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AMD Big Navi GPU launch was reportedly worse than Nvidia’s RTX 3000 fail

AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT
(Image credit: Future)

AMD’s Big Navi graphics card could have been in shorter supply on their launch than rival Nvidia’s Ampere models, at least going by one report – which is pretty disappointing news, particularly as it was suggested that RX 6000 GPUs would be more plentiful than Nvidia managed.

VideoCardz has highlighted stats from one particular European retailer, as well as providing an overview of some other stockists’ troubles with getting supply of RX 6800 and 6800 XT models.

The figures come from Danish retailer Proshop, which VideoCardz has been monitoring for Nvidia’s RTX 3000 stock levels in recent times. As the site points out, and as everyone saw, both the RTX 3080 and 3090 were extremely thin on the ground at launch, but RTX 3070 numbers were ‘in the hundreds’ for Proshop before it hit the virtual shelves.

Obviously that still wasn’t enough – not nearly – to cope with demand, but on the AMD front, Proshop has only received and sold 125 RX 6800 and 6800 XT GPUs, most of them (100) being the former, and all of them reference boards.

As for third-party custom Big Navi graphics cards, which were released earlier this week – and folks were hoping would really beef up availability – the situation turned out to be even worse: Proshop received none, and only nine are incoming, according to this report.

Of course, this is just a single report, so we have to be careful about drawing any firm conclusions here, but the way the AMD RX 6000 launch has played out seems clear enough – and as we reported earlier in the week, the launch of custom versions of the RX 6800 and 6800 XT seemed woeful indeed.

In the US, some major retailers came up completely empty, like Micro Center which didn’t have a single model to sell.

Stock shocker

The VideoCardz report outlines the situation in the UK – and elsewhere – noting that Scan has no stock, and Overclockers doesn’t either. In fact a rep from the latter noted that it was very unlikely that any custom models would turn up this week, and that it would be more like next week for stock to be available.

The Overclockers rep notes that the retailer “might struggle to see a few hundred cards this side of Christmas”, which again is hardly positive news for those who wanted to get a new AMD GPU this year.

Indeed, we recently witnessed Dutch retailer Azerty giving similar indications, specifically that: “We are hearing signals in the market that the delivery problems of these cards could last for many months, well into 2021. We therefore advise our customers to take into account delivery times of RX 6800 (XT) video cards of several months.”

All of which goes against the previous rumors that AMD might rectify its supply woes in December. Of course, we can’t go by suggestions on the grapevine, so who knows, AMD may still turn things around as soon as next month – but it’s not looking particularly hopeful right now.

AMD’s chief architect of gaming solutions, Frank Azor, chiming in a couple of months back to hint that AMD would outdo Nvidia in terms of these GPU launches is looking like a rather unwise move now. And Azor’s latest revelation on Twitter – that he managed to order an RX 6800 from the AMD site himself, after a bit of hitting refresh – hasn’t exactly helped either…

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).