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Radeon Forces Nvidia GTX2XX Price Cuts

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 91 comments

Mountain House (CA) - It appears that AMD’s ATI Radeon 4800 GPU has turned out to be a much better chip than initially expected and AMD’s aggressive pricing puts enough pressure on Nvidia to prompt the company to react. If you are planning on purchasing a GTX 260 or 280 card, you may want to delay until next Monday. Price cuts are on the way.

Over the past several days we have spent some time with several Nvidia’s partners in the Silicon Valley and in Taiwan, which made it obvious that there are tensions between GPU manufacturers and add-in board companies. A raging price has put five companies on the verge of bankruptcy. We cannot disclose who almost kicked the bucket, but we were told that three vendors are still walking on very thin ice.

With the debut of GeForce GTX 200 series, Nvidia made some adjustments protecting its partners with greater margins, but the ATI Radeon 4800 series is changing that scenario again. AMD has received praise from the press for its ATI Radeon 4800 series, causing Nvidia partners to demand price adjustments. We were told that Nvidia finally stepped down from its pedestal and agreed to offer limited price protection for some products as well as price cuts.

Radeon-HD4850 Geforce-9800-GTX+ GTX-260 GTX-280 Grafikkarten

We contacted Nvidia to get more details on this information and were provided with the following statement by Bryan Del Rizzo and Ken Brown, spokespeople for Nvidia:

"We’re working with our partners on adjusting the prices for the GTX 280 and 260. The changes are being implemented over the next few days and will take effect sometime next week. Please obtain final retail pricing from the partners, because they set them for their products."

The third sentence has to be taken with a grain of salt, as most partners complained to us about Nvidia’s Unilateral Minimum Advertised Price Policy, short UMAP, and the way it affects them. For the consumer, however, we have yet another example how well competition works. The race between the Radeon 4800 series and GTX 200 will ultimately drag prices down.

According to our sources, Nvidia cut the price of the GTX 280 by $90 and $30 for the GTX 260. Of course, that is a price cut Nvidia is handing down to its partners and does not reflect retail prices.

GeForce GTX 260 cards currently sell for $379.99 on Newegg ($399.99 minus $20 instant rebate on XFX, BFG and PNY cards), while GTX 280 cards sell for $619.99 ($649.99 minus $30 for the XFX board).

After Nvidia’s adjustment, we should see Monday prices going down to $359.99 for GTX 260 cards and to $559.99 for GTX 280 cards. Please note that we are not including the possibility for additional rebates that may be offered.

It appears that we might end up with permanent price brackets at $199, $299, $399 and $499. This would greatly simplify the search for the best possible graphics card at a certain point. Also, this opens the battlefield between single and multi-GPU setups: Could two boards for $199 provide more value than a single $399 or $499 card?

We are sure to find out soon.

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  • 1 Hide
    maximiza , July 3, 2008 6:44 PM
    But there are still not Dx10.1
  • 9 Hide
    neodude007 , July 3, 2008 6:49 PM
    Funny how they are still at least $50 too high for 260 cards that get beat up by the cheaper 4870...lawl
  • 3 Hide
    hannibal , July 3, 2008 7:19 PM
    These are guite huge drops, considering the size of g200 chip. I don't expect much more drops until 55nm versions comes out.

  • 2 Hide
    mihirkula , July 3, 2008 7:21 PM
    yaaawwwnn another ham-fisted desperate attempt from Nvidia.... it would be hilarious if the $499 4870X2 beats the cut priced $550 GTX280 :p 
  • 5 Hide
    doomsdaydave11 , July 3, 2008 7:37 PM
    yawn indeed. Nvidia is not going to get my money on this one, $300 HD 4870 ftw! :) 

    Thank you green team for keeping pricing relatively competative, hopefully this results in a slight ATI price drop.
  • 3 Hide
    joetheone , July 3, 2008 8:36 PM
    My question is how much can Nvidia really afford to cut the price on their GTX 200 series. The things must be expensive as heck to make with their huge die size and 512-bit bus...
  • 0 Hide
    mf_fm , July 3, 2008 9:09 PM
    ATi FTW

    Thou shall not be ANY graphic priced over $250
  • 1 Hide
    Titanius , July 3, 2008 9:42 PM
    @mf_fm: Except the 4870 X2 which probably will be, but for obvious reasons.
  • 2 Hide
    master9716 , July 3, 2008 11:12 PM
    Well the question is when will we see the next branch of games.Games these days take years and years to develope wich means that things might slow down soon. If I had known that 5 months later the 8800gt would cost $170. I would have bought an Sli motherboard dam!! to bad P35 mobos ruled back then .Ill wait till the 790i drops or ECS makes one
  • 2 Hide
    frozenlead , July 3, 2008 11:16 PM
    Who cares?
    When was the last time we saw a top of the line card for $300??????
  • 2 Hide
    randomizer , July 4, 2008 12:38 AM
    It needs to be cheaper, but it can't be.
  • 2 Hide
    cal8949 , July 4, 2008 12:40 AM
    lol im sure ati has enough room to drop the 4850's to 150 and the 4870 to $250. nvidia lost this one
  • -8 Hide
    roofus , July 4, 2008 1:09 AM
    Yea they lost the battle of mediocrity. gg ATI. I dont understand the excitement unless your happy you can get the Nvidia cards cheaper. That excites me because I thought it would be a while longer before I could afford the 2XX series.
    Those 4800 series do look red hot compared to the older architecture but I guess the idea was to catch up with the 8800's and appeal to the thinner wallets.
  • 2 Hide
    bash007 , July 4, 2008 2:00 AM
    Why would you waste your money on a GTX 200 card (putting your obvious fanboyism aside)?
    GTX 260 is beaten by a much cheaper HD 4870, and GTX 280 performance can easily be exceeded with two of them.

    Nvidia does not have the upper hand this round, bud. Live with it.
  • 0 Hide
    thomasxstewart , July 4, 2008 2:02 AM
    two equal cardS will always beat one card until all lanes are filled, which is i.deaL. Once lanes are filled by one card, then its question of which can do best with that. All lanes means 32 at this time or 2-16X. However, NO 32X slot exists at this point, so it will be some time before anyone can compare. We know 4 isn't better than 3, 3 barely better than 2, 2 50% better than 1. yet take guts of 2 equal cards on one card & it would be better yet. However, with NO Super slot to move to, how fast can one 16X card & SLOT go? if slot at TOP, will second do any good. if NOT ,then lot of sli/CrossfireX hybrid is being Intel scam entire time. yet world has moved up(3d numbers) by factor of 8X in
    meantime,2005-. So Go Figure. It could be BIG NO brainer, with companies refusing to 32X.

    Signed:p HYSICIAN THOMAS STEWART VON DRASHEK M.D.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , July 4, 2008 2:05 AM
    yes ATI back in the game it took them long enough. and ATI's cards are DX10.1 and its finally taken long enough for ATI to have one of the most decent cards since th 9600-9800 era. i like these price cuts too cause that means these cards are gettin cheaper but im stickin with ATI. I think the dual chips on one card works better since it has a an inigrated bridge for the two instead of the crossfire bridge for two seperate cards but who cares GG ATI!!
  • 0 Hide
    BallistaMan , July 4, 2008 2:43 AM
    If the 280 could go a little bit lower (like ~$510), then I'd be willing to at least consider it. Otherwise it looks like ATI wins the price war. I'm still going to hold off on a new card until the 9900s/4870x2 are out though. My G80 8800GTS is still holding out fine, so I can afford to wait and see how things go after the initial surge.

    As selfish as it sounds to say it, the more both companies have to drop their prices, the better it gets for me. :D 
  • 0 Hide
    saturn77 , July 4, 2008 3:02 AM
    Nvidia isn't using 55nm yet? LOL!
  • -4 Hide
    roofus , July 4, 2008 3:10 AM
    saturn77Nvidia isn't using 55nm yet? LOL!

    AMD isnt using 45nm yet? LOL!
  • 1 Hide
    randomizer , July 4, 2008 3:10 AM
    saturn77Nvidia isn't using 55nm yet? LOL!

    They've been one gen behind for years dude.
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