AMD RX 6500 XT pricing looks like seriously bad news for a ‘budget’ GPU

AMD’s RX 6500 XT, the budget GPU revealed at CES 2022 alongside the RX 6400, is due to hit shelves tomorrow, but prices have already popped up in Europe – and the news isn’t good.

In fact, the RX 6500 XT is starting to look like a not-remotely-budget graphics card, with pricing hitting double the recommended level in France, which is seriously disappointing.

French retailers have slapped price tags of between €350 (around $400, £290, AU$555) and almost €380 (around $430, £320, AU$600) on 6500 XT cards from Gigabyte, which is steeper than even the rumor mill’s previous gloomy predictions.

It was thought the 6500 XT would command a price of €300 (around $340, £250, AU$475) going by past leaks from France, and remember that Asus in Germany recently confirmed a rumored asking price of €300 (for its base model), as VideoCardz, which spotted all this, reminds us.

So, the plain truth is that even those price levels, which were already considerably inflated from the expectations of a graphics card that AMD unveiled in the US with an MSRP of $199 (around £145, AU$275), turned out to be underestimating the amount we would be overcharged for the privilege of buying one of these GPUs (at least in Europe, anyway).

Analysis: Sort of not affordable in the slightest, sadly

This is the graphics card which AMD’s CEO, Lisa Su, said would be “sort of affordable to the mainstream” with the aforementioned US recommended price of $199.

However, if the GPU is more broadly saddled with the kind of pricing indicated in these initial retailer listings in Europe, then it could hardly be described as affordable in any way, shape or form. It wasn’t all that long ago that a mid-to-high range GPU would run to a few hundred notes, not a budget card (well, alright, it was quite some time ago, but we still remember it with some clarity – and fondly, unsurprisingly).

What’s perhaps worse here is that the Gigabyte 6500 XT variant in question is the Eagle card, not the manufacturer’s top-of-the-range product. All in all, this is another serious blow for the consumer looking to purchase a half-decent contemporary GPU without taking a large chunk out of their wallet.

As we were banging on about at the end of 2021, the low-end of the graphics card world is getting ridiculous, and Team Red’s new GPU was supposed to be part of the solution – not adding to the problem. But when retailers know full well that desperate folks – or scalpers – will pay well over the odds for stock which is thin on the ground, then the situation becomes rather inevitable.

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