Radeon HD 7850 Prices Fall Again

by Ryan Smith on 10/5/2012 12:00 PM EST


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  • creed3020 - Friday, October 05, 2012 - link

    I've been keenly waiting for more price drops before I upgrade from my Radeon 6850 to a 7850, this is getting close to the price I am willing to pay for one. Just need a good sale and it will be a done deal. Reply
  • Patflute - Friday, October 05, 2012 - link

    Such a pointless upgrade... I don't get why people need the latest tech in their computer. Reply
  • gamoniac - Friday, October 05, 2012 - link

    I don't think it is a pointless upgrade at all:
    - Lower power consumption at idle or load
    - Much much cooler
    - 33% - 100% better performance, and
    - Better overclocking ability.

    At $190-$200, HD7850 is a pretty sweet deal if AMD is your cup of tea. Playing Crysis 2 is "a walk in the park" :)

  • heffeque - Saturday, October 06, 2012 - link

    That's just sad... making the new card probably contaminated more than whatever extra electricity the 6850 wastes. Why not upgrade to a new video card when the old one starts not being useful instead? Darn hippies... What a waste... :-( Reply
  • MrSpadge - Saturday, October 06, 2012 - link

    Not saying this upgrade will be the best option available. But maybe his HD6850 can be handed down to family/frieds, thus making very good use of it. That's how I like to handle things: buy 1 new item, significantly upgrade 3 systems (if it works out..) Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Saturday, October 06, 2012 - link

    Maybe I can get his 6850! Still rocking a 4890, woot woot! Reply
  • jkostans - Sunday, October 07, 2012 - link

    Still with a 4870 1/2Gb here! The 7870's are tempting, just saw one on newegg for $215/ $195 AR free shipping. The $200 range is where it's at! Reply
  • johnsonjohnson - Monday, October 08, 2012 - link

    4830 here... The real price war begins... Reply
  • Gastec - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Should I upgrade my HD 5850 to a newer one or should I wait 5 more years? Reply
  • HisDivineOrder - Friday, October 05, 2012 - link

    Never underestimate the value of a card that has superior power/heat traits and is quieter as a result.

    Plus, if you game at something higher than 1080p I bet you'd find the upgrade worthwhile.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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).

  • 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.
  • 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.


    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.
  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, October 11, 2012 - link

    urr link blinky

    nVidia market share last year, 58.4 %, UP this Q, 59.3%

    amd loser share last year, 41.2 %, down this Q, 40.3 %

    nVidia gained, amd lost

    LOL it's off the link you just gave, it's exactly there it's the chart...


    Yeah, the amd sure kicked butt.... ROFL
  • HibyPrime1 - Friday, October 05, 2012 - link

    I bought a 7850 1GB 2 days ago, it hasn't even arrived yet Reply
  • Patflute - Friday, October 05, 2012 - link

    Why wouldn't you pay $10 to double the amount of VRAM? Reply
  • HibyPrime1 - Friday, October 05, 2012 - link

    Because I figure by the time games come out that need >1gb vram, I'll have to lower the resolution for playable frame rates anyway.

    The card will probably be completely obsolete by the time you need more than 1GB vram at 720p
  • HibyPrime1 - Friday, October 05, 2012 - link

    I probably should add that there are games out with pretty graphics that can eat up more than 1GB from, I was only referring to the games I play not needing it Reply
  • sorten - Friday, October 05, 2012 - link

    I find that if you buy the latest and greatest video card two years after its introduction you can get really great deals.

    Just kidding, but right now I'm playing a couple of DirectX 9 games (including Borderlands 2) and not feeling much pressure to upgrade.
  • Patflute - Friday, October 05, 2012 - link

    Pretty sure its DX11... Reply
  • gibb3h - Friday, October 05, 2012 - link

    dx9 according to the EXE... Reply
  • Kjella - Friday, October 05, 2012 - link

    I generally considering huge early price drops to be a sign that people aren't willing to pay what you wanted, so you have to slash prices to boost sales. It might please the ones getting the lower price but it angers the people who bought a $450 card early this year and it's retailing for $310 now and it'll likely slow sales of the next generation - why buy it full price when you can get it for much less a few months later. I read a similar comparison with CPUs recently, AMD had slashed prices lots while Intel still charged almost the same as at launch - I don't think anyone thought that was an advantage for AMD. In fact, their stock has been tanking recently... Reply
  • Belard - Friday, October 05, 2012 - link

    Shouldn't it be "AMD reduced the prices on most HD-7000 series video cards"?

    Question, is the 1GB 7850 any slower than the 2GB model?
  • Ryan Smith - Friday, October 05, 2012 - link

    "Question, is the 1GB 7850 any slower than the 2GB model?"

    Yes, there is a tangible difference in games that can burn through more than 1GB of VRAM. Otherwise the two are identical.
  • KineticHummus - Saturday, October 06, 2012 - link

    If only playing at 1920x1080, and knowing I dont play bf3, would only 1GB be limiting me in most games? Im not sure which games would use more than that at my resolution. Or does card that pretty much only cater to the people who game at 1280x720 Reply
  • RussianSensation - Saturday, October 06, 2012 - link


    I would imagine 1GB would become a factor in next generation games or if you play Shogun 2, Skyrim with mods.

    Early benchmark leaks show GTX650Ti trailing substantially to the 7850 in performance. If HD7850 2GB is dropping to $189 MSRP, I do not think it will be long before you can find one for $160-165 after rebates. Right now Newegg has two HD7850 2GB cards for $185 after rebates and HD7870 for $195 (PowerColor PCS+).

    The other small perk of HD7850 is that it has good overclocking headroom that allows it to reach GTX580 level of performance. $185 for 7850 2GB that can hit the performance level of a $499 GTX580 about 2 years since GTX580 came out is good progress. Too bad it took 8 months for these price drops to happen since NV decided to delay its entire low- and mid-range desktop 28nm lineup by 6-8 months.
  • Belard - Saturday, October 06, 2012 - link

    Found a small benchmark review between two 7850s running at the same clock rate in which the 1GB card was a bit faster than the 2GB version in 1920x1200. Reply
  • RussianSensation - Sunday, October 07, 2012 - link

    Hi Ryan, I think while the new price for 7850 1GB is $169, AIBs will be offering rebates to bring it down to $159:


    So I think it's $169, and for those who want to offer rebates, $159 MSRP:
  • bitterman0 - Friday, October 05, 2012 - link

    It is truly a pity to see 7850 to drop below $200 (where it really belonged from the start) because of AMD's brain-dead policy to not support Windows Server in its Catalyst drivers since 10.x (don't recall the exact version, but still remember the time when the support was there). I guess, less aggravation with drivers is worth the extra $20 to get a comparable card from Nvidia. Reply
  • Alexvrb - Friday, October 05, 2012 - link

    OK first off, the 7850 used to cost more because it was almost unchallenged in the mid-range. Nvidia was pitting last gen cards against it until very recently, so even at those higher prices it was not a bad deal - and benchmarks backed this up. As Nvidia eventually launched some Keplers in this range, AMD dropped prices as necessary. This is completely normal and happens every generation.

    Second, why would a box running Windows Server need a 7850? I can maybe see a case for a FirePro, which *has* unified drivers for Server 2008. But a gaming card? Windows 7.
  • CeriseCogburn - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    AMD is a greedy fat corporate pig who only cares about how many more millions they can stuff in their fattened criminal executive pockets.
    They scalp all you punks then you bow down and kiss it.
  • just4U - Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - link

    lol... thoughts on Nvidia? (especially around their pricing of the 560TI) Reply
  • medi01 - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    They are pigs, unless you compare it to much bigger pigs, the nVidia. Reply
  • Beenthere - Saturday, October 06, 2012 - link

    Just to set the record straight the vendors not AMD lowered prices.

    Either way it's good news for AMD and consumers. In spite of the brand fanbois, most people are able to determine what GPU card meets their needs and budget. I see people switching brands all the time if they are price sensitive or looking for the best value.

    Reality is that any of the current crop of GPU cards is more than powerful enought to run any games at any reasonable resolution for 95% of the market. It hardly matters if your game runs at 40 FPS or 60 FPS. Anything above 40 FPS is just bragging rights as the eye can't differentiate the true speed above 30 FPS.

    I always suggest that people buy what makes them happy and fits their budget. Your're just wasting money and getting poor value if you're buying the over-priced, over-hyped top of the line model CPUs, GPUs, mobos, RAM, etc. anyway, but it's your money to burn so enjoy.
  • johnsonjohnson - Monday, October 08, 2012 - link

    Finally some value in the ~$150 bracket Reply
  • TheJian - Monday, October 08, 2012 - link

    Heading for another quarterly loss. Meanwhile Nvidia keeps making money. AMD needs to fire all management before they have no company. Jen has openly said he wants them to stop their price war (that they can't win anyway vs. a company awash in 3.5bil cash vs. 2.5B in debt on their own side), so he can get richer. Yet AMD persists in dropping prices as their stock drops. Do they have anyone left at AMD that knows any math? You can't price a company to death with debt while the enemy is floating in cash with better tech. You will only succeed in going broke before they do.

    I love cheap prices, but I wish they would stop this nonsense. How about you help your stockholders for a few quarters instead of killing the company?
  • just4U - Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - link

    I was eyeing the 7950 for awhile (and the 7870) but at the prices they wanted it wasn't worth the upgrade.. (I was using a 6950 2g at the time) I continued to wait and Nvidia released it's 670.. I finally decided to buy it over the two AMD products when suddenly AMD dropped prices on the 7870 to $230ish.. I bought two..

    ... if they didn't do that, i'd be sitting on a 670 and AMDs stockholders would be SOL.
  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, October 11, 2012 - link

    That story also goes another way, despite what you've convinced yourself of, or brainfarted out haphazardly without thinking.

    You were always going to get the 2x7870's, you just needed nVidia to give you the lower price, so you waited until the 670 came out, and robbed amd and the stockholders.

    Yep. See, that's what really happened. I also see you're no noob, and also see loads of amd fanboy, so that excuse about I had no idea releases cause competitor price drops won't do.

    I see your actions as the way amd fans have taken down amd and will be responsible for their bankruptcy soon enough.
  • just4U - Thursday, October 11, 2012 - link

    I am not a fan Cerise, I buy over 40 video cards a year constantly switching between Nvidia and Amd. Depends on what's out there and it's overall cost for the setup I am working on. I have no bias/preference. Reply
  • Gastec - Thursday, November 15, 2012 - link

    I need a new card because the one I have now can't keep up with the new games. I see these cards from the 600 series/ 7000 series performing rather similarly but the AMD ones are cheaper. What do you recommend I should buy and why? Reply
  • TheJian - Sunday, October 14, 2012 - link

    And what do we hear now? 20-30% layoff's and Engineers going with them. This is a recipe for going out of business. AMD is already SOL unfortunately. While they should be firing management and marketing, they instead lay off ENGINEERS?

    Blazorthon, where you at? Army_ant come with you to anandtech?? :) Anyone want to argue AMD is financially competitive with Intel again like blaz did at toms? Never mind I made my argument with NVDA not INTC (as blaz incorrectly stated AMD being competitive with INTC). You might want to take a look at their financials as I said. Unfortunately comments at tom's already said it, they are bleeding them dry while management sits untouched. I mentioned all the engineers that have left (for apple etc) and now a 2nd round of engineer cuts. Engineers should be the only thing they keep! Marketing sucks (they're getting some axes too of course), and management completely BLOWS. IF you don't have a good product (pipeline running out as I said before, you're seeing the last of Dirk Meyer's 5 yr pipeline now), you can't make money. How can you make a good product with 30-40% of your workforce being laid off over the last year? A good 10%-15% the first time, and another 20-30% here? I'll say it again, we need to HOPE/PRAY someone takes them over before they get so far behind nobody can do anything with what is left of their IP. They wouldn't be LOSING money if they would quit dropping prices. You can't price NVDA to death (never mind trying to do it to Intel). Both are billions in the green (black? :)) while AMD (green bombshell incoming russian? Is this a red bombshell?) is billions in the red. THIS IS READ's FAULT. Jen Hsun has said he wishes AMD would stop lowering prices so he could get richer (well, duh). He's laughed in public over their price war, as it is ridiculous. He doesn't wish to cut prices but READ continues to think he can somehow win against a company (two companies) with NO DEBT and 3.5B in the bank (time X for intel's billions).

    AMD needs to be bought and hopefully by someone with Billions. Samsung or IBM would be best, but NVDA will be able to afford it shortly as their stock keeps dropping. Much more and they could buy them cash easily. But I'd rather see a stronger company buy them so they could turn it around and compete with Intel etc. We do not need ONE graphic card company and ONE cpu company. You all better buy your vid cards/cpu's for xmas this year, as next year you'll see $500 cpu's and $500 mid range vid cards, with the bottom being much higher than now. The year after next? Only the rich will be able to afford an upgrade if AMD doesn't get bought soon. :(


    Congrats on getting in before the prices get hiked next year just4U :)
  • medi01 - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    Last time I've checked, AMD had excellent APUs that didn't even need discrete graphic cards to play many games at modest resolutions and even consumed less at idle.

    Oh, and when comparing to nVidia, AMD always had more for the buck. 650Ti at 150$ doesn't make any sense, when you can get 7850 for that price, this move makes perfect sense.

    Besides, HD8000 series, with major performance boost, will arrive soon
  • Gastec - Thursday, November 15, 2012 - link

    Dude, that's why AMD bought ATI, to get rid of some competition, make a quick profit and when the shit hits the fan to fire people. To thicken the ranks of unemployed. That's what big corporation do, they've been doing it for decades, HELLO! You are american, did you just wake up? Reply
  • Gastec - Thursday, November 15, 2012 - link

    So you are the stockholder and I'm the client who buys the company's products to make you richer? Reply
  • Tech-Curious - Thursday, October 11, 2012 - link

    Just a note, because I didn't see anyone else mention it: The 2GB-7850 link in the article takes you to a 1GB card on newegg. It's listed (or was listed) as a 2GB card through newegg's search, but if you look at the reviews section, the heading will change -- and you'll notice complaints about the card's lack of RAM in the reviews.


    I happened to notice the discrepancy on newegg a couple of days ago, before I even found this article, because I, too, thought the $179 price point to be a spectacular deal. Alas, the cheapest 2GB card on newegg appears to cost $199, at the moment:


    Granted, $199 isn't a night-or-day difference from $179, but it's a difference well worth noting, given the context.

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