Graphics card-snatching bots continue to plague nearly all e-tailers as they become more sophisticated, and one frustrated shopper has managed to track down a bot that seems to have found a way around AMD.com's protections, thus preventing them from purchasing a graphics card.
As we've seen elsewhere, online shoppers have been fighting a losing battle against scalper bots in Europe. Redditor DifficultEstimate7 shared their story of how they and some friends have been trying to secure an AMD GPU from the weekly drop for over four months. Despite awaiting graphics card drops poised with mouse, keyboard, and credit card details at hand, they have been defeated by bots such as the Vuurvlieg AMD Companion script, time and again.
DifficultEstimate7 and friends are understandably frustrated by the AMD store's stock vanishing in front of their eyes. Unfortunately, even if they have managed to get through to the checkout screen, they have found that stock has evaporated before they can make a payment. AMD has implemented anti-bot protection for its store, but it is obviously being bypassed.
The Redditor believes he has found the source of the issue. The picture you see above was discovered by DifficultEstimate7 in a Discord channel where the AMD EU stock situation was being discussed. It purports to show that a script dubbed the 'Vuurvlieg AMD Companion' managed to secure 214 graphics cards.
AMD dropped a total of 350 graphics cards at the last drop, according to the source. That means this bot snatched up about 64% of the GPUs released, and there's no telling what other scripts or bots were fired off at the same time.
You might ask yourself why the redditor didn't purpose a script/bot to do the necessary work for them? Yes, they had already thought of this, but the apparently very successful 'Vuurvlieg AMD Companion' is donationware and isn't accepting new users. Perhaps the script's author got a very nice donation, and it would be too expensive for ordinary customers to be worthwhile. In some ways, this raises parallels to the Best Buy $199 'GPU paywall,' as it really isn't worth the investment for a single ordinary customer.
Being in the market for a GPU isn't a situation that many PC gamers, enthusiasts, or DIYers will have relished for many months. Rather than enjoying the pleasure of choice, the current situation has folks looking at what (if anything) they can get, what multiple of MSRP will they have to pay, or what will tide them over until GPU availability and pricing becomes more reasonable. Scalper bots continue to exacerbate the issue as they become more sophisticated, so web stores like AMD.com will have to respond in kind if we expect to see some normalcy anytime soon.