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  • MonicaS - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    Ok, sorry to ask a probably intelligent question, but arent these cards all but obsolete? I mean, I've had a PS3 now for as long as its been out and all the time have loved the graphics. I never felt like I needed any sort of upgrade, not that its possible with a console. I mean more rhetorically. As for PC, I have an old 8800 Gtx and that's more then enough for what I need. I actually have a friend that bought a nVidia 260 for Wow! Seriously!

    Are these cards even needed anymore? It seems like what was out a year ago is far more then enough.

    Monica S
    Los Angeles Computer Repair
    http://www.sebecomputercare.com/?p=1178">http://www.sebecomputercare.com/?p=1178
    Reply
  • arnavvdesai - Friday, November 13, 2009 - link

    No these cards are far from obsolete. Far from it, a really holy grail would be 60fps/ 4xAA 16xAF everything set to V.High @ 1080p. Most games which look good on consoles are really playing @ 30fps & that is one of the sacrifices game developers have to make to achieve good looking games @ 1080p. Also most if not all games are actually done @ 720p & converted to 1080p using the upconverter. This leads to some loss in fidelity.
    Also physics processing is being pushed more & more onto the graphics chipset. So while you think that it's 'good' enough I beg to differ & would argue that the 'HD' console generation has not yet been reached. While, we know for sure that the current console generation is not going to be replaced for another 3 years minimum, it does not mean we have reached gaming nirvana.
    Reply
  • Grandpa - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    I just got my order into NewEgg today. I put myself on their "Auto notify" list. The last time I got an e-mail notifying me it was available, when I went to apply for it, it was too late. This time, with an advertised expecxted date of 11-16 I didn't wait. I went to the card's page and visually looked to see if it was available every chance I got. Today it paid off. The order is in. 30 minutes after I put my order in I got a "Auto notify" for it. So I went to the order page and sure enough IT WAS OUT OF STOCK! The lucky time for me was 3:45 pm mtn time. Good luck. Don't give up. Reply
  • at80eighty - Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - link

    grabbed one off Amazon (I'm guessing via Tigerdirect) - in the 2 days that I was deciding to purchase, the price went from 129.99 to 135.99. Oh well

    Was looking forward to the 5970 in another 7-8 months, but looks like im going to have to wait much longer till the price is even remotely considerable
    Reply
  • marc1000 - Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - link

    at80, wich GPU did you have before the 5750??? I am planning to buy the 5750 too, but I'm not so sure if it will be a upgrade good enough over a 3870 (i have a 3850 at 3870 speeds). Reply
  • at80eighty - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    I have an XFX 7300 GS (stop laughing at me!) . so yeah to me this will be a HUGE upgrade. It's worth it alone since im running Win7 & the DX 11 compatibility is handy

    IMO you'll be happy enough with the 5750 difference over your 3870 too, as it's OC'able too
    Reply
  • austonia - Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - link

    the 5850 was a bargain at $260 so i don't blame them for raising the price in consideration of the demand. i got one a month after they came out by signing up for a newegg product alert. 2 days later i had an order. this thing clocks up to 900 core/1300 memory at stock voltage or 1000/1300 with slight bump to 1.2 volts. at top speed it's a couple of fps faster than a 5870 (stock) in Crysis at 1080p/DX10/very high options. here's a good review of 5850 OC performance:

    http://xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/radeon-...">http://xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/radeon-...
    Reply
  • Grandpa - Saturday, November 07, 2009 - link

    With millions of dollars at stake they come out with a new chip and they set a price without knowing the yields! So Anand and all the others write raving reviews and push the card based on price, THEN they raise the price! WoW, where have we seen this technique before?

    I was going to buy one of these too. I think I'll let the recession take it's due course and wait for things to calm down a little before I make any hasty decisions.
    Reply
  • tomcon - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    I'm glad to see that AMD's cards are being sold like hotcakes. Dont see why others who have commented seem to blame AMD for TSMC's problems..I dont know how the whole system works but I'm guessing they had a good system down but then this comes up. The whole shortage seems too convenient for other companies at the release of a great card. But then thats probably my bad speculation. GF is probably wishing they were making some of the new cards. Reply
  • CptTripps - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    I ordered one and was told a week later (after several phonecalls) it was out of stock, unhappy birthday to me eh. If I have to wait until 2010 I might as well see what Nvidia has up their sleeve. Sorry ATI but blaming someone else is not going to cut it, you wanted to beat Nvidia out the gate and it will probably bite you in the ass.

    Don't get me started on the price hike...
    Reply
  • tamalero - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    you need to take into consideration the fact that nvidia had the same problem with their 8800GT series. Reply
  • Slaimus - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    This is the same thing that happened two years. I snoozed on buying the 8800GT when it was launched at MSRP, and by November, prices have gone up to $300 for the 3870 and $320 for the 8800GT.

    On a side note, Dell/Alienware seems to have no shortage of 5800 cards, so the rumor that they gets first dibs is probably true.
    Reply
  • yacoub - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    The 8800GT prices at launch were around $299 and there were launch deals as low as $259. Then they went up to around $320, yes, but soon enough came back down to the $250 range and then lower still to around $220. Reply
  • DukeN - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    Prices went up after the first Intel fiasco and haven't changed much since. Reply
  • yacoub - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    This article conveniently avoids how the original MSRPs for the 5850 and 5870 cards were supposed to be lower than what they debuted at.

    Pre-launch, everyone, including review sites like Anandtech, were talking about 5850 for $199-249 and 5870 for $299-349. Some of us still remember that.
    Reply
  • ATimson - Monday, November 09, 2009 - link

    The MSRPs were only $10 and $30 more respectively. I think a <10% bump between estimate and final process is hardly unreasonable. Reply
  • airmantharp - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    Assuming we had Nvidia's GT300 today and no 40nm issues at TSMC, those prices sound about right. RV870 is the same die size as RV770, which means that if yields were the same, RV870 should only cost a little more than the RV770 to produce, per die. I'm making an assumption about the price difference between the production technologies.

    But in the end, products are priced according to the market, and that's a good thing.
    Reply
  • qwertymac93 - Saturday, November 07, 2009 - link

    rv870 is not the same size as rv770, its MUCH bigger. rv870(5870/5850) is 334mm2, rv770(4850/4870/4890) is only 263mm2. how on earth would ati be able to pack more then TWICE the transistors in a space the same size when the process is only 30% smaller? simple math estimating would show that is impossible. even if amd didnt release the die size, it would still be ridiculous to think rv870 was the same size as its predecessor! (263mm2 for rv770*2)*.7=368.2mm2, so even this SIMPLE (although inaccurate) equation shows you'r just plain wrong. Reply
  • yacoub - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    That's fine, I can wait. Besides, "It’s Economics 101 in action." - Yes but so is the rest of the economy and that's still not doing well. So they really can't just raise prices very far or for very long. They'll come back down and I have no problem waiting until then. Reply
  • airmantharp - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    They can raise prices as long as someone's willing to pay those prices. The cards don't stay in stock, so I'm pretty sure there's more elasticity left; they could raise the prices even more, and people would still buy them. It's not even related to performance; the GTX285 has been overpriced for it's performance since the day it was released, and yet they still sell. Reply
  • mapesdhs - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link


    Indeed, as long as the demand is there, then by definition they will
    sell no matter what the price.

    I remember before the PS1 officially launched in the UK, some were
    happy to pay $1500 for the import model in HMV...

    Ian.

    Reply
  • mapesdhs - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link


    As usual in the UK we get screwed. Looking at a typical seller site
    (Scan), apart from there being no 5850/5870 cards in stock anyway,
    the prices are through the roof - equivalent of $370 for the 5850
    and a whopping $532 for the 5870.

    I'd been planning a 5850 build before xmas, but not now, prices are
    silly and they're not available.

    NVIDIA must be delighted with the situation as it means there will be
    many more people in the market for a new card when their next GPU
    launches than would otherwise be the case.

    These days it seems like the whole PC market is getting a bit wonky.
    AMD has no modern performance CPU, Intel has no modern budget CPU,
    AMD's latest GPUs can't be found and cost a fortune, AMD's old GPUs
    are being phased out even though they're still perfectly ok, NVIDIA
    only has old tech still being sold in revamped forms (or the prices
    are also crazy, eg. up to almost $700 for a GTX295 here) or their
    cards aren't in stock either, and so on.

    About the only thing that seems to be evolving sensibly as of late
    is storage re SSDs with TRIM at reasonable prices, and AMD's good-
    value budget CPUs like the Athlon II X4 620.

    Ian.

    Reply
  • TinyTeeth - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    "These days it seems like the whole PC market is getting a bit wonky. (etc.)" lol, spot on.. Reply
  • marc1000 - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    yeah!! and has anyone checked the auctions at EBAY today??? from yesterday to today the price of 5850 board went from US$ 300 (it was alread higher than newegg) up to US$ 450!!!! it's completely insane!!!

    the 5750 is keeping the same US$ 140-150 price tag, however.. half the performance, less than half the price... it is getting more and more attractive to me...
    Reply
  • ph3412b07 - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    sounds like another class action lawsuit in the making... both ATI and Nvidia shelled out millions for the last one. Reply
  • ph3412b07 - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    sounds like another class action lawsuit in the making... both ATI and Nvidia shelled out millions for the last one. Reply
  • SlyNine - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    Seems to me, that hurting TSMC right now would be like shooting yourself in the foot. TSMC needs their resources to keep improving yields and manufacturing processes. Reply
  • FAHgamer - Saturday, November 07, 2009 - link

    True, but when GlobalFoundries comes close to starting production, it won't be that much of an issue for AMD anymore. Reply
  • tviceman - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    The first to market coup AMD pulled off with 58XX series is being trampled over by the yield issues. By the time it is finally sorted out, nvidia will have fermi out and will only have lost out on a very small number of sales. Reply
  • SlyNine - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    Nvidia is going to suffer from the same problems AMD is right now. Since TSMC is the die maker. In fact Nvidia will be worse off since their core is more complex. Reply
  • TinyTeeth - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    True, but if there is anything Nvidia needs right now it would be more time. Whenver their chips finally come out with good yields, there will be more people still waiting to buy video cards than if AMD had not been struck by supply issues at this time. AMD fares disproportionately worse because of this since they are (obviously) much further into actual phyisical production of their GPU's. Reply
  • SlyNine - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    While I agree that it would be much better for AMD to flood the market right now. Nvidia would have benefited too if the yields were good. They would be able to get their GPU out that much sooner. So I don't think NVidia is really gaining much.

    With the problems they are having now Nvidia will suffer with lower yields down the road. AMD is still making money on its GPU right now. While Nvidia is not. AMDs yields should ramp up quicker then Nvidia's down the road.
    Reply
  • puffpio - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    it looks like the 5850 and 5850 crossfire are almost equivalent in performance.
    and it looks like the 5870 beats the 5870 in crossfire
    wah?
    Reply
  • jav6454 - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    Some games are not CF friendly or for that matter scale well (mostly because they were nvidia oriented).

    However, that's some games, not all.
    Reply
  • palladium - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    Likely to be driver issues with CF in that game Reply
  • marc1000 - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    this graph only shows ONE benchmark. and it is one where CF does not scale well. check the full review for more games. ;) Reply
  • Hauk - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    CF scaling needs work:

    http://benchmarkextreme.com/Articles/HD%205870%20T...">http://benchmarkextreme.com/Articles/HD%205870%20T...
    Reply
  • tamalero - Monday, November 09, 2009 - link

    thats for tri-fire for gods sake. Reply
  • juampavalverde - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    This yield issues where know from before, AMD should start cooking engineering samples from globalfoundries, at least the smaller chips of current lineup... Reply
  • Zoomer - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    Chips designs are optimized for the specific process the manufacturer (in this case TSMC) have. It's not possible to transplant the designs from TSMC to GF just like that without some re-engineering. It'll probably take months, and the performance probably won't be as great. Reply
  • haukionkannel - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    TSMC problem is allso problem to Nvidia. The Ferni is even bigger than ATI chip, so they are not going to get too many working chips out.
    The only one who may benefit from this is Intel. AMD is not getting money from GPU because they have "nothing" to sell, even they have very good product, same may be true with Nvidia. So no financial boost to Intel rivals for a long time.
    I really hope that TSMC can fix their problems or that Clobal foundaries are early in their production!
    Reply
  • HDHannes - Sunday, November 08, 2009 - link

    can't they sue tsmc for not delivering what was agreed upon (i am not in that industry, but there must be some agreement - contract - must there not?)

    if they knew about those yield probs while the 4770er was in manufacturing, why the heck didnt they change the manufacturer? is tsmc the one and only?

    Reply
  • Zoomer - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    With the way defects and yields work, nVidia's problems will be exponentially worse.

    Probability!
    Reply
  • jav6454 - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    What I hope is that AMD can make their own chip factory. It's sad that both major graphic chip makers have to depend on one company.

    Reply
  • rrinker - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    AMD did have their own fabs - they spun them off to a separate company of which they own only a small part of.
    Reply
  • Zoomer - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    Yeah, about 0.1% less than half. Reply
  • dragonsqrrl - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    true, but ATI GPU's weren't being manufactured at those fabs to begin with... to my knowledge. Reply
  • lucky9 - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    Consumers aren't without influence. Not eveeryone has the abilityto justify paying for someone else's mistake. Looks like their are other options. Reply
  • jav6454 - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    The worst thing that could have happened. Why? I was planning on a build with 2 HD 5850s and this shortage is gong to delay me by a fair amount of time. Not to mention cost. Reply
  • yyrkoon - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    *OR* you could just go with something else.

    The only thing that is holding you back, is you, and not wanting to go with something else. Whether said product has "AMD inside", or not.

    Personally, if I wanted to build a system _right_now_, I would, and move on to something else that is available, and in my price range.
    Reply
  • 12GaugeShotty - Monday, November 09, 2009 - link

    There aren't any other DX11 capable graphics cards equal to the 5850 though. So no, he cannot just go with something else. I would assume you are meaning nVIDIA but there goes DX11 as well as a hotter running graphics card that sucks up more power and is practically at it's EOL.

    Fortunately for me, I am glad that I snagged a MSI Radeon HD 5850 the moment it came in stock. ;-)
    Reply
  • SlyNine - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    His dual 5850's would smoke anything else you're planning on building. Unless you use a 5870 , but then you have the same problem. Waiting isn't a bad idea right now. Reply
  • cgramer - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    I'd been waiting to build a system until the 5800 series came back in stock, and was debating between a single 5870 or two 5770s in CrossFire. Looks like 5770s for me, especially after reading your other article from when the 5770 and 5750 came out. 5770CF was near the top is just about every benchmark. Reply
  • cgramer - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    The link to the previous article with 5770/5750 benchmarks:
    http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3658">http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3658
    Reply
  • rolodomo - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    by dominating both price and performance. They've just blown it. Ultimately this will be good news for the consumer. Whenever either company achieves temporary dominance, they alway find an excuse for $500 graphic cards that provides an opening for the other guy to recover (notice the pattern?). Reply
  • Griswold - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    Aside from the who blew it, AMD or TSMC debate, what makes you think AMD missed the opportunity? Nvidia is nowhere with their next generation... feb, march, april maybe? If TSMC sorts their problems out as promised before the end of the year, AMD can still cash in for quite a few months.

    Furthermore, nvidia will first have to prove that their product is as good, let alone better than what AMD offers and that they can sell it for a competitive price. We still dont know jackshit about the gaming capabilities of that thing - and that speaks volumes.

    Reply
  • Dudler - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    AMD didn't blow it. TSMC blew it. Amd can't be blamed for TSMC screwing up again!

    Good news is that GF should have their 28nm bulk process ready second half next year. And according to Fudzilla ATi are designing their Northern Islands (aka R900)to go with both GF and TSMC.

    In my mind there is no doubt that ATi will switch manufacturer at the first opportunity, TSMC has had their chance and fell short. I guess they will be stuck with the impossible projects of nVidia.
    Reply
  • erple2 - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    Ultimately, this argument fails because the consumer is not buying TSMC's products. They're buying the product from AMD (really, from the distributors, like Sapphire, ASUS, etc). It's not the consumer's problem that TSMC can't deliver chips correctly. These are all business decisions that AMD had to make before they started the 5x00 series processors.

    That's kind of like saying that the consumer would blame a tire manufacturer for not providing the car they want to buy. The consumer doesn't (and honestly shouldn't) care that the tire company is not supplying enough tires because they can't make tires fast enough to the car manufacturer.

    The consumer buys the card in a nice, pretty, retail box because they don't want to have to assemble their own video card.

    Ultimately, a vendor like XFX, ASUS, Sapphire, etc won't blame TSMC (or Samsung or the maker of the screws they use, or the brand of solder they use on the board) for the reason they aren't delivering the product to the consumer. If they do, they are incorrectly passing the buck.

    As a techie, however, I understand the problems associated with it. The consumer, however, simply knows that they can't get this newfangled fast video card.
    Reply
  • Dudler - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    You are both correct and wrong. Of course I wont blame TSMC for screwing up their 40nm capability. But knowing this, I wont blame ATi either.

    These things happen, especially at such high levels of production, and when you have one sole supplier, with no alternative options. From ATi's view, its force majeure.

    Why has someone to accept blame? I know this is the american way, but..it is just how it is. Hopefully TSMC untangles their process fast, and then we all will be satisfied.
    Reply
  • kn00tcn - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    but there is only 1 'tire manufacturer' that makes 40nm chips, so there is no choice (unless you mean amd could have chosen to get GF going earlier & to be capable of 40nm) Reply
  • Zoomer - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    "The consumer, however, simply knows that they can't get this newfangled fast video card."
    --
    And the best way to solve that would be to raise prices. Whoever wants it badly enough gets it, the others can wait.
    Reply
  • JimmiG - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    Is the 5770 also a harvested 5870? How will TSMC's problems affect the pricing and availability of the 5770? It still has competition in the sub-$200 segment in the form of any remaining GTX260 cards, and ironically, pretty much all of AMD's previous 4800 line up...

    I'm definitely waiting until next year before getting a DX11 card now. The 58x0's and the 5770 were more expensive than they should have been even when they launched (the 5770 should have been less than $149, the 5850 should have been $199 and the 5870 $299, just like the 4000-series Radeon cards at launch). Once the yield problems are sorted out and Nvidia and/or Intel introduce some competition, prices will drop. Early adopters (including the very early ones before the latest price hike) will regret their purchases.
    Reply
  • dragonsqrrl - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    The 5770/5750 use a different GPU, it isn't simply a 5870 with deactivated stream processors. Reply
  • JimmiG - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    Still, it's being made on the same 40nm process. Is the die too small to be affected by the yield problems? I can't see the 5770 getting any more expensive - it's poor value already. Reply
  • dragonsqrrl - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    the size/transistor count of the GPU does matter in relation to process yields, but i doubt that it has much relevance in this situation. The volume of usable 5770 GPUs may be greater, but the yield ratio is probably similar to the 5870 (as the article said, around 40%). Reply
  • Calin - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    The yield must be better on a smaller die. If you have a die half the size, your yield could be up to two times bigger (if the errors in the process are very localized, and very small, the chance that such an error would affect more than one smaller die is minute). As such, half of the big die is bad, half is good, and for every bad big die, you have one bad and one good small die. Reply
  • Zingam - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    No, I think they are different chips. Reply
  • marc1000 - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    but this just makes the 5750 more attractive. it has 50% less performance, but costs EVEN LESS than 50% of a 5850.

    that has just defined wich will be my new board: the 5750 (I'm replacing a 3850).

    An I better buy it before it goes out of stock too...
    Reply
  • cowzzwoc - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    It will be nice when TSMC has some competition from Global Foundries. They would be feeling even more pressure than they already are Reply
  • phaxmohdem - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    Agreed. I wonder what the price (die size) and heat characteristics of the 5800 series would be if they were produced on GloFo's mature 45nm process compared to TSMC's seemingly troubled 40nm node. Reply
  • arnavvdesai - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    I dont believe AMD can even afford to introduce 5900 as they would need two dies for every one of the cards. They have no incentive to do so since atm I believe there is a large enough demand from either games or 'normal' folk. Reply
  • Ananke - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    Initial MSRPs were so-so OK, but any price hike will erase AMD's advantage of being first to the market. What happens is people will just buy SONY PS3 this hollidays for entertainment, and wait unitil Nvidia and Intel come with new graphics. Which means, no games and applications for the new RAdeons, i.e. no broad customer base. After Christmass the Radeon pricing would not matter anyway, Nvidia will be almost on the market.

    These should be $250 for 5850 and around $320 for 5870 to flood the market. Anything hire than this competes with other consumer electronics and particularly with game consoles, which unfortunately for AMD, have the higher hand today.

    Anyway, brilliant product, bad marketing execution....
    Reply
  • Live - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    Ananke as you can read in the article (I know reading is hard :) they can't get enough cards to flood the market. That is the problem. They are selling every card they can get from the factory i.e. TSMC. Your plan, great as it might be, can only be done when you can produce lots of cards. Reply
  • mjcutri - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    "These should be $250 for 5850 and around $320 for 5870 to flood the market."

    Did you even READ the article? They aren't getting enough dies as it is, so lower prices would do nothing but cost them money. You obviously have no knowledge of basic economics. If they had enough supply, then yes, lower prices would help them sell more; but it isn't prices driving how many they sell, it is supply of their dies; therefore they can raise prices without any effect on their sales because they are already selling as many as they can make.
    Reply
  • Ananke - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    I read the article of course. Also, I work at a major AMD distributor. This pricing will cost them market share gains...which is sad, because the product is good. They have 4-5 months ahead of Nvidia, and bad pricing will erase their advance.

    My comments are from marketing /sales/ view point, based on sales statistics.
    Reply
  • PrinceGaz - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    No this will not cost them market share gains because they cannot produce enough cards to satisfy demand, even at the higher price.

    They could price the 5850's at $10 each and their market-share would remain exactly the same because they can't produce any more to sell. When they can produce enough to more than satisfy demand, then and only then should the price come down.
    Reply
  • Ananke - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    My point is that ATI demand is more elastic to pricing than Nvidia, i.e. distributors are not selling ATI, because the final clients don't want ATI unless the price point is good to penetrate the market.

    So, AMD had good chance to position themselves in the professional market, but now it seems that opportunity diminishes. I am not saying they are doing this intentionally, but their pricing/application/support mix now is above the point to make sense selling them in the distribution channel. They could have made good share increase in the discrete graphics retail market, but they need availability and better pricing. And, they compete with gaming consoles in the consumer retail area - tough battle against PS3 at $299.

    I understand it is an outside AMD reason /TSMC/, but this affects AMD sales. Now, people will just completely decide to wait for Nvidia, instead giving ATI a try.

    My point is - it could have been better for their market share if they had the volume availability. I am talking about lost good opportunity. They will keep their market share, but they have less chance to increase it.
    Reply
  • The0ne - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    PrinzGaz is right, they just can't make enough for the demand, plain and simple. Reply
  • erple2 - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    I think that the current market is telling us that any Distributor can sell as many boards as they can make, somewhat independently of the price they're asking. Demand is just crazy high right now, and supply is crazy low. Things will start happening soon, however, as supply starts to catch up, and there are alternatives available to distributors (aka NVidia has a competing product). Then AMD is going to have to seriously consider dropping the price they charge distributors for the dies.

    I also understand that distributors have a lag time between when they receive a die from manufacturing to when they can turn around and sell those to retailers/end users. If that time is too long, then when the prices do finally come down, distributors will be sitting on "expensive" dies that they paid for months ago that are now selling for less. Is that what you're talking about?

    If AMD is not able to quickly change the price points that board vendors purchase their products for, and the lag time (inventory) of distributors has a long shelf life, then yes, you're right. When supply does eventually catch up with demand, they will be forced to start lowering prices.

    Until NVidia is capable of releasing a competing product, and since demand exceeds supply, however, AMD can more or less set whatever they want. While Distributors get squeezed a bit, if they're selling every board they make, there's not much of an issue. That's the market we're in today.

    If it takes 6 months for Distributors to re-negotiate the die pricing they get from AMD, then AMD will have issues selling to Distributors.

    In the short term, however, it's win-win for AMD and Distributors.
    Reply
  • SlyNine - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    Since AMD and Nvidia both use TSMC, and since AMD has a less complicated die. I don't see how its a problem. ATI will be one step ahead the whole time.

    If TSMC really is having trouble with their yields on AMDs die, Nvidia is going to struggle even more with theirs. AMD also has a possible future of using global foundries(SP?) Nvidia will be forced to use TSMC.
    Reply
  • JPForums - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    While nVidia has a much larger die thus lower yields due to both defects and unused wafer space, they will also be hitting the process much later. ATi has now used TSMC's 40nm process for 2 generations of chips (HD 4770 and the entire HD 5000 series). By the time Fermi launches, TSMC will have had several (five?) months more time to resolve the yield issues and the process will be much more mature. This should keep the costs much lower per area for nVidia compared to the costs AMD is seeing at the moment.

    Of course it is up to nVidia whether to pocket the savings or pass it along to the customers. The bad news for nVidia is that, if the process matures the way it should, there won't be much of a drop in the cost of manufacturing the chips over the life of the chip.
    Reply
  • JPForums - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    While nVidia has a much larger die thus lower yields due to both defects and unused wafer space, they will also be hitting the process much later. ATi has now used TSMC's 40nm process for 2 generations of chips (HD 4770 and the entire HD 5000 series). By the time Fermi launches, TSMC will have had several (5?) months more time to resolve the yield issues and the process will be much more mature. This should keep the costs much lower per area for nVidia compared to the costs AMD is seeing at the moment.

    Of course it is up to nVidia whether to pocket the savings or pass it along to the customers. The bad news for nVidia is that, if the process matures the way it should, there won't be much of a drop in the cost of manufacturing the chips over the life of the chip.
    Reply
  • SlyNine - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    AMD is currently making money off of the die. So even with the yields AMD is gaining ground.

    Nvidia is selling a different, more complexe chip. The issues now will delay their GPU even longer. So even if it effects Nvidia slightly less the problems still transfer to Nvidia. Nvidia's chip is also a different die so they are currently facing the same problems ATI is, and some of their own.
    Reply
  • Ananke - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    They make double the profit margin than the previous Radeons, and they can completely absorb the price fluctuations until production ramps up. Btw, how come the lower end chips 5700 have enough volume, and the higher end don't. :) AMD is just being greedy, similarly to the AthlonX2 introduction 5 years ago. They have the experience with this technique already. It creates negative perception though - major problem for establishing brand loyalty. Reply
  • JPForums - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    (Quote)They make double the profit margin than the previous Radeons, and they can completely absorb the price.(/Quote)
    (Quotes aren't working)

    I tend to believe that the initial higher prices are the result of having a larger die, using a less mature process, and TSMCs apparent back step in yields. Larger die sizes are something that can only change with a new process. Though, TSMC's 40nm is older than their 55nm was when they launched the ATi HD 4800 series, it seems that it still hasn't reached adequate yields. Further, TSMC seems to have gotten worse rather than better. If AMD priced the chips with the assumption that yields would be 60% then their cost would go up considerably it they only managed a 40% yield. Chances are, AMD IS absorbing some of the cost with the anticipation that TSMC will resolve the issue sooner rather than later.

    (Quote)AMD is just being greedy(/Quote)

    The job of corporations is to make money. Being greedy is a given. However, the perception of greed is relative to their competition. All in all, I'd say nVidia and Intel appear more greedy than AMD. Just compare the launch price of the current undisputed single GPU champ (HD 5870) to the GTX280 when it launched. How about the HD 5850 vs the GTX260. Intel manages to stay close in price in the areas in which AMD is competitive. However, I have a hard time understanding how the Core i7-975 or even the i7-950 justify their price premium over the i7-920.

    Will AMD follow the same pattern when they have the overwhelming advantage? They are currently on top with no real competition in the GPU space, and haven't yet come anywhere close. However, given enough time on top, I'd say yes. Lately, though, they haven't even kept up with the cost of doing business, so I tend to think their prices are artificially low to maintain market share. I hope it pays off in the long run as I like how prices have gone with good competition.
    Reply
  • SlyNine - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    OMG dude, you need availability before you can have great pricing. You're talking about a different situation , which will not change this one.

    Changing the topic will not change the fact that AMD at this point in time cannot create more market penetration because of availability, so to improve profit margins ( what any good company does) they will have to raise prices, since they will sell out anyways.

    I figured this might happen, it happened with the 8800GT. So I got mine early.
    Reply
  • Ratinator - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    Hmmm.....this almost seems like the equivalent of a gas pump increase a few days before a long weekend. Isn't AMD almost ready to introduce the 5900 series.....maybe a little bit of profiteering before they have to lower the prices to make the 5900 series somewhat affordable. Reply
  • JPForums - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    (quote)maybe a little bit of profiteering before they have to lower the prices to make the 5900 series somewhat affordable.(/quote)

    Perhaps, but it's hard to say that just yet. I tend to look at it as a rather intelligent method to lower demand to levels that they can keep up with at the moment. I'm not saying that the increased revenue wasn't a compelling motivator to support this hike, but before chalking it up to pure profiteering lets consider a few things.

    Original MSRP => AMD Estimated MSRP
    HD 5870 $379 => $379
    HD 5850 $259 => $279

    AMD didn't raise the price of the 5870. AMD raised the price of the 5850 by an amount that they think should only raise the cost of manufacturing by $20. Given that nothing about the manufacturing process changes, I think we can safely assume that the raised the price of the chip by about $20. Any further raises in price are done by board manufacturers and distributors.

    Ryan Smith's Estimated Prices
    (Arranged by performance descending)
    GTX 295 $450
    HD 5870 $400
    HD 5850 $300
    GTX 285 $350

    If you assume Ryan and any colleagues that helped him come up with the estimated prices are correct, then you still end up in a price competitive situation. The GTX 295 is the top performer commanding $450, but the HD 5870 sits more or less in the correct price bracket given its performance. The HD 5850 sits at $300 after the price hike. However, the less powerful GTX 285 is still going for $350. If AMD used nVidia's pricing scheme, then the HD 5850 should go for a price closer to $370 and the HD 5870 should go for even more.

    If AMD doesn't lower the price back down once supply exceeds demand, you could say that they are profiteering to some extend. We'll find out when the time comes.

    Even if you take this as a guarantee, let's put this into perspective. When the GTX 260 came out, it's launch price was $400. Just like the HD 5850, it was a step down from the top of the line single GPU card, that beat the previous generation top of the line card. Yet it was priced the same as Ryan's estimated price hike of today's top of the line single GPU card. The GTX 280's launch price was $650.

    For a more current example, nVidia is phasing out their GTX series cards. AMD is phasing out most of the ATi HD 4000 series. AMD is pricing them such that the best value in their lineup is probably the 4870/4890 (from a performance perspective). nVidia is keeping the GTX series prices the same as they were before the 5800 series launch, despite the fact that they are clearly dominated at these prices. They were smart about it, though, as they artificially limited supply to undercut demand at these prices. I'd say charging $50 more than the competition (post-price hike) for a card that underperforms compared to the competition is a little more deserving of the profiteering title.

    On the same token, if prices don't come back down once supply solidifies, I still won't recommend them. Their are plenty of "lower-end" options like the HD 4870/4890 that can be crossfired for less money and deliver greater performance. The GTS 250 and lower end cards from nVidia (particularly the GTS 250) still hold good value for anyone with 1680x1050 resolution displays and smaller.
    Reply
  • rudy - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    Even if it is only to increase revenue what is wrong with that? AMD is in serious financial trouble if they expect to survive they need to make some money and while they have a hot product they should do it. If the price is high might as well have some of the money rather then allowing retailers to take most of the profit. Reply
  • James5mith - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    Just curious as I've always wondered about it.

    When you are talking about the die for a GPU/CPU, is the correct plural dies or dice?

    Dice seems so weird, since I associate it with gaming dice (d4,d6,d8,d10,d12,d20,etc.) But then again, the gaming items singular noun is die, and the plural is dice.
    Reply
  • johnsonx - Monday, November 09, 2009 - link

    This has been debated time and again on Anandtech, and I'm sure many other places as well. Years ago, Anand decided on 'dice'. I remain very sure that 'dice' is incorrect, but this is Anandtech, not Johnsonxtech.

    For example, when coins are made a coin blank is stamped between two dies, one for the obverse design and another for the reverse design. These dies are never called 'dice', always dies. The same is true for any manufacturing or machining application of such dies - no one ever calls them 'dice'. No, I am not directly in that industry, but I have several clients that do casting and machining (mold making), and I've never once heard them talk about 'dice', only 'dies'.

    'Dice' is correctly used when referring to a group of gaming dies together as a single unit. Multiple individuals separate from each other are still 'dies'.
    Reply
  • CatchNathan - Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - link

    When referring to silicone wafer, die, dice and dies are all valid, interchangeable terminology.

    Die can mean one or more than one, but dice and dies always implies more than one.

    I prefer dies, because it avoids confusion. Dice can also mean the action performed when you cut a wafer into multiple die(s).
    Reply
  • asgallant - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    The plural of die (the thing you roll) is dice. The plural of die (a block of semiconductor material) is dies. Reply
  • yacoub - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    This is correct, although even Anand and company frequently get it wrong and will argue for "dice". Reply
  • Griswold - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    Wrong. But i'll back it up with a book.

    http://tinyurl.com/yao5fja">http://tinyurl.com/yao5fja

    Reply
  • MadMan007 - Friday, November 13, 2009 - link

    Hmm some random book verus a dictionary, I wonder which is correct. Reply
  • gwolfman - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    I vote for dies. Reply
  • The0ne - Thursday, November 05, 2009 - link

    As I've said when you guys reviewed the 5870 a while back...I'm going to wait until the hikes die down :D Just keep watching Hot Deals just in case. Reply

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