AMD Cuts Radeon R9 280 to $249

by Ryan Smith on 5/13/2014 7:10 PM EST


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  • Mondozai - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    Getting a custom-cooled 280 for 199 like the one via Newegg is crazy good.

    Even if prices will rise, if they stabilize around 220-230, then that means that Nvidia has no response in the space between 180 and 250 dollars, a crucial segment. Plus, the 280 has very good overclocking capability.

    AMD seems to have wind in their sails, after the Titan Z debacle, the emergence of FreeSync as a viable (and free!) alternative to G-Sync. They were down and out a few years ago and are now doing a lot better. Even their drivers are doing better, especially for the new 4K single stream monitors where Nvidia's drivers are now the ones falling behind.

    Hopefully, Nvidia's fortunes will return. The best for people who buy GPUs are two companies both doing well. When one lose too much, the other get greedy, like Nvidia has just demonstrated in 2013 and in 2014.
  • Frenetic Pony - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    Considering AMD is hurting a lot more than Nvidia (Nvidia's financials are well and good) I'll take another 8 months to 20nm/Pirate Island/Maxwell of AMD dominating in pricing. Reply
  • purerice - Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - link

    I hope they're out in 8 months. It seems both AMD and Nvidia have pretty much reached the limit of 28nm. I've waited 6 years to upgrade and I can wait 8 more months. Reply
  • jibberegg - Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - link

    6 years?! What are you upgrading from? Paper? Reply
  • Frenetic Pony - Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - link

    Clay tablets, paper is the dream man. Reply
  • Mondozai - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    "Considering AMD is hurting a lot more than Nvidia (Nvidia's financials are well and good) I'll take another 8 months to 20nm/Pirate Island/Maxwell of AMD dominating in pricing."

    They are? Have you been reading the financial reports? Nvidia's revenue in 2013 fell from 2012. AMD's revenue increased by 38%. AMD also cut its net loss massively. It will almost certainly go back to black this quarter.
  • TheJian - Saturday, May 17, 2014 - link

    Yes I read all the reports. Pay attention to more than just revenue. Margins, etc all come into play here. Also consider what they've been doing with their money. IE, buying back stock in NV's case and giving dividends. There is a lot more to a financial story of a company. I could write a book here, but you hopefully get the point. One number out of an earnings report doesn't tell you everything about company X.

    Is AMD's INCOME above NV's? I don't care about revenue as much as I do about INCOME. Make money or change your plans. AMD appears to be still trying to figure out how to make money consistently. I have one answer. Charge more for everything you sell if you can. NV has said they don't understand AMD trying to price them to death and want it to stop. But AMD keeps doing it to no avail. It only hurts the bottom line. $6B in losses in the last 10yrs says I'm right. NV has made ~3.4B during the same time. Who's winning? The guy MAKING money.
  • TheJian - Saturday, May 17, 2014 - link

    You kidding? There is a $250 card in the chart called GTX 760 which as he noted can be had for $20 less than $250. Did you read the article?

    No debacle for Titan Z. Just a realization the other guy got his stuff running at a ghz, so you have to up the clocks from 876. Big deal. At least they didn't ship cards to reviewers and tell them all to re-bench with new drivers that ups the fans so they can run at retail clocks (290), or ship cards that can't do RETAIL clocks as your ref cards so places like tomshardware etc were posting ~750mhz throttle stories. THAT, was a debacle.

    Who told you freesync is free? It takes a newer card, GOOD AMD drivers (uh oh), a new monitor which also requires new SCALERS which were not made at the time NV went Gsync (and exactly why they did it on a chip themselves) and still not made for desktop monitors apparently etc. Also you naively think monitor manufactures won't charge for this tech that at least requires some R&D (scaler has to be upgraded, that's R&D for someone and they won't give it away). Let me know when you've seen freesync working in a shipping product and that it is just as good as Gsync.

    NV is falling behind in 4K single stream monitors? Pretty specific situation to get a win for AMD (reaching a bit aren't we?). So >1% of the market is a death spiral for NV? NV's fortunes? Well they make a fortune compared to AMD already with NV making ~450-650mil/yr vs AMD still losing every year(lost 83mil 2013, lost 1.18B 2012). Remember AMD has to make money for the YEAR. Let me know when they get that right again. They have to make 200mil just to pay interest on their debt. NV pays no interest.

    In the last 10yrs NV has made ~3.5B. AMD has lost $6B+ during that same time.
    Two small losses in 10 yrs amounting to 100mil or so due to paying bumpgate stuff probably.
    The company has never made a dime over it's whole life. Not quite sure how you do that and live but the point is the same. Hopefully AMD's fortunes will return but I really doubt it. Everyone is coming for the bulk of their market (low end crap apus etc), and NV already owns 65% of the discrete gpu market. NV brags every quarter about GRID tests. They had 100 companies 2 quarters ago, 200 testing last quarter and 600 companies testing this quarter. Where is AMD bragging? Will NV own 90% of the grid market soon like workstations too? So NV in two NEW markets that are growing (an making companies massive profits on mobile) while AMD still trying to get into them. Let me know when AMD shows a path to some massive TAM that breeds profits.

    You should be worried about AMD not NV. NV has 3.5B in cash and basically no debt. AMD 1B and 2.5x that in debt last I checked. You failed to mention AMD has no mobile soc for 2yrs that even looks like it has a chance against everyone else and they won't wait for AMD. AMD won't have exploding profits with x86 or gpu on PC's. The new money is being made in MOBILE (and at some point GRID type stuff). IF you're 6yrs late to that party you aren't in a position to dominate and may not even be in the position to grab market. AMD will have to have a BETTER product to take out Qcom or NV in that landscape and it seems they're way behind.

    NV greedy? NO. AMD stupid. Price the product where people will pay and AMD keeps failing here trying to price fight NV who can't lose a price war vs. a broke company. You may not be able to afford the top end, but NV says they sold 57% more on the top end this Q than last year's Q. That says NV is charging an amount the market will bare, or sales go DOWN not up YoY. AMD, to use your words "better start getting GREEDY" or keep losing money. Or to use my version, AMD better start pricing products where they can have a chance to profit for a year.
  • formulav8 - Saturday, May 17, 2014 - link

    Typical blah, NVidia doesn't even like you. Reply
  • DnaAngel - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    I am all for getting the best bang for the buck and there is no denying that AMD cards are hard to ignore in many price range's, but by no means is AMD doing well. They are on the verge of total bankruptcy and this move is one of many they HAVE to do to stay afloat. They already announced this past November they are terminating desktop CPU's for the next 3-5 years. This means no FX based Steamroller and Excavator's. They will only be focusing on Desktop/Laptop APU's and a few server Opterons.

    That move alone shows the dire condition of AMD. The main thing that has kept them from going completely under is the contract with Microsoft and Sony's new consoles and AMD manufacturing their APU's that are in them.
  • techguyz - Wednesday, June 04, 2014 - link

    Actually, the r9 270x is about $169 or so now, so even with the r9 280 being $200, the r9 270x would be about an on par buy. The difference between the two is maybe 2-5fps....which can be easily compensated for by turning even one innocuous setting down 1 notch. I mean, heck you could even overclock the 270 to 270x levels, or the 270x to 280 levels. Of course you can overclock the 280 too....but if you want real longevity then one might as well save up for an r9 290. I mean after all the r9 series is pretty much rebrands of the 79XX series of cards that came out years ago for around $400. If you consider the people bought those can still keep up with the r9 series today, and that people expect an r9 to last them a few years too.....then the 79XX is going to last about as long performance wise, and longer overall for the price originally paid.

    I envy the people that went out splurged on a 2600K and 79XX series card, because they sure as heck got their moneys worth, because such a system is still a beast today.
  • garadante - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    If these drop to the low to mid $100s with price cuts and rebates within the next 6 months, I might get another to crossfire with my current 7950. There wouldn't be any problem crossfiring a 7950 and a 280, right? Or would I have to do a BIOS flash? Reply
  • Flunk - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    That's unlikely, these are big cards and they cost quite a bit to manufacture. $200 is a damn good deal, considering the fairly small performance delta between a 280 and the top of the line 290x.

    And yes, you can crossfire a 7950 and 280 without issue.
  • Impulses - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    Fairly small performance delta? They're talking about the 280, not 290... Reply
  • Flunk - Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - link

    Yes, small delta. 1792 cores vs 2816 cores (2/3s) 384bit vs 512bit (3/4) (stock frequencies on both cards are the same). All for about $250 less than the ~$550 290x. Benchmark scores back it up too. Compare to the difference between the 280 and 270 (which is literally half the card) and it's a really small delta, especially relative to cost. Reply
  • Impulses - Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - link

    We must be looking at different benchmarks, never mind that we're talking about a rebadged last gen part (280X & 280) vs a current gen (290/290X). Reply
  • Joepublic2 - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    They're (R9 series) the same basic architecture as the older 7xxx cards, with a few standards updates here and there and a wider path to memory/more modular functional units. The only place the 290 is really in a different league is it has 2x as many rops (64 vs. 32), but that doesn't translate into performance outside of synthetic benchmarks. You must be looking at some weird benchmarks because it's between 30-50% faster than a 280x in real applications. Reply
  • garadante - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    7950s hit $150 on sale for a short while before stocks dried up. I expect these to hit similar marks, especially as it's an aging die. Reply
  • Gigaplex - Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - link

    An aging die with no replacement yet. Reply
  • Alexvrb - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    Maybe if he waits a while and buys one used. :/ Reply
  • just4U - Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - link

    People should be very cautious about buying any of amd's 7850 on thru 290x video cards used... coin mining likely means many are out in the wild rdy to sell but considering how hard they were used they'd likely be iffy at best. Reply
  • RussianSensation - Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - link

    What usually fails on videocards is the fan. I've been running overclocked CPUs and GPUs for distributed computing projects since Athlon XP1600+ days. I've overvolted every Intel, AMD, NV GPU and CPU since 2003 and have never had any of them fail despite them running 24/7 for 2-3 years at a time before replacing them. With sufficient cooling and overvolting of less than 10%, ASICs do not wear out to any extent that matters. These products are meant to last 10+ years 24/7, easily. I still have a Core 2 Duo E6600 that runs at 3.4ghz from 2006 and it has been crunshing non-stop (minus power outages). Reply
  • Flunk - Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - link

    I've Bitcoin and then Litecoin mined for the last 2 years. If you keep pushing the cards to 100%, the VRMs eventually blow, it's not a matter of if but when. So I would be careful buying used AMD cards. Reply
  • Flunk - Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - link

    To make this clear, I've sold off my GPUs but I clearly marked them as being used mining cards. Most of the people who bought them were also miners. Reply
  • yuhong - Friday, May 16, 2014 - link

    If you are wondering why, look up for example Vertcoin, which cannot be mined by ASICs (at least yet). Reply
  • alacard - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    Meet the new card, same as the old card. Reply
  • purerice - Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - link

    Neither the new card nor the old card are the one card to satisfy the alacard. Reply
  • alacard - Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - link

    that's awesome haha Reply
  • Mondozai - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    "Meet the new card, same as the old card."

    The article is about price cuts, nothing else. Talk about missing the point, alacard.
  • Krysto - Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - link

    Is it because this specific card isn't popular with miners? Because those that are seem crazy expensive. You'd think the more popular something is, the less it could cost, because of economies of scale. AMD seems to take the opposite approach. Reply
  • nathanddrews - Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - link

    I'm not sure any GPUs are really valuable for mining anymore, are they? I thought we were entering the ASIC era. Read: don't bother mining on your quadfire setup anymore.

    Anyway, I bought one of these (7950) last fall for $180 after $10 rebate. This card should be closer to $150 by now. NOT IMPRESSED
  • Mr Perfect - Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - link

    GPUs are pointless for bitcoin, but there are tons of alt-coins that keep popping up that are specifically designed to work best on GPUs. All the miners didn't want their massive GPU farms to go to waste, so they made ASIC resistant coins. Reply
  • Flunk - Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - link

    They keep trying, and then someone just makes an ASIC that supports the algorithm. Scrypt ASICs are already here. Reply
  • JoyTech - Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - link

    Interesting...can you share more info about upcoming scrypt ASICs? It seems that ASICs manufacturers have dodgy reputation (missed delivery deadlines) and conflict of interest (have been caught mining themselves on machines to be delivered to clients!). Reply
  • yuhong - Friday, May 16, 2014 - link

    The Gridseeds has been out for a while now, and at least one more powerful scrypt ASIC is going to deliver soon. Reply
  • Mondozai - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    "Anyway, I bought one of these (7950) last fall for $180 after $10 rebate. This card should be closer to $150 by now. NOT IMPRESSED"

    Maybe if you shout louder someone will bother to care.
  • nathanddrews - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    I don't need to now that you have graciously reposted it. Reply
  • Communism - Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - link Reply
  • Hrel - Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - link

    It's $250 for a HIS. XFX is $270 then $240 after MIR. MSI is $270 then $260 after MIR.

    Price doesn't matter if it's on a crappily designed card. So realistically the price is $260. Which is still a hell of lot more card than Nvidia will give you at that price right now, WTF Nvidia, WTF.
  • Hrel - Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - link

    Hm, 280x is only $290 (price in cart). For $30 I think that still makes more sense. Reply
  • P39Airacobra - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    LOL After I got my R9 270 sure enough the 280 drops way down. I could have saved a little more, Oh well I am still very happy with my updated version of the 7870. Reply
  • P39Airacobra - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    Also it is good to see AMD back to doing what they are supposed to be doing. Offering Strong Hardware for less money than the competition. This should finally knock Nvidia off it's high horse it climbed on with the 600 series. And the 700 series should finally see fair prices now. This is good day for gamers. Reply
  • Chrispy_ - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    "one of their more recently launched video cards, the Radeon R9 280"

    Please don't pander to the weasly, deceptive marketing tactic of rebadges. This is a product from January 2012 with a new sticker. I own a couple of R9-280X cards (bought as 280X, not 7970) but there's no way they are new. These are 30-month old GCN 1.0 parts that lack several features of the GCN 1.1 cards.

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