For those of you in the market for a new video card, some price relief is on its way. Earlier today AMD sent out an announcement that they’ll be dropping the price on half of the Radeon HD 7000 series lineup, bringing prices down at both the top and bottom ends of their product stack.

With the launch of the GeForce GTX 680 AMD lost their performance lead in the high-end market – and thereby losing their ability to charge top dollar – so this adjustment has been expected. However it’s a pleasant surprise to see it this soon since the GTX 680 is still significantly supply constrained. We weren’t expecting to see this price cut until the GTX 680 supply improved, as AMD is still the only option when it comes to readily available cards.

Altogether AMD will be reducing the prices on 3 of their 7000 series cards: the 7970, the 7950, and the 7770. The 7970 will be dropping by $70 from $549 to $479 – below the GTX 680 – while its lower tier counterpart the 7950 will be dropping $50 from $449 to $399. Meanwhile the 7770, which was undoubtedly the worst priced member of the 7000 series, will be seeing a price drop of $20 to bring it from $159 to $139.

Spring 2012 Radeon HD 7000 Series Price Cuts
Card Old MSRP New MSRP
Radeon HD 7970 $549 $479
Radeon HD 7950 $449 $399
Radeon HD 7870 N/A $349
Radeon HD 7850 N/A $249
Radeon HD 7770 $159 $139
Radeon HD 7750 N/A $109

For the 7900 series the price cuts will be part of a two pronged approach by AMD to drive 7900 series sales. The other change is that AMD will be significantly increasing the amount of software that comes with these cards in what AMD is calling their Three For Free promotion. Currently most major retailers include a free copy of DiRT 3 with their 7900 cards; AMD will be replacing that promo with Three For Free, which will be a trio of games: DiRT Showdown, Nexuiz, and Deus Ex: Human Revolution plus the Explosive Mission Pack DLC.

Update 5/09: Now that the Three For Free promo has gone live, AMD has sent out a correction for the bundle. The Deus Ex portion of bundle will not include the more expansive Missing Link DLC; rather it will include the smalelr Explosive Mission Pack DLC.

Deus Ex was one of AMD’s major partner games from last year, while DiRT Showdown and Nexuiz are games that will not be released until next month. The inclusion of unreleased games is a bit odd, but considering that we’re just getting out of the post-Christmas game slump AMD’s options were either this or to include more 2011 games that many potential customers may already have. In any case, as with past AMD promotions these games will be given away via Steam keys.

Spring 2012 GPU Pricing Comparison
  $499 GeForce GTX 680
Radeon HD 7970 $479  
Radeon HD 7950 $399 GeForce GTX 580
Radeon HD 7870 $349  
  $299 GeForce GTX 570
Radeon HD 7850 $249  
  $199 GeForce GTX 560 Ti
  $169 GeForce GTX 560
Radeon HD 7770 $139  

Ultimately AMD has done enough to make the 7900 series once again competitive against the GTX 680, though how competitive is going to depend on how much you value AMD’s game bundle. A larger price cut would be a more straightforward value proposition, but AMD is better off adding value through the inclusion of games than further eroding their margins. Meanwhile the 7770’s new price is a welcome relief from its poor launch pricing, and while it’s still as expensive as the faster 6850 it’s no longer indefensibly overpriced for buyers looking to get a 28nm card. The only real odd man out here is the 7800 series; the 7850 is fine, however at $350 the 7870 is very close to the 7950, which could be bad news for one of those cards.

Wrapping things up, the price cut should be starting today while the Three For Free promo should be starting sometime in the next two weeks. We’re already seeing the prices come down on some Radeon cards with the rest soon to follow. But with the promo not starting for a couple more weeks, you may want to hold off on any 7900 purchases until it starts.

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  • Wreckage - Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - link

    So Baumann thinks that at some point in the future, they will have something maybe that will compete with what is essentially NVIDIA's latest mid-range card?

  • raghu78 - Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - link

    Baumann meant a mid gen tweak not a next gen HD 8000 series product. Don't delude yourself that GTX 680 is Nvidia's mid range graphics card. Mid range graphics cards are priced at USD 250 - 300. When GTX 680 becomes Nvidia's mid range graphics card GTX 760 it will face off against AMD's next gen Sea Islands HD 8000 products in Q4 2012. And for people who think Big Kepler GK110 did not require to be released because GTX 680 was competitive with HD 7970, they don't have a clue about the semiconductor industry. Nobody sits on a product and delays its release if its ready. Your release it and price it according to performance. Remember when ATI failed with HD 2900XT Nvidia maximized its profits with the Geforce 8800 Ultra at USD 850. These product families like Kepler take billions of dollards R&D to develop. And they have short life cycles like 12 - 18 months . Look at GTX 580 which is EOL. It had a 17 month life cycle. Nvidia did not release GK110 because its not ready. As simple as that. The rumours are GK110 taped out in Q1 2012 and is scheduled for a release in late Q3 or early Q4. AMD Sea Islands is scheduled for Q4 2012 release. So come this Christmas we have a face off between GTX 780 and HD 8970.
  • CeriseCogburn - Wednesday, April 18, 2012 - link

    No at those speeds (1.1,250, etc) amd's 7970 still loses more, it loses at high resolutions and in triple monitor gaming, it loses in driver releases, it loses in stability, and it loses badly in smoothness and loses significantly in IQ.
    I certainly would not really mind claiming a 3 game bundle made the choice for anyone, but this other goofy stuff is very irritating to see so many repeating as if anyone should believe it, because no one reliably can or should.
    The 680 is superior across the board, in game especially.
    Expecting the amd driver bundle to be stable at edgy overclocks is a fools game well over 50% of the time.
    Half the reviewers had amd driver issues, especially in CF, a point at which arguments are made that the 3G of ram actually becomes useful beyond the cores' already reached limits, which has shown to be also a fools errand.
    Anyone is welcome to buy amd all they like, god knows amd has burned me plenty, and certainly will in the future, but this ridiculous spin is a bit too much for me to bear.
    BTW the HD2900 is/was a great card. A GREAT CARD. That's another red herring spin that just drives me over the edge.

  • cooldadd - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    I see no mention of the 7750 except its appearance in the chart, going from n/a to $109...
  • Crazyeyeskillah - Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - link

    I payed 610$ each for 2 gigabyte windforce edition videocards like 2 months ago. They have literally lost a 1000$ a year customer for life. My cards are essentially worth about 3-400$ less now 2 months after i purchased them. Total scumbags.

    At one point i had sold a 5970 for 625$ almost 2 years after buying it. I payed 700$ for it brand new. This is absurd.
  • menting - Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - link

    lol, you hating on a company that drops the price after you buy it?
    if so, you should never buy any electronics then, because you'll hate every company.
    All you can blame is yourself.

    How about this? I'll sell you a 7970 for 650 bucks, and I'll raise the prices by 10 bucks per month after that for anyone that wants to buy one. I bet you'll love it.
  • Dracusis - Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - link

    GPU pricing has been creeping higher and higher with each successive generation for quite some time now. What I find most perplexing is how this trend seems to happen in relation to game console release cycles, shortly after a new batch of consoles are released the prices seem to drop off and the cycle starts again. I wonder if there's a direct relationship here (fab space?) or if it's just coincidence.
  • just4U - Wednesday, April 18, 2012 - link

    Prices have (imo) actually come donw. I remember paying 750 for a Geforce3 and 450 for a geforce 2. When the 8800GTX came out it was in the 5-600 range to..

    When Ati hit a bit of a win with their 8500 That's when we saw price around 399 for top end cards but Nvidia had been charging an arm and a leg for awhile before that.
  • just4U - Wednesday, April 18, 2012 - link

    Also (here in canada) I think the most I've ever seen a amd/ati card sell for is 6 bills.. but Nvidia when they don't have competition?? hell i've paid $700+ for some of their cards dating back to the Geforce3 days. Even the top end Geforce2 was $600ish
  • sotoa - Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - link

    And I just got the 7950 for my bro. Patience is a virtue.

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