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Old 04-13-2012, 08:43 AM   #1
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Default [kitguru] AMD 7970/7950 price drops incoming

AMD preps price cuts as Two Tribes Go To War

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...
While Intel is pushing hard to increase its graphics grunt with the integrated 4000 series, the stacks we’re referring to belong to nVidia and AMD, with their GeForce and Radeon cards respectively. Just under an hour ago, KitGuru HQ got a call from an insider with some interesting info about a wave of price cuts that AMD is about to execute on.

So, the big question: Which cards are likely to be affected and by how much?

Well first up is the HD 7970. At maximum O/C clocks, it stands toe-to-toe with the GTX680, but overall the 680 is a strong challenge. Looks like AMD will reposition its stack so the 7970 drops by up to $60. Right next to that, we have the Radoen HD 7950 looking to drop by around $55.


The last adjustment in the stack, for now, seems to be the Radeon HD 7770, which we’re hearing will drop by a little less than $15.

Of course, things could change over the next week or two, but – right now – we’re hearing that these price drops are about to filter through to board partners and should be with distribution in less than a week. Prices on the shelves can take a little while longer to drop – depending on what kind of price protection is in place.
They need to drop the 7870 most of all imo. Nvidia only has 1 28nm SKU that sells to a small segment of buyers. 7970 hits the same segment. A 7950 at $400 is inevitably going to come against a $350-$400 gtx670.

7870 is already dropping as low as $329 Drop that card to $259-$279 and it would be a no brainer, especially with a lack of a nvidia counterpart.
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:46 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Grooveriding View Post
AMD preps price cuts as Two Tribes Go To War



They need to drop the 7870 most of all in imo. Nvidia only has 1 28nm SKU that sells to a small segment of buyers. 7970 hits the same segment. A 7950 at $400 is inevitably going to come against a $350-$400 gtx670.

7870 is already dropping as low as $329 Drop that card to $259-$279 and it would be a no brainer, especially with a lack of a nvidia counterpart.
So is this 60$ drop on top of current prices? If so that would put the 7970 at 470$, since many 7970s are already 529.99 (on newegg). What i'm most interested in is how this affects aftermarket cards, aftermarket cards at 480-490$ would be sweet, although I doubt that would happen.
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:34 AM   #3
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Too late for me

Future buyers, enjoy.
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:37 AM   #4
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Too late for me

Future buyers, enjoy.
Agreed, too bad they aren't dropping it more, although I understand from KG that it isn't set in stone. If they had aftermarket cards such as the sapphire dual x at the 490$ mark that would be perfect...
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:42 AM   #5
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http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum...tml#post620341

Grain of salt alert.
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:46 AM   #6
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War my *&^. They are making a fortune off these parts. And not enough.

7970 needs to drop $100
7950 $100
7870 $60
7850 $20

AMD really screwed up with thier pricing this round - tons of threads relaying disappointment and I think these cuts will sell well and get AMD in our good graces again.

Oh yeah you're right 7870 was a joke @ $359. Not much faster than GTX 570 which was selling for $270 for last 2 months. $90 less. I bet nV sold more of this old tech than AMD 7870s due to horrendous pricing. There are only like a few reviews at newegg on 7870s indicating hardly no one bit.
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:47 AM   #7
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If true that means many 7970 cards will be 459 or 469. Which puts aftermarket cards at 5 hundy I guess.
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:04 AM   #8
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Too late for me

Future buyers, enjoy.
lolz hardware get cheaper and faster all the time. Actually Buying it is always a losing proposition and poor investment. I just sold my GTX 580 for $410 and paid $675 for example. (hydro copper)
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:21 AM   #9
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So now HWC is reporting that the price will be 479 for the 7970... no word yet on the other cards' prices, but I'm guessing that means:

7970 - $479 (3GB)
7950 - $379 or $359 (3GB or 1.5GB)
7870 - $299 (2GB)
7850 - $229 (2GB)
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:24 AM   #10
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I am already seeing this at NCIX and Canada Computer
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:30 AM   #11
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I am already seeing this at NCIX and Canada Computer
For $479 or $499? I only see $499 at NCIX and no price drop at Canada Comp.
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:52 AM   #12
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If the 7870 dips below $300 that will get a lot more attention. No way am I going to pay an extra 28nm tax on the mainstream performance cards.
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:58 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Zebo View Post
War my *&^. They are making a fortune off these parts. And not enough.

7970 needs to drop $100
7950 $100
7870 $60
7850 $20

AMD really screwed up with thier pricing this round - tons of threads relaying disappointment and I think these cuts will sell well and get AMD in our good graces again.

Oh yeah you're right 7870 was a joke @ $359. Not much faster than GTX 570 which was selling for $270 for last 2 months. $90 less. I bet nV sold more of this old tech than AMD 7870s due to horrendous pricing. There are only like a few reviews at newegg on 7870s indicating hardly no one bit.
7870 is very close to 580gtx according to Anandtech's GPU comparison.
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:16 PM   #14
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For $479 or $499? I only see $499 at NCIX and no price drop at Canada Comp.
I see some references at $499 on NCIX, but nothing has budged otherwise. Canada Comp's 7970 and 680 prices are way too high anyway.
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:21 PM   #15
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Just because AMD sets an MSRP doesn't mean retailers will follow it, it's all about supply and demand.
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:32 PM   #16
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Just because AMD sets an MSRP doesn't mean retailers will follow it, it's all about supply and demand.
Well supply is allegedly good and I can't see demand being low. To me it just looks like NCIX decided to drop a few instant rebates on some models to edge people who are looking for the price drops right now to buy right away. Sneaky sneaky.
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:46 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Zebo View Post
War my *&^. They are making a fortune off these parts. And not enough.

7970 needs to drop $100
7950 $100
7870 $60
7850 $20

AMD really screwed up with thier pricing this round - tons of threads relaying disappointment and I think these cuts will sell well and get AMD in our good graces again.

Oh yeah you're right 7870 was a joke @ $359. Not much faster than GTX 570 which was selling for $270 for last 2 months. $90 less. I bet nV sold more of this old tech than AMD 7870s due to horrendous pricing. There are only like a few reviews at newegg on 7870s indicating hardly no one bit.
The HD 7870 is within 5-10% of the performance of the GTX 580 and costs much, much less. Overclocking both the gap is reduced to none while the 7870 consumes a lot less power. Oh, and what's the GTX 580's price? $380. The HD 7870? $330. That's $50 cheaper for a card that's just as good, if not better.

HD 7970 needs to drop to $470 and then it'll be fine. Who in their right mind thinks AMD can just slash the price to $430? They're not a charity, and you're not entitled to get bargain basement pricing for a card that's only 5-10% slower than the GTX 680.

And the HD 7950 3GB at $400 is a decent price. Make a 1.5GB version $360-370 and then it'll be fine too.

At $330 the HD 7870 is well priced, and at $240 the HD 7850 is an absolute steal. Not only does it consume next to no power and overclock by more than 20%, but it's also within 5-10% of the GTX 570, a card that unless you get a third-party version of you'll get a crappy power phase design, meaning little overclocking. $290 for the GTX 570, $50 more than the HD 7850.
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:49 PM   #18
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I doubt the HD7870/50 will drop in price since they are selling really well and nVidia have nothing to compete yet.
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:15 PM   #19
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This is why we haven't seen a 1.5GB version 7950 imo, the 7870 would have to slot in at ~$299 to fit such a card. At this point I'm resigned to the idea we won't see better price/performance alignment until Nvidia gets competing products out the door. The 680 has finally had an effect and I would expect a similar re-adjustment when 660 and 670 hit retail.

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And the HD 7950 3GB at $400 is a decent price. Make a 1.5GB version $360-370 and then it'll be fine too.

At $330 the HD 7870 is well priced, and at $240 the HD 7850 is an absolute steal. Not only does it consume next to no power and overclock by more than 20%, but it's also within 5-10% of the GTX 570, a card that unless you get a third-party version of you'll get a crappy power phase design, meaning little overclocking. $290 for the GTX 570, $50 more than the HD 7850.
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:29 PM   #20
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This is why we haven't seen a 1.5GB version 7950 imo, the 7870 would have to slot in at ~$299 to fit such a card. At this point I'm resigned to the idea we won't see better price/performance alignment until Nvidia gets competing products out the door. The 680 has finally had an effect and I would expect a similar re-adjustment when 660 and 670 hit retail.
Hmm. This is probably true now that I think about it, especially since stock performance between both is so close. I think the reason you'd go for the 7950 is if you want a better compute card and higher overclocking potential. The 7870 can overclock by 15% easily, but with the 7950 you can get an overclock of 30% easily but at much higher power consumption.

I'm gonna be holding onto my card for now, but if the 7950 gets to $350 this year I'd buy it and overclock and undervolt it (yes, this can be done and yes, it lowers power consumption AND raises performance). By then I'd be at about the same power consumption as my current card while getting a huge performance upgrade and a card that has a very good balance of compute/gaming performance. I'd also consider the GTX 670 (Ti), but I don't like NVIDIA's overclocking shenanigans and the fact the architecture scales less with clock speeds than AMD's. I also don't like JHH, but that's a topic for another day.
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:31 PM   #21
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The HD 7870 is within 5-10% of the performance of the GTX 580 and costs much, much less.
Using the price of GTX580 that's 1.5 years old to justify the pricing of a newer cheaper to manufacture 28nm small die SKU is missing the point. HD7870 is a direct replacement for a $239 HD6870 but it costs $349. That's the story here.

So its price should have been $279-299 to begin with. This was especially evident since it's barely faster than a 6970 which itself was a $250 unlocked 6950 (a card that's > 15 months old....). HD7870 needs a theoretical $50-75 price drop. Fortunately for AMD, there isn't any 28nm competition from NV yet in this price range, which means they can keep pricing it higher for now. From a business predator perspective, AMD can price it at $329-349. If it sells, sure. From a technology perspective, HD7870 @ $349 is a joke.

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Oh, and what's the GTX 580's price? $380. The HD 7870? $330. That's $50 cheaper for a card that's just as good, if not better.
That's one way to look at it. GTX580 can also be overclocked 20%. Another way to look at it is GTX580 is just 4% slower than HD7950 for $380. Personally, I think 7870/7950/580 are all priced too high. When NV launches GTX670/Ti, GTX580 should drop even more and go EOL.

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HD 7970 needs to drop to $470 and then it'll be fine. Who in their right mind thinks AMD can just slash the price to $430? They're not a charity, and you're not entitled to get bargain basement pricing for a card that's only 5-10% slower than the GTX 680.
$470 for a reference 7970 is still too expensive. If someone is spending $470 for a card, they might as well spend another $30 and get the fastest single GPU. The acoustics alone are worth spending $30 more for a 680 over reference 7970s.

It takes a 1070mhz MSI Lightning to match a stock 680. We've seen this in at least 2-3 reviews. Here is another review dating April 11. Reference 7970s for $470 still don't make any sense. For $30 more, you still get a faster card in the 680, that consumes less power, runs quieter and has more features. Reference 7970s need to drop to $430-450 (max). Non-reference 7970s could sell for $490-500.

Also, the 5-10% is conservative figure. Look at most demanding modern games and the lead is more like 15-20%.

Again, a stock 680 keeping up with a the MSI Lightning card in games in at least 3 reviews shows that HD7970 needs a 16% overclock just to keep up on average.

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And the HD 7950 3GB at $400 is a decent price.
No, it's not. GTX680 is 30% faster on average at 1080P than an HD7950. In BF3, it's 43% faster. SKYRIM, Batman AC, etc. the 680 demolishes the 7950.

30% less performance from 680 means 7950 should cost $349-369. $400 is still too much. Just to put things in perspective, HD6970 was ~15% slower than a GTX580 and cost $370. HD7950 is nearly 30% slower and costs $400? There shouldn't be a linear price/performance scaling from a $350 to a $500 card. That's because $350 cards should provide better value. $400 HD7950 still provides worse price/performance than a $500 high end card. That should never happen, which means its price is still too high.

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At $330 the HD 7870 is well priced, and at $240 the HD 7850 is an absolute steal.
Those prices are nothing special, and definitely not a steal. Both of those are hardly an improvement over 6970/6950 cards. So in regard to 15 months old tech, the prices you listed are not an improvement given the price/performance time curve. The prices only make sense because AMD discontinued 6900 series. 7850 provides basically identical performance to 6950 15 months later for $240. If it wasn't for its 20% overclocking headroom, the card would be a total dud. It makes sense though since it's an HD6850 replacement, except AMD jacked up the prices so that it looks like a 6950 replacement, when it really isn't.
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Old 04-13-2012, 02:02 PM   #22
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Using the price of GTX580 that's 1.5 years old to justify the pricing of a newer cheaper to produce 28nm part with a small die is questionable.

By all accounts, HD7870 is a replacement for HD6870 not HD6970. So its price should have been $279-299 to begin with. This was especially evident since it's barely faster than a 6970 which itself was a $250 unlocked 6950 (a card that's > 15 months old....). HD7870 needs a theoretical $50-75 price drop. Fortunately for AMD, there isn't any 28nm competition from NV yet in this price range, which means they can keep pricing it higher for now.



That's one way to look at it. GTX580 can also be overclocked 20%. Another way to look at it is GTX580 is just 4% slower than HD7950 for $380.



Ok this statement I disagree with the most.

It takes a 1070mhz MSI Lightning to match a stock 680. We've seen this in at least 2-3 reviews. Here is yet another one. Reference 7970s for $470 still don't make any sense. For $30 more, you still get a faster card in the 680, that consumes less power, runs quieter and has more features. Reference 7970s need to drop to $430-450 (max). Non-reference 7970s could sell for $490-500.

Also, the 5-10% is conservative figure. Look at most demanding modern games and the lead is more like 15-20%.

Again, a stock 680 keeping up with a 1070 MSI Lightning card in games in at least 3 reviews shows that HD7970 needs a 16% overclock just to keep up on average.



No, it's not. GTX680 is 30% faster on average at 1080P than an HD7950. In BF3, it's 43% faster. SKYRIM, Batman AC, etc. the 680 demolishes the 7950.

30% less performance from 680 means 7950 should cost $349-369. $400 is still too much.



Those prices are nothing special, and definitely not a steal. Both of those are hardly an improvement over 6970/6950 cards. So in regard to 15 months old tech, the prices you listed are not an improvement given the price/performance time curve. The prices only make sense because AMD discontinued 6900 series. 7850 provides basically identical performance to 6950 15 months later for $240. If it wasn't for its 20% overclocking headroom, the card would be a total dud. It makes sense though since it's an HD6850 replacement, except AMD jacked up the prices so that it looks like a 6950 replacement, when it really isn't.
1. Die size alone doesn't determine manufacturing costs, and 28nm wafers cost a lot more than 40nm wafers. Therefore, manufacturing costs probably aren't lower. That, and yields are also lower than 40nm.

2. It doesn't matter what you think it replaces. Pricing is dictated by competition or lack thereof, and that's that. This is especially true given the pricing of 28nm wafers.

3. Whether the 6950 could be unlocked or not doesn't matter. A 6950 is a 6950, and a 6970 is a 6970. If it could be unlocked that doesn't matter in terms of pricing. 6970 was ~$340, not $250 like you make it sound. If you got lucky and got an unlockable 6950, good for you. The truth of the matter is that if you got a 6970 you were guaranteed extra compute units and higher-rated memory. HD 7870 needs no price drops, except if NVIDIA comes out with a card that's just as fast or just a bit faster (probably GTX 670 or GTX 660) and costs less.

4. Your point is? GK104 and Tahiti have very comparable IPC, and they also overclock similarly. The difference is that Tahiti has better clock scaling, and you gain more from an overclock than with Kepler. In other words, the gap is closed to nothing or goes a bit in favor of the HD 7970 if both are heavily overclocked. However, the GTX 680 will still consume a lot less power overclocked. Reference HD 7970s at $470 are just fine given their performance. As was already said, the performance difference to the GTX 680 is only 5-10%. Historically there's rarely, if ever, been a $70 price disparity between reference cards and cards with third-party boards and heatsink solutions. The gap is almost always $20-30, and that includes the popular MSI Twin Frozr III and the ASUS DC II. That means third-party 7970s at $500 would not be a problem.

5. And "no, it's not" what? I never made any mention of performance differences between the HD 7950 and GTX 680, so you pulled that one out of nowhere. NVIDIA's stupid idea of GPU Boost also make comparing clock speeds between cards more difficult, because in reality the GTX 680 isn't a 1006MHz card but a 1100-1200MHz card depending on what review you look at. It's shenanigans from NVIDIA to make their card look better and it makes comparing even their own cards more difficult because you'd see a disparity in performance between a GTX 680 that can clock to 1100MHz stock and another one that does 1200MHz stock because of GPU Boost.

6. $400 is just fine for the HD 7950 for the time being. BTW, almost no one plays Batman: AC, so not a very good argument for NVIDIA's superiority. Why don't you mention Metro 2033, too? That's one of the most intense games out there. Oh, it just so happens to favor AMD. How odd, especially since almost no one plays either yet you only mentioned Batman:AC.

Also funny that you mentioned manufacturing costs earlier and conveniently forget that Tahiti probably costs more to manufacture than GK104 because of the bigger die (296mm^2 vs 352mm^2) and they're on the same process node and are manufactured by the same folks, TSMC. How does that argument work for lowering the HD 7870's price but yet you keep saying at $470 the HD 7970 is overpriced when the GTX 680 probably costs less to manufacture? Speaking of which, the way NVIDIA was able to make the GTX 680 as fast as it is is by voiding it of almost any compute performance whatsoever. The HD 7970 is 2-4x faster in compute, as is the older GTX 580, yet you don't mention that either.

7. The HD 7850 provides HD 6970 performance for $240. The HD 6970 was $340, so you're flat-out wrong. In terms of bang-for-buck it's one of AMD's best, especially with very low power consumption and 30%+ overclocking headroom (on stock voltage it goes from 800MHz-1100MHz easily). If you're gonna overclock, even on stock voltage, at its max clocks it's faster than both the HD 6970 AND GTX 570 also overclocked at max stock voltage. Also, AMD didn't do anything to pricing. The HD 6850 and HD 6870 are still widely available, and they cost less than the HD 7850 and HD 7870 to reflect their lower performance. Compared to current competing products, all four cards are priced better than what NVIDIA has out.
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Last edited by LOL_Wut_Axel; 04-13-2012 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 04-13-2012, 02:04 PM   #23
Vesku
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All current evidence is pointing to 28nm not being cheaper for the moment, from a cost to AMD and Nvidia perspective. As you can see above I generally do agree with you on where 7870 should be from a consumer purchase perspective.

Although, we should get used to this situation I suppose. Intel 22nm looks to have some rough edges, if Intel is launching a somewhat off target IB I dread to think what TSMC and GF 20nm rollout will be like.

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Originally Posted by RussianSensation View Post
Using the price of GTX580 that's 1.5 years old to justify the pricing of a newer cheaper to manufacture 28nm small die SKU is missing the point. HD7870 is a direct replacement for a $239 HD6870 but it costs $349. That's the story here.
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:23 PM   #24
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AMD 28nm cards are kinda underwhelming for the price... unless you overclock them, which they do amazingly well. 1200 core 7850's meeting and beating stock gtx580's make me warm and fuzy.
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:36 PM   #25
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Guys the 7850 overclocks to 7950 speeds, just FYI. So you can have close to 7970 performance for a little over $200.
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