Litecoin mining leads high-end AMD graphics card prices to soar

|By:, SA News Editor

This isn't how graphics card prices normally trend: Four months after cards based on AMD's top-of-the-line R9 290X GPU launched at an MSRP of $549, strong demand from cryptocurrency miners (Litecoin miners especially) has led prices to surge to ~$900. Likewise, prices for cards based on the slightly less powerful R9 290 have risen to ~$600, after initially debuting with a $399 MSRP.

The increases come even though GPU-based Litecoin mining has become more difficult as more miners join the fray. Bitcoin mining (also becoming more difficult) has increasingly shifted to ASIC-based hardware.

While its more powerful GPUs have become more costly, AMD is continuing its aggressive pricing (previous) in the mid-range, as it attempts to regain share lost to Nvidia.

The chipmaker recently announced the R7 265, a mid-range GPU that powers $149 graphics cards and delivers a 25% performance gain relative to the older R7 260X (about to see its price cut by $20 to $119).

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