First Geforce 7950 GX2 cards set $600 entry mark

Santa Clara (CA) - With street prices for last week's top-of-the-line Nvidia GeForce 7900 GTX card averaging around $375, system builders and consumers alike are wondering, what's the benchmark now in terms of price as set by the 7950 GX2, released today for what the company touts as immediate availability? The early word is, prices for the first consumer renditions of the GX2 start at just under $600, with accelerated units at as high as $775.

In Internet price checks this morning, XFX's 500 MHz core clock speed model was selling for as "low" as $645, with its 520 MHz model at $664. BFG's rendition has been selling for between $620 and $715, though it's unclear how fast these models have been clocked. One retailer lists its BFG model's clock speed as "xxx MHz (vs. 500 MHz standard)." Meanwhile, early statistics posted this morning on BFG Technologies' Web site stated its model's core clock speed was 500 MHz.

Availability of these first models appears to be mostly limited at Internet retailers, with the $600-700 models having sold out or been placed on back order, though some units appear available at the $700+ price range.

Information we received from XFX this afternoon did not list core clock speeds. So the 500 MHz figure quoted by Nvidia is evidently a reference speed - a kind of volume knob which vendors are turning up as their "added value." But vendors' model numbers may not differ even if they sell units at differing speeds, as does XFX. As a result, buyers may need to be cautious and ask their retailers by voice before making investments.

Taiwanese Manufacturers Sparkle Computer and Albatron have both unveiled 7950 GTX models in time for Computex, though it's unclear how soon these cards will be available - if at all - in North America, nor how much they may cost.

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