For those of you in the market for a new video card, some price relief is on its way. Earlier today AMD sent out an announcement that they’ll be dropping the price on half of the Radeon HD 7000 series lineup, bringing prices down at both the top and bottom ends of their product stack.

With the launch of the GeForce GTX 680 AMD lost their performance lead in the high-end market – and thereby losing their ability to charge top dollar – so this adjustment has been expected. However it’s a pleasant surprise to see it this soon since the GTX 680 is still significantly supply constrained. We weren’t expecting to see this price cut until the GTX 680 supply improved, as AMD is still the only option when it comes to readily available cards.

Altogether AMD will be reducing the prices on 3 of their 7000 series cards: the 7970, the 7950, and the 7770. The 7970 will be dropping by $70 from $549 to $479 – below the GTX 680 – while its lower tier counterpart the 7950 will be dropping $50 from $449 to $399. Meanwhile the 7770, which was undoubtedly the worst priced member of the 7000 series, will be seeing a price drop of $20 to bring it from $159 to $139.

Spring 2012 Radeon HD 7000 Series Price Cuts
Card Old MSRP New MSRP
Radeon HD 7970 $549 $479
Radeon HD 7950 $449 $399
Radeon HD 7870 N/A $349
Radeon HD 7850 N/A $249
Radeon HD 7770 $159 $139
Radeon HD 7750 N/A $109

For the 7900 series the price cuts will be part of a two pronged approach by AMD to drive 7900 series sales. The other change is that AMD will be significantly increasing the amount of software that comes with these cards in what AMD is calling their Three For Free promotion. Currently most major retailers include a free copy of DiRT 3 with their 7900 cards; AMD will be replacing that promo with Three For Free, which will be a trio of games: DiRT Showdown, Nexuiz, and Deus Ex: Human Revolution plus the Explosive Mission Pack DLC.

Update 5/09: Now that the Three For Free promo has gone live, AMD has sent out a correction for the bundle. The Deus Ex portion of bundle will not include the more expansive Missing Link DLC; rather it will include the smalelr Explosive Mission Pack DLC.

Deus Ex was one of AMD’s major partner games from last year, while DiRT Showdown and Nexuiz are games that will not be released until next month. The inclusion of unreleased games is a bit odd, but considering that we’re just getting out of the post-Christmas game slump AMD’s options were either this or to include more 2011 games that many potential customers may already have. In any case, as with past AMD promotions these games will be given away via Steam keys.

Spring 2012 GPU Pricing Comparison
AMD Price NVIDIA
  $499 GeForce GTX 680
Radeon HD 7970 $479  
Radeon HD 7950 $399 GeForce GTX 580
Radeon HD 7870 $349  
  $299 GeForce GTX 570
Radeon HD 7850 $249  
  $199 GeForce GTX 560 Ti
  $169 GeForce GTX 560
Radeon HD 7770 $139  

Ultimately AMD has done enough to make the 7900 series once again competitive against the GTX 680, though how competitive is going to depend on how much you value AMD’s game bundle. A larger price cut would be a more straightforward value proposition, but AMD is better off adding value through the inclusion of games than further eroding their margins. Meanwhile the 7770’s new price is a welcome relief from its poor launch pricing, and while it’s still as expensive as the faster 6850 it’s no longer indefensibly overpriced for buyers looking to get a 28nm card. The only real odd man out here is the 7800 series; the 7850 is fine, however at $350 the 7870 is very close to the 7950, which could be bad news for one of those cards.

Wrapping things up, the price cut should be starting today while the Three For Free promo should be starting sometime in the next two weeks. We’re already seeing the prices come down on some Radeon cards with the rest soon to follow. But with the promo not starting for a couple more weeks, you may want to hold off on any 7900 purchases until it starts.

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  • chizow - Monday, April 23, 2012 - link

    No, I didn't feel the need to list them because they are easily referenced in myriad launch reviews.

    If you need a training-wheel cliff notes summaries, check the performance rating summaries at a site like computerbase.de or techpowerup.com.

    But anyone who paid attention or experienced those launches (like myself) wouldn't bother arguing this well known fact. Past generational increases offered AT LEAST +50% perf improvement over the previous gen and generally matched or eclipsed the previous X2 version as well.

    Unavailable in the month after launch means little given every other launch of this type of high-end product was similar, including the 7970 which was a terrible valuable even when it launched.

    We'll see how availability changes in its 2nd month, especially now that the 7970/7950 has dropped in price with news of Nvidia planning to release cheaper Kepler parts (660/670Ti) soon.
    Reply
  • zanon - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    $300? The hell? By Anand's own reviews, the 7970 flat out wins against the 680 in games like Crysis and in GPGPU compute applications (and yes, the latter does matter to many of us), is very competitive in others (like Metro), and at least competitive in most of the rest. It also over clocks very, very impressively, in both memory and core, while the 680 can over clock core but has effectively no memory headroom at all.

    The 680 is impressive and definitely has the crown for gaming overall, but unlike in the past it was not a clean sweep, 100% domination by any means. Where it mattered it's just reasonably solid, and it undercut AMD on price. The 7970 did need a price drop, but I honestly don't get the amount of hyperbole and hate around the 7970. It doesn't seem justified by the benchmarks, and now that the price is down both look great for different purposes.

    If anything, it's really exciting just how close they both are this time around. Competition seems alive and well in the GPU market at least, and that's awesome for us all.
    Reply
  • eddman - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    "By Anand's own reviews, the 7970 flat out wins against the 680 in games like Crysis and in GPGPU compute applications (and yes, the latter does matter to many of us),"

    Flat out winning in an old game, with an engine that isn't going to be used in any new game.

    "is very competitive in others (like Metro)"

    Metro is the only AAA game that 7970 wins handily, and that rubbish alien vs. predator game.

    "and at least competitive in most of the rest."

    Losing in almost all the rest isn't exactly competitive, considering that it was more expensive. Now, with the new price, it is.

    "It also over clocks very, very impressively, in both memory and core, while the 680 can over clock core but has effectively no memory headroom at all."

    That's very true but how many buyers over-clock their cards. Most won't go there, knowing that it'd void their warranty.
    Reply
  • eddman - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    Just to add that I'm not agreeing with Wreckage about the 300$ price point. 480$ is a fair price. Reply
  • zanon - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    Losing in almost all the rest isn't exactly competitive, considering that it was more expensive. Now, with the new price, it is.

    I did say it needed a price cut, but it's competitive in that it's within the 10% range or so on a lot of the stuff that actually matters, ie., where stuff isn't already plenty fast. To give an example of what I mean, it lost in Portal 2 by a fair amount (17%), but that "loss" still meant over 130 fps at 2560, which means it doesn't matter at all as far as I'm concerned because that's uselessly high already. I'm only really interested in games, even if they're older engines, that are actually still constrained.

    Again, not that the 680 isn't generally faster in gaming, and it's what I plan to get right now, but I don't think it was by nearly enough to justify the level of antipathy towards the 7970 I've been seeing. Stuff like "oh it's clearly a $300 midrange card" is completely ludicrous.

    That's very true but how many buyers over-clock their cards. Most won't go there, knowing that it'd void their warranty.

    I'm positive you're right in the general market, but $400+ cards are definitely not the general market. It's probably still not the majority by any means, but I suspect there is a LOT higher percentage of people who tweak their cards and systems at this sort of performance/price range, so in turn I think it's fair to give it at least some consideration.
    Reply
  • raghu78 - Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - link

    "Losing in almost all the rest isn't exactly competitive, considering that it was more expensive. Now, with the new price, it is."

    Have you even read the HD 7970 OC articles at all these websites. The OC on stock voltage is simple. Max out your core clock , memory and power sliders in CCC. People who spend USD 500 are going to play around with OC and settle at max stable settings. Have you checked a wide range of games before telling GTX 680 is better. Crysis , Crysis Warhead, Crysis 2, Metro 2033, Alan Wake, Deus Ex, Civilization V, Witcher 2, Stalker Call of Pripyat, Serious Sam 3 BFE all run better on HD 7970 when both cards are OC'd. Elder Scrolls skyrim, Dirt 3 at max settings is pretty close with both cards OC'd. Battlefield 3 also runs slightly faster on HD 7970 esp at 2560 x 1600 Ultra 4X MSAA when both cards are OC'd. Look at hardocp sapphire radeon HD 7970 Dual X review. The games which run faster on GTX 680 are Batman Arkham city, Just cause 2, Lost Planet 2, Shogun 2 Total War. So stick to facts . And don't post lies.
    Reply
  • eddman - Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - link

    I was comparing the two at their base clocks, which is what most buyers are interested in, and there 680 wins handily.
    OCing might be simple, in theory, but still normal buyers don't do it.
    Reply
  • raghu78 - Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - link

    People who spend USD 500 are not normal buyers. They are enthusiast gamers. The majority of the add-in board market sales happen below USD 300. The USD 500+ price point is for flagship cards which mean a lot for branding and performance leadership. When you compare flagship cards your logic of stock speeds is not going to hold. People look at OC headroom, perf scaling , thermals and acoustics when OC'd. At stock voltage HD 7970 does well to hit 1.1 Ghz+ speeds with not much increase in heat/noise. So your comparisons don't have any meaning. Now with the price cuts on HD 7970 the deal is even better. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Wednesday, April 18, 2012 - link

    Oh what hogwash. Nothing runs better on the 7970. Reply
  • raghu78 - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    Keep dreaming. I expect a HD 7970 respin (7980 maybe) at higher stock speeds in Q2. Dave Baumann at AMD hints at such a card

    Also people who think GTX 680 wins over HD 7970 are forgetting that OC'd at stock voltage HD 7970 does 1.1 to 1.15 Ghz. At those speeds the HD 7970 wins more games and loses only a few. With extra voltage HD 7970 does 1.25+ Ghz . Custom designs like Sapphire HD 7970 DUAL X have been reviewed and have hit such speeds. The situation gets even more favourable at 2560 X 1600 and 5760 X 1080. Also people are forgetting the HD 7970's superior compute performance and memory bandwidth ( eg : better performance in demanding compute shaders like Metro 2033 with DOF which are bandwidth hungry) will prove useful when u look at games in 2012 and 2013 .
    Reply

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