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Radeon RX 580 Recall Scam in China: AMD Warns Customers of GPU Fraud

Radeon RX 580
Radeon RX 580 (Image credit: AMD)

Graphics card merchants (via Expreview) are getting ever more creative in China to profit from less informed consumers. The new modus operandi consists of posing as AMD and XFX to issue a fake Radeon RX 580 recall to deceive customers to trade in their recent Radeon RX 580 purchases for a GeForce equivalent that has no cryptocurrency mining value.

Chinese dealers were spreading a phony letter that AMD and XFX were recalling Radeon RX 580 graphics cards due to instability issues that were product of a manufacturing defect. It's common knowledge that the Radeon RX 580 has been discontinued for a while, and scammers were taking advantage of its retirement. The swindlers convinced legitimate customers to accept a GeForce GTX 1050 Ti or GTX 1060 3GB as a replacement, arguing that the GeForce models offered better performance. The merchants even went as far as offering compensation in exchange for the Radeon RX 580.

Both AMD China and XFX China have released official statements stating that the so-called Radeon RX 580 recall is completely bogus. The four-year-old Polaris-powered graphics card doesn't present any factory defects with the PCB design as the sketchy document suggested. AMD will pursue legal action against the perpetrators for spreading misinformation and making illicit use of the AMD branding.

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Radeon RX 580 Recall

AMD Statement (Image credit: AMD China/Weibo)
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Radeon RX 580 Fake Recall

Radeon RX 580 Fake Recall (Image credit: XFX China/Bilibili)

The elaborate scam offered Radeon RX 580 owners two different schemes. The trade-in option consisted in a one-to-own swap with the dealers replacing the Radeon RX 580 4GB and Radeon RX 580 8GB with a GeForce GTX 1050 Ti and GeForce GTX 1060 3GB, respectively. The recall option offered owners with a sum of money was a little over two times that of the Radeon RX 580's street price. According to the document, the 4GB and 8GB variants are priced at 400 yuan (~$61) and 800 yuan (~$122), respectively. Therefore, owners would be receiving up to 900 yuan (~$138) and 1,700 yuan (~$260), respectively.

Getting a GeForce GTX 1060 3GB in return for a Radeon RX 580 isn't a horrible deal if you're an average gamer. The Pascal graphics card's performance is relatively close to the Radeon RX 580 — our GPU benchmarks peg it at 72% of the performance. However, the Pascal graphics card does boast a substantial lower power consumption. For comparison, the GeForce RTX 1060 3GB is rated for 120W, while the Radeon RX 580 has a 185W TDP. It comes down to a 35.1% power reduction.

The real reason behind the scam is Ethereum mining. With the cryptocurrency mining business booming again, merchants want to flip the Radeon RX 580 for a considerable profit. The graphics card's real value lies in its cryptocurrency mining abilities. Where the GeForce GTX 1060 3GB can earn around $1.20 per day via NiceHash, the Radeon RX 580 8GB can net can more than double that. The Radeon RX 580 is ranked as one of the best mining GPUs thanks to its price to performance ratio.

The Radeon RX 580 has aged like fine wine, which is not something that happens a lot in the graphics card world. Originally debuted in 2017 at $229, custom Radeon RX 580 models are currently selling for over $500 in the used market, an incredible price hike of 118%. The GTX 1060 3GB by comparison goes for around $225, basically matching its launch price, meanwhile GeForce GTX 1060 6GB graphics cards go for between $300 and $400, as they're far better for mining.