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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






Comments     Threshold

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RE: Keep it up ATI, I mean AMD
By rudolphna on 3/11/2009 3:27:17 PM , Rating: 2
I have the answer to your last question/point. AMD Phenom II

RE: Keep it up ATI, I mean AMD
By Reclaimer77 on 3/11/2009 3:34:07 PM , Rating: 2
Phenom II can't compete with the i7 so it's not a high end "competitor".

RE: Keep it up ATI, I mean AMD
By GodisanAtheist on 3/11/2009 4:05:14 PM , Rating: 5
AMD's entire strategy (both CPUs and GPUs) seems to revolve around the "sell more of X for less $" rather than the tried and true "sell a few of y for a ton of $".

ATI didn't even try for the single card top spot and it worked brilliantly for them. Unfortunately AMD has a much tougher competitor in the CPU ring that they have no chance in hell of undercutting.

RE: Keep it up ATI, I mean AMD
By afkrotch on 3/11/2009 4:14:24 PM , Rating: 1
Huh? AMD wants to make money, but it has to lower prices to be able to compete. Remember when AMD was on top? They sure as hell kept their prices way the hell up there. Most ppl didn't buy an X2 cause they were ridiculously priced. Whenever AMD can, they will rape you. No different than Intel or Nvidia will. They are companies out to make money.

RE: Keep it up ATI, I mean AMD
By GodisanAtheist on 3/11/2009 8:30:48 PM , Rating: 2
I don't disagree with any of that, yet at the same time it doesn't invalidate anything I said.

Regardless of reason, AMD's strategy is "capture the middle ground". Would they douche it up if they were top dog? Yeah, they probably would, but I don't see what that has to do with my post.

RE: Keep it up ATI, I mean AMD
By afkrotch on 3/11/2009 11:35:21 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think their strategy is to capture just the middle ground. I think there strategy is to make middle groud gpus and get users to do crossfire to get to the higher ground.

This has multiple effects. Their lineup is simplier. As they have less different GPUs to produce, they don't have production issues (like they did in the past). Less R&D. Cause of all that, operating costs go down, so profits rise.

RE: Keep it up ATI, I mean AMD
By tigen on 3/11/2009 8:32:01 PM , Rating: 3
It's not "rape" if you're voluntarily getting something in exchange.

RE: Keep it up ATI, I mean AMD
By RMSe17 on 3/11/2009 5:13:57 PM , Rating: 3
Sure it is.. i7 can't compete with C2D Q's when it comes to gaming once you add OC into the equation. i7 outputs a lot of heat, and it's motherboards run insanely expensive...

RE: Keep it up ATI, I mean AMD
By Pryde on 3/12/2009 12:06:57 AM , Rating: 5
You can get a i7 Mobo for $200, hardly expensive for enthusiast and gaming between Core 2, i7 and Ph2 is negligible, they all perform well. Not like there is a game you can't play with a Core 2 or Ph2 but can suddenly with a i7.

RE: Keep it up ATI, I mean AMD
By The0ne on 3/11/2009 7:58:47 PM , Rating: 2
They're not even in the same segment for any comparisons. Phenom II is for high end, just not your server type high end segments. Sure you can use i7 for non server high end PCs but then you're paying a hella lot more money for your setup.

RE: Keep it up ATI, I mean AMD
By Pryde on 3/12/2009 12:13:33 AM , Rating: 2
The way I see it is Ph2 is for people on a budget while i7 is for people with a large budget, although this could all change with i5. For most people in Desktop area could hardly tell the difference between the two but when it comes to commercial/server area top performance is very important ( along with power consumption, cost etc )

RE: Keep it up ATI, I mean AMD
By Targon on 3/13/2009 8:39:41 AM , Rating: 2
Server performance is often based around communication between processors, not just how fast each processor is. When we see updated Opteron processors based on the Phenom 2 designs, it will be interesting to see how well it competes with the Intel offerings based on the i7 design(whenever they come out).

RE: Keep it up ATI, I mean AMD
By poohbear on 3/12/2009 12:47:33 PM , Rating: 2
who needs to compete w/ the i7??? are they even selling well? we're in a recession man, the vast majority of people are'nt gonna pay $200+ for a mobo then $300+ for a cpu not to mention ddr3 ram. Its entirely a niche product. the phenom 2 comeptes in the mainstream and performs on par w/ the C2D's for less. its a no brainer.

RE: Keep it up ATI, I mean AMD
By CZroe on 3/12/2009 3:38:03 PM , Rating: 2
I wanted an i7 and will likely still get one when I find a hot deal, but you're right... even I ultimately added to the "Atom is cannibalizing the other options" statistic. ;)

I moved across the country and couldn't fit anything else in my motorcycle's (MAGNETIC!) tank-bag, so it's been months on this POS Acer Aspire One netbook with slow 8GBSSD... my brother STILL hasn't mailed me my trusty ol' OC'd Q6600 system with Asus P5N32E-SLI Plus, GTX 280 SLI, Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme, PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool 1KW, 8GB DDR2, Win-x64, etc. If he ever does, I can put off the i7 for a lot longer. ;)

By lexluthermiester on 3/16/2009 12:37:32 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. However the Phenom2 is a very good CPU and can be overclocked better than anything AMD has released in the past. For the money, PH2 is an excellent option.

RE: Keep it up ATI, I mean AMD
By TA152H on 3/11/09, Rating: -1
RE: Keep it up ATI, I mean AMD
By moriz on 3/16/2009 10:22:24 AM , Rating: 1
i do recall seeing benchmarks that suggest the phenom II's perform pretty similar to mid-high range core 2's, but with better gaming performance. they are also priced similarly to those core 2s.

AMD is not, and really does not need, the top performing parts. what they have going, that neither nvidia nor intel has, is the complete platform: a competitive CPU-motherboard-GPU combo, all sold at competitive prices. the ability to offer a complete system all from their current product lineup is a definite advantage. not only can it offer potential $$$ savings to costumers (OEM and retail), AMD can fully leverage driver/device optimizations so there'll be performance increases if the system uses a full AMD lineup (i think there already is, but i can't confirm).

i think it's no great secret that both nvidia and intel are also trying for the complete package. this is why intel is working on a graphic card, and nvidia is fighting intel bitterly for chipset licenses and pushing CUDA for all its worth. they both know where the wind is blowing, and they both know that AMD is already ahead of them in this regard.

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

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