Even with the worst of the digital coins behind us the effect on the gaming community will be felt for a long time.
When the price of digital coins collapsed the Sapphire Nitro+ RX 480 OC 8GB fell hard and the studio was able to get one at $99 Canadian. The card works fine as expected and using for gaming has been excellent.
The recent RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT are selling at about 20-30% above MSRP. The budget RX 5500 is even higher than 30% above MSRP. For that reason, the RX 480 was mostly considered for its longer term survival until the video card market is rationalized.
Given the video card mess is the main reason for the studio to acquire more storage. A total of 16 TB additional storage was acquired to handle the trend for larger games. Several recent games have grown past 50 GB in size and now some games are over 100 GB.
The Trump tariffs have only made things worse. This has driven the price of new video cards up by 10% or more. Trump, in a Sept. 17 statement, said the tariffs would rise to 25 percent on Jan. 1, 2019. While talks are ongoing, it is not known if there will be any settlement to the disputes.
The RX 480 came from a Canadian vendor who started with 50 cards starting at $139 Canadian before slashing the price to $99. No tariff was imposed.
NewEgg has been struggling to keep an inventory of Radeon cards in Canada. Trump’s tariff does not apply here. Prices have remained high due to the shortage of cards.
So between Trump and digital coins, the gaming enthusiast has to be more cautious into 2020.