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Getting an Nvidia GeForce RTX 30 series or AMD Radeon RX 6000 series graphics card for $120 sounds like a scam, but it was briefly possible — at least in theory. The cards, alongside many other much less expensive models, were found inside mystery boxes that were up for sale on Amazon Japan.
The mystery boxes sold out in record time, proving just how desperate many users are for a decent graphics card. The question is: Were the mystery boxes a great deal or a smart way for the seller to make money at a time when GPUs are so hard to come by?
According to the now sold-out listing on Amazon.co.jp, the mystery boxes were priced at around 14,000 Japanese yen which translates to around $120. The seller described the contents of the box, promising that each would contain a graphics card, with a slim chance of winning the jackpot and getting one of the best graphics cards on the market.
The cards found inside the mystery boxes weren’t all new. The seller stated that refurbished and used cards were also included alongside the all-new RTX 30 series or Radeon 6000 series GPUs.
It’s clear that the chance of scoring a graphics card in the rough times of the ongoing GPU shortage was enough to make people jump on the gamble, but the odds of making a profit were not all that high. In that, the seller was very transparent: They provided a full summary of the cards that could be found in the box alongside the odds of getting each kind of card.
According to the seller, the mystery box had a 16% chance of containing an Nvidia GeForce GTX 900 series or Radeon RX 300 series GPU. The odds get lower as the cards get better: An 8% chance of scoring a GTX 10 series or RX 500 series card, a 4% chance of getting an RTX 20 series or RX 5000 series card, and finally, a 2% chance of winning one of the latest RTX 30 series or RX 6000 graphics cards. The remaining 70% was made up of older, presumably much cheaper cards.
Image source: Amazon
Considering the current GPU prices, there was around a 30% chance of making a profit if…