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Thursday, 22 December 2011 21:24

AMD Radeon HD 7970 justifies $549 price tag

Written by Slobodan Simic

radeon logo_new

Pricey, but...


AMD has decided to launch its newest Radeon HD 7970 flagship graphics card with a US $549.99 price tag and we already wrote about this price early this month. If you consider the performance of the HD 7970 than a US $550 price tag seems reasonable as the card outperforms the competition and claims the highest performing single-GPU card crown.

Early this month, one of our trusted sources whispered to us the US $549.99 price tag and although it did make sense, considering the rumoured performance, lack of competition, we honestly expected AMD to prove us wrong. I think we, and most of the consumers for that matter, simply got used to the fact that AMD was somehow always giving a bit more for the money and trying to beat Nvidia by launching at somewhat lower prices and delivering as much bang for buck as possible.

Nvidia wasn't far off with performance/price with some of its own cards but AMD was always sort of better in that segment (HD 6950, HD 6850, HD 5850), while Nvidia was more of a "performance no matter the cost" company. Some might agree and some might not with the previous comparison, but that's just the way things go as some will always prefer one company and their products over the other.

Let's get back to the matter at hand and the interesting US $549.99 price tag. AMD is targeting Nvidia's GTX 580 with this card and has priced it accordingly. Some might argue that it should be compared against the GTX 580 3GB version but we were having a hard time to find a single review that had the HD 7970 pitted against the GTX 580 3GB version, and we don't even want to start talking about how well did GTX 580 3GB performed when compared to standard 1.5GB version, so we'll stick to the standard GTX 580.

The GTX 580 is currently priced at around US $500 in the US and around €400 in Europe, while the HD 7970 is priced at US $549.99 (hopefully if retailers/e-tailers don't jack up the price). In Europe, it should retail/e-tail at below €500. Strangely, we still haven't heard the exact EU price for the HD 7970 except for those few early listings that were simply insanely priced. In the best case scenario the HD 7970 should end up at around €420 (if you simply convert the currency) but that is never the case since Europe always gets worse deal.

Unfortunately, the time where AMD was pushing for best bang for buck is over and honestly we can't blame AMD, as Nvidia is late to the game. There is no competition, and they have the fastest single-GPU, so basically Nvidia takes the blame. The HD 7970 is simply an enthusiast card meant for high resolution/multi-display gaming and you get a lower consumption and better compute power as an extra. Those that were hoping for a US $449 or even US $399 card should wait for mid-February, AMD's HD 7800 series or even the HD 7950 that could end up pretty good considering the performance of the HD 7970.

Of course, there is always the good old HD 6970 that currently sells for around US $340 in the USA and around €280 in Europe, but that won't last for long as that one will probably disappear from the market soon. We've been hearing that some partners have already stopped ordering them.

We have already heard rumours that GTX 580 might not stay at US $500 and a price cut seems like a logical move for Nvidia. Back when HD 7970 US $549.99 price was rumoured we already heard that the card could be cheaper so it might mean that AMD has a bit more room for slight price adjustment if Nvidia makes the move.

In any case, it all depends on what are you after, a top-class, best performing single-GPU enthusiast graphics card for some high-resolution/multi-display gaming, a best bang for buck card, or a budget/cheaper solution that can push all your games at 1080p.

Last modified on Friday, 23 December 2011 10:20
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Comments  

 
+8 #1 The_Countess 2011-12-23 10:54
Quote:
In the best case scenario the HD 7970 should end up at around €420 (if you simply convert the currency) but that is never the case since Europe always gets worse deal.


EU prices ALWAYS include VAT, US prices are always excluding VAT.
so take that 420, add 19%(a reasonable adverage for europe i believe) and you get 499,8 euro. and that will be about what it will cost in the shops if you shop around a bit.
 
 
+5 #2 nt300 2011-12-23 11:14
Like another poster stated in TPU forums, this was a calculated move by AMD in which the price of the HD 6970 will not have to be reduced because, compared to the high $550 HD 7970, the HD 6970 becomes an automatic sweat spot for gamers with its original un-touched price tag. Very sneaky on AMDs part IMO.

Now AMD gives you the ilusion that the HD 6970 is real cheap vs. the now more expensive HD 7970.

A fair price for this new HD 7970 in my opinion is $450usd, not $550usd. Now it's up to supply and demand, and there is already great demand for the new card regardless of price. I can now see e-tail and re-tail shops selling the HD 7970 upwards of $600+ for the first few weeks. :eek:
 
 
+2 #3 Super XP 2011-12-23 11:49
Yes it was me at TechPowerUp and on this site :-)
 
 
+7 #4 nele 2011-12-23 12:38
AMD probably has enough room to reduce the price to $500, maybe even beyond that... But why would it?

It has the lead and it will maintain it for a few months, so it can charge a premium. The same way Nvidia didn't have to cut 8800 pricing a few years back, when AMD didn't have a really competitive GPU... AMD would only hurt its own 69xx sales if it did so.

Even if Nvidia goes for a GTX 580 price cut, or if Kepler turns out to be faster, AMD will be able to match its pricing.
 
 
+4 #5 Alterecho 2011-12-23 13:45
Quote:
we were having a hard time to find a single review that had the HD 7970 pitted against the GTX 580 3GB version

Here you go:
http://hothardware.com/Reviews/AMD-Radeon-HD-7970-28nm-Tahiti-GPU-Review/?page=1

http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-reviews/49646-amd-radeon-hd-7970-3gb-review.html

Also the card seems to perform really good over at overclockers.com:
http://www.overclockers.com/amd-radeon-hd-7970-graphics-card-review/?utm_source=pr
 
 
-3 #6 Jurassic1024 2011-12-23 13:46
Too bad $550 can get you two 6950's which beats the 7970. If you're buying one card (7970), $550 is not a deal at all.
 
 
-3 #7 bardenck 2011-12-23 14:40
Quoting Jurassic1024:
Too bad $550 can get you two 6950's which beats the 7970. If you're buying one card (7970), $550 is not a deal at all.



my 460's are and were always cheaper and better than a 580...this is normal. too bad nvidia will be late to the party though...the 7970 is a failure in my book, only beating previous gen(580) and 40nm by ~ 20%!!! i could understand it if this were still 40nm...being that amd will only have ONE card slightly better than the 580, nvidia can price match all of their current cards to be competitive with the 7950, 7850, etc.
 
 
+1 #8 las 2011-12-23 15:04
Quoting bardenck:
Quoting Jurassic1024:
Too bad $550 can get you two 6950's which beats the 7970. If you're buying one card (7970), $550 is not a deal at all.



my 460's are and were always cheaper and better than a 580...this is normal. too bad nvidia will be late to the party though...the 7970 is a failure in my book, only beating previous gen(580) and 40nm by ~ 20%!!! i could understand it if this were still 40nm...being that amd will only have ONE card slightly better than the 580, nvidia can price match all of their current cards to be competitive with the 7950, 7850, etc.


Well too bad 1GB isnt enough VRAM for most titles today. If you are going to max them that is. So 580 > 460 1GB SLI any day
 
 
+1 #9 eddman 2011-12-23 15:08
Quoting las:
Well too bad 1GB isnt enough VRAM for most titles today.

It is enough, unless you want to play at 2560 x 1600 with 8xAA, or use heavy texture mods.
 
 
+1 #10 bardenck 2011-12-23 15:14
Quoting las:
Quoting bardenck:
Quoting Jurassic1024:
Too bad $550 can get you two 6950's which beats the 7970. If you're buying one card (7970), $550 is not a deal at all.



too bad nvidia will be late to the party though...the 7970 is a failure in my book, only beating previous gen(580) and 40nm by ~ 20%!!! i could understand it if this were still 40nm...being that amd will only have ONE card slightly better than the 580, nvidia can price match all of their current cards to be competitive with the 7950, 7850, etc.


Well too bad 1GB isnt enough VRAM for most titles today. If you are going to max them that is.



well i play BF3 maxxxed, 1920x1080, with an i5 760 oc'ed, granted they are 800mhz.
 

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