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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  • TechSlinger - Wednesday, April 18, 2012 - link

    Heh. My 6970 just died same day as the price drop. Thank god it waited. Its almost Karmic.
  • CeriseCogburn - Wednesday, April 18, 2012 - link

    I don't like the N/A for the 7870 and 7850, as if there is no old price available - yes the old price is the same as the new price so NO CHANGE, or not lowered, or the like should be present.
    Instead we're treated to the corporate media PR love of Not Available...N/A...

    It's another dirty little secret in plain sight, and the article never once complains the 7870 and 7850 are not lowered in price. I have no opinion formed on the 7850's price, but the 7870 is too high.
    The GTX570 is nearly equal, and is $50 less.

    The 7870 is still too high.

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