Cards Over MSRP; Company Investigates

Recently, it has been brought to light that a particular seller on Ebay was selling price-hiked MSI RTX 30-series graphics cards - such as the RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio - well over MSRP ($1,359 for an RTX 3080, compared to NVIDIA's $699 and MSI's $799). A more attentive look at the seller, identified as Starlit Partner, reveals that they carried only MSI-manufactured SKUs for NVIDIA's RTX 30-series, and was selling them, in most cases, as sealed and brand new. Now, scalping of NVIDIA's latest graphics card series has been thoroughly covered here on TechPowerUp; however, suspicions of ties between Starlit Partner and MSI itself, and the suggestion that this was a coordinated move in order to sell RTX 30-series inventory at marked-up pricing, deserves a longer appraisal.

As soon as the suspicion was posted in the Internet, some users donned their detective cloaks and went digging for more information, and confirmed the ties to MSI. However, MSI has already issued a statement on the issue, clarifying the scenario we were faced with. Indeed, MSI has ties to Starlit Partner, as they themselves acknowledge - the later is an individual sales subsidiary working under MSI. However, MSI further explains in the statement that Starlit Partner is tasked with the sale of refurbished items and excess inventory - and that they should never have had access to NVIDIA's RTX-30 series graphics cards in the first place. MSI launched an investigation that confirmed an error in inventory allocation allowed Starlit Partner to access inventory they shouldn't have had access to (without clarifying the error).
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