From | If you search for “R9 290X” right now on Froogle, the online shopping portion of Google’s search engine, you’ll likely find that graphics cards based on the GPU found in AMD’s Radeon R9 290X graphics card are being sold for over $700 despite the fact that the vanilla AMD version of the card went for $550 when it was released. For example, SuperBiiz is selling the Sapphire AMD Radeon R9 290X 4GB card for $739.99. The MSI Radeon R9 290X card is selling for $710 by the same site.

Then there’s the XFX Force Radeon R9 290X Core Edition, which is currently available for pre-order at B&H’s site for $700. All three of those figures are significantly higher than $550, and though AMD doesn’t directly work with these manufacturers on card pricing, when we spoke to AMD, they told us that these companies usually follow the pricing models set by AMD. On top of that, though R9 290X cards can be had today, just a few days ago, they were virtually out of stock no matter where we looked. So why the deviation? Two reasons, primarily, one of which you may already know about.

Mining crypto-currencies like Bitcoin and Litecoin is becoming a huge deal, so much so that when we spoke to AMD, they confirmed reports that the heavy interest in altcoin mining has played a part in the price hikes and supply shortages that AMD cards have experienced recently. However, AMD clued us in on a different reason altogether. If you’ve ever heard the saying “the simplest explanation is often the best one,” then you might smack your forehead once you read the next few lines.

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