What just happened? In a scenario few of us expected to see for a very long time, a modern graphics card is selling for substantially less than the manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP). There are a couple of caveats—it's the much-maligned Radeon RX 6500 XT, and it is selling in Germany—but the fact it is 35% less than MSRP is yet another recent sign that the protracted GPU crisis could finally be starting to alleviate.

As spotted by Tom's Hardware, German retail giant Mindfactory has a PowerColor AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT listed for €169 including VAT (at the time of writing), 35% less than its usual €229 MSRP. That new price converts directly to $189, and once Germany's 19% sales tax is removed, the figure drops to $159. There's also a dual-fan Fighter model for ten euros more.

A quick look on Newegg shows two AMD Radeon 6500 XT cards for sale: a $253 XFX model and a $224 Asrock card, both of them above the $200 MSRP. If Mindfactory's discount was applied to the US MSRP, the RDNA 2 product would be selling for around $130.

Mindfactory actually started selling the Radeon RX 6500 XT beneath MSRP over three weeks ago, but it has since lowered the previous €199 price down to €169.

  Radeon RX 580 Radeon RX 5500 XT Radeon RX 6500 XT Radeon RX 6600 Radeon RX 6600 XT
Price (MSRP) $200 / $230 $170 / $200 $200 $330 $380
Release Date April 18, 2017 Dec 12, 2019 Jan 19, 2022 Oct 13, 2021 Aug 11, 2021
Core Configuration 2304 / 144 / 32 1408 / 88 / 32 1024 / 64 / 32 1792 / 112 / 64 2048 / 128 / 64
Die Size 232 mm2 158 mm2 107 mm2 237 mm2
Core / Boost Clock 1257 / 1340 MHz 1717 / 1845 MHz 2610 / 2815 MHz 1626 / 2491 MHz 1968 / 2589 MHz
Memory Type GDDR5 GDDR6
Memory Data Rate 8 Gbps 14 Gbps 18 Gbps 14 Gbps 16 Gbps
Memory Bus Width 256-bit 128-bit 64-bit 128-bit
Memory Bandwidth 256 GB/s 224 GB/s 144 GB/s 224 GB/s 256 GB/s
VRAM Capacity 4GB / 8GB 4GB 8GB
TBP 185 watts 130 watts 107 watts 132 watts 160 watts

While the GPU market in Germany can reflect current or upcoming trends, the big caveat here concerns the card in question. We hated the Radeon RX 6500 XT—our own Steve Walton called it the worst GPU release he could remember. Its PCIe x4 limitation, 4GB of VRAM, and lack of hardware encoding helped it to an abysmal score of just 20, explaining why it alone under MSRP.

However, there has been a slew of reports recently indicating that the chip shortage-induced graphics card crisis has turned a corner: cards recently hit their lowest prices in Germany since the start of 2021, Nvidia's and AMD's AIB partners are running promotions on their GPUs, and shipments increased in the fourth quarter of last year. All of which suggest obscene prices and low availability could be coming to an end, reducing the need for people to steal them from warehouses.