Business, Graphics, Hardware

ATI set to redefine the mainstream market next week

When AMD planned the pricing structure of its 5000 series, the company planned to see ATI Radeon HD 5850 being originally priced at $299 and 5870 taking the $399. Radeon 5870 Eyefinity Edition with 2GB of memory would follow at $499, while dual-GPU Radeon HD 5850X2 would cost approximately the same. ATI Radeon HD 5870X2, top-of-all tops as far as 5800 series is considered – was planned at $599 bracket.

However, when AMD launched the ATI Radeon HD 5800 series, 5850 was moved down to $259.99, while HD 5870 was moved down to $389.99, with some manufacturers even going down to $379.99 range. So, a 20-40 dollar discount from originally planned prices. After talking with several AMD people, we were told that with Evergreen series, AMD will show responsibility towards the present state of economy and get customers "as far as affordable [pricing] as possible."

Radeon HD 5700 series will debut next week, on October 13, 2009 and yes, AMD will do the same thing with the 5700 series. First of all, there will be three 5700 boards, not two.

  • ATI Radeon HD 5750 512MB GDDR5
  • ATI Radeon HD 5750 1GB GDDR5
  • ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB GDDR5

The pricing is as follows; 5750 512MB will see the light of day at the same price point Radeon HD 4770 took six months ago – $109.99. We have no doubt there will be a $99.99 and $104.99 cards coming out of Taiwan and mainland China as well. The second card, Radeon HD 5750 1GB will retail for anywhere between $119.99 and $129.99, meaning the only difference will be those 20 bucks for additional 512MB of GDDR5 memory.

ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB looks like a reduced-size 5870, carrying almost an identical cooler as the 5800 series. The board will retail for $149.99 to $159.99.

All three cards are near identical, featuring a single DisplayPort and a single HDMI, with two dual-link DVI connectors. In order to cut down prices and enable Eyefinity technology, AMD decided that the backside of the board will offer identical connectivity on Radeon HD 5700 and HD 5800 series, bringing the cost of connectors down to bare minimum.

In a nutshell, AMD destroyed the old conventional wisdom called $150 and $200, bringing the $199 part to mere $159, i.e. a really good 40 dollar discount. The $149 pricing bracket got cut to $129.99 and we already got a preview of retail prices by several board vendors. All in all, it looks like AMD is very happy with TSMC and the achieved 40nm yields, and the shipping of 5800 series boards is now being brought up as expected. The identical cadence will ensue with the 5700 series, with first batch of boards being a little bit limited, second week will see a better number of units shipped and third and fourth week will be ramped up to a decent volume.

Bear in mind that unlike Radeon HD 5800 series that has a potential market of 3 million buyers world-wide, Radeon HD 5700 series guns down for around 60 million potential customers in 2010. We won’t even go into Radeon HD 5400 series.