Print 95 comment(s) - last by Pakman333.. on Mar 25 at 2:28 AM

Declining to follow the price cut plan

DailyTech revealed last week ATI's new pricing strategy to compete with NVIDIA's GTS 250 rebrand, also known as the 9800 GTX+.

The ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB was to drop to $129, while the Radeon HD 4870 512MB was scheduled to be cut to $149. This was supposed to be accomplished primarily through the use of mail-in rebates, which ATI would help offset.

Most of the board partners took up the offer on the 4850. However, due to several factors converging at once, the 4850 can now be picked up for around $120 at several e-tailers, albeit with the mail-in rebate.

The story with the 4870 is something else entirely. The Radeon HD 4870 512MB was supposed to drop to $149 with a mail-in rebate, but some of ATI's graphics card partners are resisting this as they feel that since the card outperforms the GTX 260, it should compete against that card. They instead are positioning the 1GB version of the 4850 against the 1GB version of the GTS 250 at the $149 price point.

One of our sources in Taiwan told us: "The ATI lineup is very strong, and we feel the 4850 should go against the GTS 250 and the 4870 against the GTX 260".

ATI has been very aggressive with its pricing, with lower prices and higher performance in the same segments as its nemesis NVIDIA. This has led to declining revenues for board manufacturers, already hard hit by lower demand due to the global recession.



GTX 280

ATI Radeon 4870

GTX 260 Core 216

ATI Radeon HD 4850

GTS 250

Stream Processors






Texture Address / Filtering

80 / 80




64 / 64







Core Clock






Memory Clock


900MHz GDDR5 (3600MHz eff)


993MHz GDDR3 (1986MHz eff)


Memory Bus Width






Frame Buffer






Transistor Count






Price Point






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RE: Huh?
By aj28 on 3/11/2009 2:22:53 PM , Rating: 5
The whole point their AIB partners are trying to make is that the price doesn't need to be that low because they're selling just fine anyway, and are already cheaper than the competition. Dropping it any lower is not being competitive, it's being dumb, and it's not a sustainable way to run a company, especially in bad times.

On the other hand, I think the primary motivator for ATi trying to drive the price to unreasonably low levels is to effectively buy back the market share they've lost over the past few years. Even fanboys won't buy their brand of choice if they can get comparable or better performance at a 20% or greater discount. If ATi can improve their image and win back the market then they will compete better in the coming generation, and I think they know that.

RE: Huh?
By Reclaimer77 on 3/11/09, Rating: -1
RE: Huh?
By Martimus on 3/11/2009 3:17:51 PM , Rating: 5
The card isn't being priced against the GTX 260, it is being priced against the GTS 250, which is inferior to the HD 4870 in nearly every way.

That is what the board partners are complaining about. They want to price it the same as the GTX 260, which has approximately equal performance, while ATi wants to price the HD4870 at the GTS 250 price range.

RE: Huh?
By Reclaimer77 on 3/11/09, Rating: -1
RE: Huh?
By Pakman333 on 3/11/2009 3:58:17 PM , Rating: 3
"The ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB will drop to $129, and is designed to compete at the same price point as NVIDIA's GTS 250 512MB version."

RE: Huh?
By Cypherdude1 on 3/15/2009 8:26:23 AM , Rating: 2
I like ATI over nVidia because ATI has better support for their drivers. I am currently using an older Radeon video card with s-video out. I use it to see DVD's ported to my TV. The picture is amazing, very clear. Even if you sit a foot in front of the TV, you cannot see any artifacts, ghosting, nothing. I cannot get over just how clear the picture is. Also, the picture is centered nearly perfectly on the TV. There's no over or under scan. I often pause the movie, switch to FireFox, and access the 'Net right on the TV. My previous nVidia card was never like this.

$129 for a top-of-the-line PCIe video card is also amazing. That's an incredible price.

{UPDATE} I just read the reviews for the 4850 and I'm disappointed. Apparently the 4850 runs HOT:

RE: Huh?
By lexluthermiester on 3/16/2009 12:28:39 PM , Rating: 2
I like ATI over nVidia because ATI has better support for their drivers.

I'm going to have to disagree with that. The very reason I switched from ATI to Nvidia was because of the pain in the back-side drivers ATI started pumping out in 2006. Nvidia's drivers are entirely easier to use. I've installed and used ATI cards in client's machines and nothing has changed over the past few years. Properly configuring Nvidia drivers takes half the time.

Now allow me to qualify myself. I never use standard mode configurations. I always access the advanced modes in driver settings. ATI's drivers require more non-essential programs running and this annoys me to no end.

RE: Huh?
By Sagath on 3/11/2009 4:01:49 PM , Rating: 5
False: Dated Mar 2, 2009

and Dated Mar 3, 2009

So if anything, ATi knew about the existence of the GTS250 before they announced the price drop. Hell, most people have been reading about the 'new' 250 on forums for 6+ weeks. The price drops was suprising, but not unforseen.

RE: Huh?
By MrPoletski on 3/12/2009 10:19:15 AM , Rating: 4
exactly, coz GPU manufacturers have no idea what the competition might be releasing in the near future... not

RE: Huh?
By afkrotch on 3/11/2009 4:09:47 PM , Rating: 3
Nvidia should drop the price on the GTS 250, then lower the price of the GTX 260 to match the HD 4870. It's a win win for the consumer.

RE: Huh?
By lagitup on 3/11/2009 8:30:00 PM , Rating: 3
I don't think nVidia can afford it, with the gt200's die size and whatnot, else they probably would've done that already; what company would let their competitor outmaneuver if they had another option?

RE: Huh?
By murphyslabrat on 3/12/2009 1:03:08 AM , Rating: 5

RE: Huh?
By Spectator on 3/12/2009 4:43:13 AM , Rating: 3
Intel with its SSD's also :P

RE: Huh?
By SiliconDoc on 3/13/09, Rating: -1
RE: Huh?
By Targon on 3/13/2009 8:13:21 AM , Rating: 3
I think you need to look at things from a different perspective than the official numbers that come out, because "creative accounting" can often come into play.

If you look at what has happened to the economy, stock prices have dropped so far that things like how much was paid for something can be very confusing. If you bought a house three years ago for $400,000, and it is currently worth $250,000, the current value has dropped by a lot, and as such, you have lost money. The ATI purchase was done during a better economic time(globally), so when times are bad, claiming losses is a standard practice to help with the balance sheet.

The Radeon 4000 series has been selling VERY well, but the declines in the economy have hurt every company. Claiming more losses from what has been a done deal for a while does not mean AMD is not making money on the GPU business. If anything, the chipset business is the only part of AMD that has not been looking up in the past two months.

The Phenom 2 looks fairly popular these days, and the Radeon graphics products are also doing well. Why we don't see more systems with AMD 780 and 790 chipsets is the only area where NVIDIA is holding a clear lead, and is something I would love to hear some talk about. Why are so many systems sold with a Geforce 6150LE chipset on them compared to a 780G chipset?

RE: Huh?
By SiliconDoc on 3/13/09, Rating: -1
RE: Huh?
By aharris on 3/13/2009 2:55:31 PM , Rating: 1
RANDOMLY capitalized WORDS really HELPS your POINT hit ITS mark.

RE: Huh?
By meepstone on 3/12/2009 6:54:20 PM , Rating: 2
ive seen benchmarks, the 4870 is better, not by a lot but its better and its cheaper. cant beat facts though. all you have to do is google it.

RE: Huh?
By SiliconDoc on 3/13/09, Rating: -1
RE: Huh?
By aharris on 3/13/2009 2:57:20 PM , Rating: 3
"Hey kids, today we're going to learn how to spot an internet poster with an agenda!"

RE: Huh?
By ninjaquick on 3/19/2009 10:15:10 AM , Rating: 1
Cuz apparently you totally need more THAN 512 ram to run at your stated LOW framerates... wait a SECOND... HMM, if i understand what youre saying correctly then the NVIDA card must really SUCK, i mean, IT has A "whopping" 8** megs of ram, but loses out AT the higher RESOLUTIONS?

last i checked, a <5 FPS difference at like 50 to 60 fps is hardly noticeable. so i really dont give a rats ass about that. if the two cards basically average to the same rate then it boils down to how it decodes movies and if its loud. not to mention the price, which should go without saying, but i assume your brain couldnt figure that one out.

go die in a fire, no one wants you here.

RE: Huh?
By inperfectdarkness on 3/12/2009 9:34:50 PM , Rating: 3
well put.

this is PRECISELY why the Wii hasn't dropped in price.

RE: Huh?
By scrapsma54 on 3/18/2009 2:10:08 PM , Rating: 2
Ati seems to be doing pretty good now that they are putting out decent products.

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

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