It has been almost a whole month since AMD released their 7nm based Radeon VII graphics card, but their stocks are still empty everywhere you look. The only two places from where you can snag a Vega 7 are eBay and Amazon, where these cards are being sold for $849 or more. This is a hundred and fifty dollars more than the launch price of $699, and despite assurances from AMD’s PR team, there seems to be no end to the shortage.
Reason: Why is the Radeon VII not available?
There’s no straight to that, but I’ve got a few hunches. For starters, the Radeon VII uses HBM2 memory instead of the traditional GDDR5/6 memory that NVIDIA’s consumer cards rely on. HBM2 provides high bandwidth at lower voltages, but it’s quite expensive, plus, the production is very limited as well. This makes it very hard to procure a regular and reliable source of this memory.
Prominent memory expert Glenn Lockwood tweeted last year that even if Samsung doubled the HBM2 production, it still wouldn’t be able to meet the market demand which to be fair isn’t much at the moment. That is exactly what seems to be happening. All the Radeon VII cards are pretty much gone, and ones available are either overpriced or second-hand products.
Secondly, as we had earlier reported, the Radeon 7 apparently is an expensive card to build, with the total price of the SKU coming up to more than $650, then add the marketing and PR costs to that. Doesn’t seem very profitable. Some reports even claim that AMD is selling the graphics card at a loss and it was merely a PR stunt for the Radeon brand name to stay relevant in the high-end GPU market. Regardless, even if AMD is getting some profit out of the 7nm GPU, it’s not much.
Lastly, this is what AMD’s PR team told us. According to them, due to the Chinese Lunar New Year, most factories in the country were on a break and once work resumed, the stocks would be back to normal. However, it has been almost a month since then and no red-colored 7nm cards are to be seen. Furthermore, if this was actually the issue, then how is NVIDIA’s new GTX 1660 Ti so abundant in quantity and available at most retailers?
These are a few questions we’d like AMD to answer. Previously we had published the following posts on this story and got a prompt reply from team red, but nothing has been confirmed as of now: