AMD will deliver more reference RX 6000-series designs before the end of March, senior director at Radeon Technologies Group Ritche Corpus tells BabelTechReviews in an interview. While only briefly touching on the subject of GPU stock, Corpus says AMD expects the popular reference design will make a return sometime in the first quarter of 2021.
The AMD RX 6900 XT and AMD RX 6800 XT share the same reference cooler, a chunky triple-fan design in black and red garb. The lower-spec AMD RX 6800 opts for a slightly pared-down variant. All three have proven themselves more than capable for cooling the Navi 21 GPU beneath—they're surprisingly quiet for reference designs, too.
So when it came out that AMD wasn't planning to continue production beyond the initial batch, it was met with disappointment. Disappointment not only for the cooler's unique design going away but for the loss of a competent chiller at MSRP pricing.
The AMD RX 6800 is priced at $579, and the RX 6800 XT at $649. The RX 6900 XT is $999. All three are available in reference garb for that same price, while many third-party designs are priced above MSRP. Sometimes well above MSRP given the slight supply and high demand.
The decision to cease production of the reference design wouldn't stick, however. AMD went back on the announcement that same day, stating it would be extending the cooler's life indefinitely going forward due to popular demand.
Now, it seems, we're going to see the first of those cards available for purchase from AMD's own webstore.
"Based on the response to our AMD Radeon RX 6800 Series and Radeon RX 6900 XT reference design graphics cards, we are extending production to make them available to as many gamers as possible on AMD.com at SEP," Corpus says to BabelTechReviews (via Videocardz). "Additional reference cards are expected to be available in the first quarter of 2021. We will also continue supporting our partners in the development of their custom AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series graphics card designs."
Something tells me this won't go far to filling the distinct void of purchasable graphics cards today. As AMD is keen to say, 7nm supply remains tight with TSMC until the second half of 2021.
No doubt you'll want to move quick in order to net yourself a reference card. Otherwise you may find yourself waiting on the vague promise of further cards later in the year, as AMD's otherwise kept mum about GPU supply.