Asus Germany has revealed just how much its boards based on AMD's recently-announced RX 6500 XT GPUs are going to cost for end-users. European consumers hoping to acquire a budget graphics card have to face an MSRP set at ~$338 (€299) - a 70% increase in the sticker price even before the first cards hit hardware stores.
Asus revealed the MSRP for two of its upcoming RX 6500 XT graphics cards: the Asus Dual Radeon RX 6500 XT appears to be the entry-level offering, and has been set at the €299 level. If you're looking for a card that offers some additional features - such as dual BIOS, higher clocks, and a better choice of internal components - then the Asus RX 6500 XT TUF could be the card for you. However, that card has been priced even higher; Asus' MSRP is set at €334 (~$374), or 87% above AMD's official MSRP.
Being an official Asus pricing guideline, this doesn't bode well for the general pricing of the RX 6500 XT - AMD's other board partners are unlikely to set their pricing much lower when one manufacturer is increasing its margins by this much. Asus is certainly setting its prices higher than MSRP to pre-emptively adjust to the pent-up demand arising from more than a year of supply-constrained GPU products targeted by scalpers.
It's unclear exactly how and why Asus has arrived at this particular pricing for the RX 6500 XT. As we've previously covered, the RX 6500 XT is a card that has seemingly been made with an eye on cost-cutting. Even if it uses the most advanced manufacturing process of any current AMD graphics card, TSMC's 6nm, its 64-bit bus, 4 GB of VRAM and the PCIe 4.0 x4 interface speak volumes about AMD's design decisions. And if the general narrative is that cryptocurrency miners are the most significant source of demand for graphics cards, AMD's design decision of limiting VRAM to 4 GB places the card in "unmineable" territory - at least for the most popular GPU mining workloads.
The quoted MSRP does, however, put the RX 6500 XT in a bad spot compared to the competition - particularly Nvidia's RTX 3050 graphics card, with its $269 MSRP. Of course, Nvidia's pricing (and that of its board partners) is also more of a statement of faith than reality. This does however mean that users looking to get a new-gen graphics card will face increased prices wherever they look. If the 4 GB, PCie 4.0 x4, 64-bit bus RX 6500 XT and its 6 nm, 141 mm² die is being sold at 70% above its $199 MSRP, we can only wait in horror to discover what pricing manufacturers find adequate for the 8 GB, PCIe 4.0 x16, 128-bit bus and 276 mm² die of the desktop RTX 3050.