Where have all the the Radeon R9 290X graphics cards gone?
AMD threw down the gauntlet when it introduced its Radeon R9 290X graphics card. Its aggressive price point in relation to performance (bang-for-buck, in other words) impressed us most, and apparently it's a big selling point among Bitcoin miners. If you're not familiar, Bitcoin is a virtual currency that's surging in value and Bitcoin mining is a resource intensive task that involves adding transaction records to Bitcoin's public ledger of past transactions.
We could devote an article to virtual currencies and their various nuances, but the point here is that virtual coin miners seem to have gobbled up most of the available Radeon R9 290X graphics cards, according to Bright Side of News. The process of mining can be done on Nvidia hardware as well, though AMD's GPUs are a little better at it. Combined with the bang-for-buck performance of the R9 290X, it makes sense that miners hoping to score it big would flock to these cards.
It's not just Bitcoins, either. Litecoin and Worldcoin are two other virtual currencies attracting so-called miners, especially since they're both newer and easier to harvest at this point compared to Bitcoin.
We did a search around the web and had trouble finding a Radeon R9 290X video cards in stock last night. This morning we were able to track down a Sapphire Radeon R9 290x in stock at Newegg, but it has since vanished too. Everywhere we look, AMD's top-end part is out of stock or on backorder, including places like NCIX, TigerDirect (the one that's available to purchase says it usually ships in 7-21 business days), B&H Photo, and Provantage. Amazon has some SKUs in stock, though only through third-party sellers with inflated price tags.
If you spot one in stock and care to share, feel free to post a link in the comments section below.