Although AMD has yet to release an official press release, X-bit Labs claims that the company plans to release a Radeon HD 6950 1 GB graphics card for $279 here in the States next month. The card will be AMD's answer to Nvidia's GeForce GTX 560 Ti set to make its debut next week which will also offer a similar price point.
Backing up X-bit's claim, last week another report indicated that Hightech Information System (HIS) would be one of the first manufacturers to launch a Radeon HD 6950 1 GB graphics card. Adding "Fan Edition" to the name, the discreet card will offer a (stock) Cayman GPU clocked at 800 MHz and 5000 MHz GDDR5 memory. It will also come with CrossfireX and Eyefinity support, two DVI ports, one HDMI port, and two mini-DisplayPort connector. The launch date and pricing were not provided, however it was speculated to cost below $300 USD.
Gigebyte and Sapphire have also revealed their cards ahead of schedule (thanks to HIS it seems), however the Gigabyte model codenamed GV-R695OC-1GD will sport an Ultra Durable design (2oz copper PCB, solid capacitors), the three-fan WindForce 3X cooler and a GPU overclocked to 870 MHz. PowerColor and XFX are also lined up to offer their versions when the Radeon HD 6950 1 GB supposedly goes official in mid-February.
Given that we have a couple of weeks before AMD makes the Radeon HD 6950 1 GB card official, the company may decide to lower the pricetag even more. As it stands now, the upcoming 1 GB model will only be $20 cheaper than the 2 GB model already on the market ($299). Although consumers would save a few Hamiltons, would two extra $10 bills in your pocket be worth the performance hit due to halving the memory? Probably not, especially for hi-resolution PC gaming.