The first AMD Radeon RX 6700 partner model has just leaked, as PowerColor reportedly sent out press images of its Radeon RX 6700 Fighter card by mistake.
The graphics card should follow closely behind the Radeon RX 6700 XT, which launched earlier this month, and will likely challenge the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 on performance.
PowerColor’s packaging (via TechPowerUp) gives away the GPU’s video memory as 6GB of GDDR6, half of the RX 6700 XT’s 12GB but equal to that of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti. The Radeon RX 6700’s memory bus, which partly determines how fast the video RAM can operate, also matches the 192-bit figure set by the RX 6700 XT.
However, any excitement over a potentially imminent launch for the RX 6700 must be tempered by reminders that graphics card stock, especially for new models, remains in frustratingly short supply.
The PowerColor Radeon RX 6700 Fighter box also suggests the GPU will target 1440p gaming, so there are plenty of alternatives should it sell out immediately: the RTX 3060 Ti, RTX 3060, RTX 3070 and RX 6700 XT can all handle this resolution. The problem is that for the most part, these cards are already out of stock, and have been for a while.
The main underlying issue appears to be supply shortages owing to slow production, but there are other factors making this shortage worse for ordinary PC gamers. So-called resellers are using bot scripts to instantly buy up graphics cards as soon as they’re restocked, then hawking them on second-hand sites for huge markups — the RX 6700 XT even got scalped before it officially went on sale.
Increased interest in digital currency mining has also taken a toll. Gaming GPUs are effective at mining currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, so cash-rich miners can buy up new cards to build their multi-GPU rigs. Nvidia’s response, to add a mining speed limiter to the RTX 3060, was embarrassingly defeated by the company’s own beta drivers.
As the Radeon RX 6700 is set to cost less than the RX 6700 XT, it’s arguably even more at risk of being bulk-bought by profiteers. We haven’t heard anything about likely reveal or release dates. But when the RX 6700 does launch, your best hope of getting one might lie with the retailers that are regulating who can put money down. Newegg already introduced a lottery system for in-demand products. And in the U.K., Currys launched a similar raffle for the PS5.
While these kinds of systems don’t guarantee you can grab what you want, they’re a lot fairer to first-come-first-served retailers that bots can exploit.