Radeon RX 580's Now Cost More Than a GeForce GTX 1070 Due to Cryptocurrency Mining Demand

Written by Jon Sutton on Mon, Jun 5, 2017 9:56 AM

The prices of AMD’s Radeon RX 400 and Radeon RX 500 series of graphics have been sent soaring as sales have gone through the roof. This is down to renewed demand for cryptocurrency mining solutions, a market which has seen substantial growth throughout the last two months.

Due to limited supplies of AMD Radeon graphics cards, this has driven prices up well above and beyond the asking price for these graphics cards. On Amazon, for example, all Radeon RX 580’s are out of stock, aside from a couple of options which cost in excess of $400. You can pick up a far more powerful GeForce GTX 1070 for as little as $335. Basically, you’re going to be lucky if you can even get your hands on a new Radeon graphics card in the current market, and if you do, you’re going to be paying significantly over the odds. 

For now, cryptocurrency mining reigns supreme. Those with one eye on the news will have seen the value of Bitcoin has absolutely skyrocketed this year, and it’s been joined by dozens of other cryptocurrency solutions. One of the most popular of these alternate solutions is Ethereum. From a value of $8 on January 1st, 2017, Ethereum is now worth $246. This has sparked a rush of users eager to mine the limited pool of Ethereum. I never thought I’d live to see the Command and Conquer became a reality.

Following the initial Bitcoin explosion in 2013/2014, which also sent the price of AMD Radeon graphics cards skyrocketing, cryptocurrency miners have steadily switched to dedicated ASIC mining hardware which is optimised purely for the task of Bitcoin mining. This was necessary as mining Bitcoins becomes harder over time, with the number of coins being made available in the system periodically reduced in order to stimulate demand. With these fresh cryptocurrencies available to mine, and with Ethereum mining being resistance to ASIC hardware, using a bog-standard unoptimised graphics card has once more become a viable solution. This is why we’re seeing miners prepared to pay almost double the asking price for Radeon graphics cards.

The other big question of course is: Why AMD?

That delves down into a very complicated rabbit hole, but suffice to say, AMD’s GPU designs favour more cores at lower clocks, while Nvidia graphics cards typically have less cores and higher clock speeds. Nvidia’s clock speeds aren’t fast enough to surpass AMD’s broader shader count, resulting in superior 32-bit (single-precision) performance. On average, AMD GPUs can perform 2 to 3x faster than their Nvidia counterparts. Secondly, cryptocurrency mining relies on a 32-bit integer right rotate operation. AMD GPUs need just a single hardware instruction to achieve this, while Nvidia GPUs require three. This provides an additional 1.7x performance advantage on AMD hardware, providing a total performance boost of 3-5x Nvidia hardware when mining cryptocurrencies.

All of this means that if you’re in the market for a new graphics card, and you have no intention of cryptocurrency mining, then you’d best stay away from AMD Radeon for a while. Prices will eventually return to normal, but we could be in for quite a wait.

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08:11 Jul-03-2017

Ugh are you f***** kidding me? Here i was planning to get a RX 480 for my rig to get rid of my stock R7 370 for "GAMING" only and miners are sucking the market dry!

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21:08 Jun-09-2017

Sooo.. which gpu is really worth buying now? In my store gtx 1060's 3gb price rose for 60 to even 90$. Eh what a bul****, just before my bithday and new PC...

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11:57 Jun-09-2017

that explains why my fav retailer had no 580 in stock when I wanted to buy one, like a week and a half ago. Which is why I now have a 1060 instead. (they did cost about the same at the time, so, eh)

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07:28 Jun-09-2017

the Fry's and Microcenter by me are completely picked clean of all Polaris 10/20 cards, I mean seriously?! I didn't even think there were miners in my area with great enough numbers to do this, even stocks of 460's, 560's and 550's are low, I just want another 480 Strix OC for a crossfire config without paying $400

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01:10 Jun-07-2017

Apparently AMD and Nvidia are launching cards with cryptocurrency mining in mind, these will be way cheaper than consumer cards, but has little to no ability to game, and only have 90-day warranty. They hope miners will buy them and leave consumer products with enough stock to go around. But I don't think this strategy will work, what if the mining market crashes? Then these will have little to no value on resale market.

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21:51 Jun-06-2017

I am contemplating to sell my 8 month old rx 480 now...

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15:29 Jun-07-2017

If you don't have a FreeSync monitor/don't use any AMD (limited) advantages I would highly suggest selling your RX480.
It's like having a free upgrade.

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12:16 Jun-06-2017

Since Ethereum mining is basically the company simply using your pc resources to run code on their virtual machine and paying you for it. doesn't that mean they can't make ASIC for it? and in turn make the demand for cards stay skyrocketed.

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12:04 Jun-06-2017

so will amd now get rich?

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09:33 Jun-06-2017

When i was downvoted cuz people are buying amd cards cuz they are cheaper nvidia.. now what amd fans?

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10:04 Jun-06-2017

You do know that people can change their minds and come to a different conclusion as to which is a better graphics card purchase as prices fluctuate?

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16:10 Jun-06-2017

Still cheaper than NVIDIA in my country.

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10:10 Jun-07-2017

same here. (u from italy?)

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15:10 Jun-07-2017

No I am from slovakia

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08:53 Jun-06-2017

Im selling my rx 480 for 400$ i can add another 50$ and get a GTX 1080 here ( its 2nd hand but it has 18 months of store warranty so thats good )

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09:32 Jun-06-2017

from amazon u can get a gtx 1080 for 500$

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20:57 Jun-07-2017

doesnt do good for me , taxes will rip me apart for amazon

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07:50 Jun-06-2017

This is not good... not good at all >_>

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05:55 Jun-06-2017

that weird moment when gaming cards and professional cards that use the same GPU core cost the same

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02:11 Jun-06-2017

So you're implying I can trade my 480 for a GTX 1070 potentially?

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02:19 Jun-06-2017

JUST DO IT... :D

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02:56 Jun-06-2017

if you're into crypto mining keep the 480, if not trade it to 1070, its better for gaming :D

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23:39 Jun-05-2017

At least this means AMD is selling lots of cards. That's good for competition. But this probably isn't the target demographic AMD was going for.

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11:48 Jun-06-2017

well, earning more is always a good thing for companies despite the unexpected target customers, right?

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23:00 Jun-05-2017

Well damn.

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22:06 Jun-05-2017

Yeah a sad truth... My friend was looking to buy one last week and when I looked around there were very few models available and at significantly higher prices. I would prefer those GPUs to go at the hands of gamers but oh well.

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21:49 Jun-05-2017

So that is why I see huge lack of RX580/570 here and prices at about 400EUR... I was wondering if AMD had supply issues. I guess not. Well, hopefully RX Vega will be better at that and will help prices to return to normal.

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21:13 Jun-05-2017

does it affect r7 360?

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23:20 Jun-05-2017

probably not only high end gpus are used for mining

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21:10 Jun-05-2017

you’d best stay away from AMD Radeon forever

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19:00 Jun-05-2017

how about rx480 is it good for minig

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20:39 Jun-05-2017

well since 480 and 580 got the same chip performance should also be the same

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22:04 Jun-05-2017

same thing pretty much. They are extinct as well, together with teh 580s.

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