AMD sends word this afternoon that they’re instituting an official price cut for one of their more recently launched video cards, the Radeon R9 280. The 280, AMD’s lower tier Tahiti part and Radeon HD 7950 analogue, was launched back in March, shortly before Cryptocoin Mania subsided and AMD video cards came back to their MSRPs. As a result of being launched in that time period, the 280 launched at an inflated MSRP of $279, suitable for a time when the higher tier 280X was well over MSRP but uncomfortably close now that AMD’s faster card is back at $299 where it belongs.

Consequently AMD is cutting the price of the 280 to bring its price back in line with its performance relative to AMD’s other video cards. Effective today the 280 is getting a $30 price drop, from $279 to $249. This puts it almost precisely between the 280X ($299) and 270X ($199) in AMD’s product stack. Meanwhile a $249 MSRP also means the card is now more directly competing with NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 760, which has a similar $249 MSRP, though can often be found for $10-$20 less. As one would expect, that is a very close matchup and it’s no mistake these cards are priced so close together now that AMD has better control of their retail pricing.

Wrapping things up, AMD tells us that they expect it will take a few days for the price cuts to filter through various partners and retailers, though a quick Newegg check is already turning up two cards priced at $249 or below. In fact Sapphire’s R9 280 Dual-X is already well below AMD’s new MSRP, with Newegg running what’s undoubtedly going to be a short-lived deal that sees the card priced at $219 after mail-in rebate, with Newegg taking off a further $20 for signing up for their newsletter to bring the final price down to $199. Meanwhile despite the price cut the 280’s status in AMD’s Never Settle Forever program remains unchanged, so the 280 is still a gold tier card that qualifies for 3 games through that program.

Spring 2014 GPU Pricing Comparison
  $500 GeForce GTX 780
Radeon R9 290 $400  
  $320 GeForce GTX 770
Radeon R9 280X $300  
Radeon R9 280 $250 GeForce GTX 760
Radeon R9 270X $200  
Radeon R9 270 $180 GeForce GTX 660




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  • techguyz - Wednesday, June 4, 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

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