Update 10/07: AMD sent us a clarification this morning stating that they were not the ones responsible for the recent reduction in 7850 prices, bur rather that it was a result of the "natural economics that are governing the channel, promotions and agressive pricing that the ecosystem is driving on its own". While we typically take what AMD says at face value, it's hard to imagine partners are able to undercut AMD's MSRP by $20+ on a sub-$200 part if AMD has not changed the prices they're charging their partners.

AMD’s initial launch prices for the Radeon HD 7000 series were not well received by the thrifty. But as AMD has since discovered, starting high means you can make a big deal of price cuts, and that’s exactly what they’ve been doing for roughly the past 6 months. Through a few different rounds of publically announced price cuts on the 7900, 7800, and 7700 series, AMD has not only improved their competitive positioning versus NVIDIA and their old products alike, but has also quickly won favor with a budget-conscientious public.

It should come as no surprise then that AMD is continuing this campaign of public price cuts this fall with yet another round of price cuts. As part of AMD‘s preparations for future events AMD’s cheaper 7800 series card, the Radeon HD 7850, is receiving an all-but-official price cut to shore up the card’s competitive positioning.

Fall 2012 Radeon HD 7000 Series Price Cuts
Card Launch Price Spring MSRP Late Summer MSRP Fall Retail Price
Radeon HD 7970GE $499 N/A $499 $449
Radeon HD 7970 $549 $479 $429 $399
Radeon HD 7950 $449 $399 $319 $309
Radeon HD 7870 $349 $349 $249 $239
Radeon HD 7850 2GB $249 $249 $209 $189
Radeon HD 7850 1GB N/A N/A $199 $169
Radeon HD 7770 $159 $139 $119 $119
Radeon HD 7750 $109 $109 $99 $99

For this latest round of cuts AMD is reducing prices on the 7850 by a further $20, putting the market price on the 2GB 7850 at around $189. Meanwhile the largely neglected 1GB 7850 has also seen its market price come down to what’s best called a very rough $169, with individual SKU prices being relatively scattered due to the very small number of SKUs on the market (4, up for 2 a week ago). As with prior cuts the 2GB 7850 will remain as AMD’s primary 7850, with the less common 1GB model covering a specific niche for AMD.

These latest cuts follow AMD’s last round of price cuts in August, where between the launches of the GeForce GTX 660 Ti and GTX 660 we saw the 7870 move from $299 to $249 and the 2GB 7850 move from $239 to $209. Unlike past cuts though these new prices are technically not going to be MSRPs – AMD is making sure not to call them that – but the end result is much the same. Using market prices allows AMD to quote a number that more closely reflects the price of basic feature cards, which in the case of the 7850 have typically undercut the official MSRP by $10.

Source: AMD

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  • tim851 - Sunday, October 07, 2012 - link

    I have a gtx 460, which should be a smidge slower than a 6850 and I game in 2560x1440. Skyrim, Max Payne 3, whatever ... all on pretty much best visuals. It works.

    Unless you only play stuff like Crysis (1) or Metro 2033, a gtx 460 does still cut it.
    Reply
  • Arbie - Monday, October 08, 2012 - link

    Actually, *I* only play games like Crysis 1 (and niemnoga Metro 2033), and my old HD 4850 runs them fine at 1920 x 1200. That's at DX9 settings, of course, but 99% of the gaming experience is there.

    The fact is that all the major players (finally incuding Crytek) have discovered that it makes no sense to develop for the PC only. So all big PC games now and in the future will have console roots. So PC hardware need not be any better than the latest box. So the market for advanced graphics boards will remain piddling. Only so many people are going to splash out on multi-monitor or other high-end systems to run today's largely crappy games.

    None of this is going to change any time soon. So the new generations of graphics boards are largely a yawn, and pretty much have been for 3-4 years. They just aren't needed by enough people any more.
    Reply
  • ForeverAlone - Monday, October 08, 2012 - link

    Your comments really show what an uneducated moron you are.

    Upgrading to a 7850 from a 6850 is an excellent idea.

    The 7850 performs slightly better than the 6950. When overclocked, I imagine a 7850 over takes all cards in the 6xxx series (excluding the 6990).
    Reply
  • swing848 - Monday, October 08, 2012 - link

    I usually skip a generation or two or three. I had an HD 4890 OC and upgraded to an HD 6950 a year and a half ago [March 2011], and it still runs my games fine.

    AMD's next fix or update for the 7000 series is close at hand, however, I am not sure what they will call it.
    Reply
  • ForeverAlone - Monday, October 08, 2012 - link

    I'm in the same position as you. Currently have a 6850. Planning on upgrading because the 6850 is starting to struggle. Reply
  • haukionkannel - Friday, October 05, 2012 - link

    The trend that you can get good deals when new production is coming near production or to the market continues. Allso new Nvidia cards in middle price range allso helps the situation. Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Friday, October 05, 2012 - link

    Is that what the vague "As part of AMD‘s preparations for future events AMD’s cheaper 7800 series card, the Radeon HD 7850, is receiving an all-but-official price cut to shore up the card’s competitive positioning." bit is referring to? Reply
  • chizow - Friday, October 05, 2012 - link

    No, its in reference to Nvidia's imminent launch next week of the GK106-based GTX 650Ti which is expected to slot inbetween the 7770 and 7850 at $150. Performance was probably closer to the 7850, which prompted AMD to cut prices (again).

    http://www.pcper.com/news/General-Tech/New-Specifi...
    Reply
  • HisDivineOrder - Friday, October 05, 2012 - link

    If a new generation of cards was incoming, don't you think that the 7850 would be the very last card to have its price adjusted to accomodate said new launch?

    I suspect the 7970, 7950, or 7870 would be much more likely to be affected by a new launch.

    No, it's fear of yet another green bombshell.

    Another nVidia launch, another AMD price drop. Hopefully, they've learned their lesson and they won't delay price drops with the coming new generation of cards. If they'd anticipated their competition back at the 680's launch, they could have stopped nVidia from being a threat a long time ago.

    Instead, they tried to ignore the green bombshells and boom, boom, they were rocked by the 680, 690, and then the 670. Realizing they were hopelessly outmatched, they began cutting prices. At first just after the 670, then in anticipation of the 660 Ti and 660.

    Yeah, I think they've learned their lesson. They keep nVidia within reason and nVidia keeps them low. Really, it works.
    Reply
  • RussianSensation - Sunday, October 07, 2012 - link

    "No, it's fear of yet another green bombshell."

    No, it's not any fear. It's the exact nature of the execution of the first mover advantage pricing strategy in business -- Launch new technology that's more advanced than your competitor to increase margins, and lower prices when the competitor spurs/forces you to do so. This is the opposite of the competing on price only strategy used in HD4000-6000 generations. The execution of the first mover advantage strategy specifically calls for (1) Launching more advanced technology in the marketplace vs. your competitors (2) Being able to dictate higher prices since your technology is more advanced (3) Drop prices for the remainder of your product life-cycle when competition has caught up.

    "Another nVidia launch, another AMD price drop. Hopefully, they've learned their lesson and they won't delay price drops with the coming new generation of cards."

    The first mover advantage strategy has been used by both ATI and NV for nearly every generation. For example, GTX260/280. 280 launched at $649 and GTX285 launched less than 9 months later at $359 or so. This type of strategy is very common in the graphics industry but was never used by AMD before due to lack of proper management (HD5800 series) or lack of performance advantage (HD4000/6000). HD7000 series executed it perfectly.

    "If they'd anticipated their competition back at the 680's launch, they could have stopped nVidia from being a threat a long time ago."

    Nope. The price/performance strategy has failed to produce reasonable profits for the firm during the last 3 generations. Thus, a new strategy was implemented. HD7000 series would have never launched at $199/299 of 4850/4870 or $259/369 or HD5850/5870 since this strategy neither made $ for AMD nor produced tangible gains in desktop discrete GPU market share.

    "Instead, they tried to ignore the green bombshells and boom, boom, they were rocked by the 680, 690, and then the 670. Realizing they were hopelessly outmatched, they began cutting prices."

    Incorrect. The first mover advantage strategy specifically calls for price drops when the competition arrives. In simplest terms, what you are saying doesn't even make sense. AMD could have undercut GTX600 series right away at launch at $299 for 7950 and $369 for 7970. Instead, they made more $ for 2.5 months before 600 series arrived and maintained higher profit margins throughout the entire HD7000 series. Only now 10 months since launch, the prices have dropped to HD5000/6000 levels ($309 for 7950, $399 for 7970 and $449 for 7970 GE). Looks like the strategy was a slam dunk since last quarter AMD gained market share in the discrete GPU space.

    http://www.techpowerup.com/171198/Graphics-Add-in-...

    Not only did AMD increase market share, but they maintained healthy profits throughout this generation unlike HD4000-6000 series.

    "Yeah, I think they've learned their lesson."

    I don't think so. I expect the exact same execution for next generation. Launch first before GTX700 series and collect early adopter premium and lower prices over time only if necessary due to competition from NV. NV has used this strategy EVERY generation since the last 10 years. I find it odd this is news to you now that AMD has abandoned the small die GPU strategy and reverted back to large die + first mover advantage used by ATI every generation before the buyout.
    Reply

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