Its safe to say that AMD's RX 6500 XT has had a less-than-stellar launch over the past two days. From its underwhelming performance, to its horrendous availability, the card is nearly impossible to find anywhere. It has become such a big problem that even scalpers are barely able to acquire any of these RX 6500 XTs, with just eight listings on eBay.com at the time of this writing.
This isn't to say the listings are cheap by any stretch of the imagination. Most of the scalpers on eBay are selling the cards for around $350-$400, and in some cases $500, which is more than double the 6500 XT's MSRP. For a card of this caliber, paying over twice the MSRP is an all-around bad investment no matter which way you look at it.
For those same prices, you can buy a scalped GTX 1650 Super, or even a GTX 1660 or its Super variant either used or brand-new, which are all higher performing than the RX 6500 XT and won't be plagued by any of its handicaps including its notorious PCIe x4 limitation.
Strangely, most of the AIB partner models are missing from scalper listings. The only cards being scalped are the Gigabyte Gaming OC, with its ridiculously overpowered triple fan WindForce cooler, and the more entry-level PowerColor RX 6500 XT ITX. Models from other brands such as ASRock and Sapphire are completely missing, which is strange considering they are available from Micro Center. I guess scalpers don't shop at MicroCenter?
In any case, this situation demonstrates how incredibly rare the RX 6500 XT is to purchase, despite AMD handicapping the GPU to prevent miners from shopping for it. This is a bizarre circumstance considering the RX 6500 XT should be one of the easiest and cheapest cards to produce, with the design being cut down from its bigger brothers like the RX 6600.
One can argue that the silicon and technology shortages have something to do with the lack of GPU volume, which is probably true. However, the amount of availability we're seeing today appears to be lower than AMD's other RDNA2 cards on launch like the RX 6600 and RX 6600 XT.
However, with news circling that AMD originally planned Navi 24 to be a laptop-exclusive die; it explains why there's barely any availability to be had on launch week. As it seems the RX 6500 XT was a last ditch effort by AMD to get an entry level RDNA2 card to market.