AMD Partners Debate Radeon HD 4870 Price

Although ATI reduced the price of its Radeon HD 4870 last week to better compete with Nvidia's GTS 250 rebranding, apparently ATI's partners don't think the price reduction is such a good idea.

Last week we reported that AMD planned to slash the pricing of its Radeon D 4800 series. The initial hacking would begin with the Radeon HD 4870 512 MB cards, taking a $50 hit in price reduction, thus now costing consumers $149 USD. Additionally, the Radeon HD 4850 512 MB would also take a cut in price, with a new discounted tag of $129 USD and offering consumers great performance for little money. However, the reduced prices wouldn't come in the form of an immediate discount, but rather through mail-in rebates.

But according to DailyTech, many AMD partners took to the new 4850 pricing but ultimately rejected the new 4870 pricing. Why? Because they feel that the 4870 outperforms Nvidia's equally priced GTX 260 and should directly compete with the card rather than the GTS 250. On a technical level, AMD's Radeon HD 4870 offers better hardware including 800 stream processors, a core clocking at 750 MHz, a memory clock of 900 MHz using GDDR5, and a 256-bit memory bus. Nvidia's GTX 260, on the other hand, offers 216 stream processors, a core clock of 576 MHz, a memory clock of 999 MHz and a 448-bit memory bus.

With that said, AMD partners insist that the 1 GB version of ATI's Radeon HD 4850 compete against the 1 GB version of Nvidia's GTS 250 at the $149 price point. "The AMD lineup is very strong, and we feel the 4850 should go against the GTS 250 and the 4870 against the GTX 260," an unnamed Taiwanese source told DailyTech.

So what should be the set price for AMD's Radeon HD 4870? Currently ATI partners have not revealed a suggested price point, and thus far, AMD is still sticking by its original reduced price of $149 after the mail-in rebate. Perhaps ATI will lower the 4850 price tag even more, giving Nvidia's GTS 250 as run for its money.

  • roorunner
    with the way the economy is going worldwide, this is a good idea to generate (i.e. separate us from our hard earned cash)money besides offering competition. Hopefully the cards will go down even more.
  • raider37
    If AMD wants to provide more value to its customers, they should do that! The 4870 is one hell of a card, and people who actually bother buying the GTX260 for more money are wasting it. The best option would be to pick up a 4870 now and then crossfire it as soon as money is available. Crossfire scales way better than SLI anyway. Go AMD! Nvidia, step up ure game and stop re-branding old inventory to make money.

    I'm also quite shocked at how useless Nvidia Physx is, just seeing the amount (or lack thereof), of effects in Mirror's edge with Physx enabled, leads me to believe that having one platform for graphics and physics processing (while excellent) doesnt make sense with today's hardware. Games are becoming more graphically intensive, the GPU doesnt need anymore tasks to handle than it already has. A couple of graphics cloth pieces here, a few flags there and thats it?? I bet havock physics could do that without causing performance problems, like Physx does.
  • etrnl_frost
    Despite the written differences posted above in the clock speeds, processors, etc. the 4870 really does seem more of a match to the 260. While the 4870's core clock seems to perform better, in real world texture and pixel output, the GTX 260 (55nm) is significantly better. As long as you're not burdening the nVidia card with PhysX at the same time, I would say that it would be better than the 4870.

    That being said, seeing that the 4850 competed with the venerable 8800 GTX, what's the problem with ATI's lineup matching so?
  • cerulean
    This is precisely why we need AMD to pull through in their battle with Intel. (No fanboyism implied)
  • 68vistacruiser
    So ATI's partners are into price fixing?
  • scrumhalf
    raider37...Crossfire scales way better than SLI anyway....Where'd you come up with that? In the majority of benchmarks, 2xGTX260s in SLI top 2 4870's (1GB) in CF as seen here. It varies game to game, resolution, options, etc., and 4870 in CF does top the GTX260 SLI in a few, but certainly does not outright win, nor can you deem it to 'scale better'. You can prefer which ever company you choose, but keep opinions out of objective statements, or back them up with hard data.

    As far as PhysX, it's a tossup, it has the ability to do some pretty impressive things, and so does Havok. My personal opinion is that a Physics standard API should be agreed upon and incorporated into DirectX (which has been rumored before). This will level the playing field there, and ensure widespread adoption by developers.

    In regard to CUDA vs. Stream, I don't know of many Stream apps. Video encoding benefits from Badaboom were the biggest draw to CUDA for me. Until Stream has competition there, it's just not as useful.
  • NuclearShadow
    I can understand why they are hesitant to price cuts and the very thought of losing any amount of profits if frightening in these times. However a price cut to the 4870 could increase the sales and make up for the loss of profits. Also if this could take some sales away from Nvidia then even better for them. I'm sure I'm not alone when it comes to buying what gives me the best bang for the buck.
  • FUtomNOreg
    I HATE having to use up all my ammo just to take down the laundry.
  • hellwig
    68vistacruiserSo ATI's partners are into price fixing?Sounds like it to me. I know MSRP is a tool used by manufacturers to keep resale prices up, but rarely does a distributer charge even more (exceptions being convenience stores, airports, etc... where you have no other options).
  • gm0n3y
    Pricing the 4850 and 4870 within $20 seems like a mistake to me. The 4850 price is fine, but the 4870 should be closer to $169. Regardless, I loathe MIRs so I don't consider this a real price drop anyways. I'm still waiting for my MIR cheque from my 4850 purchase last November.