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ATI can have its cake and eat it too

It has only been four months since the first DirectX 11 video cards hit the market using GPUs from ATI, the graphics division of AMD. The Radeon HD 5800 series using the Cypress core not only featured exceptional performance, but support for the new standard. Video cards using the new chip sold out almost immediately, and ATI's 5800 sales have been constrained by TSMC's production problems until early December. Supply has risen since then and 5800 series Radeons are now readily available.

The company released the performance mainstream Radeon HD 5700 series in October using a new 40nm chip codenamed Juniper. The smaller chip meant that yields were higher and prices were lower, and many gamers upgrading during the holiday shopping season picked up one of those cards.

On the other hand, the Radeon HD 5970 has been sold out since launch. The most powerful video card in the world has been highly sought after since it was launched in November. ATI has told DailyTech that there should be more 5970s hitting the market soon now that there are more Cypress chips available.

The company also launched its DirectX 11 Mobility Radeon lineup yesterday, with a full range of discrete GPU options ranging from the enthusiast to the mainstream. Those GPUs will be mostly paired up with new 32nm Intel Arrandale CPUs.

DailyTech was at an AMD event last night where the company disclosed that it had sold over 2 million DirectX 11 GPUs, forming a pretty large product base for DX11 game developers that is still steadily growing. A specially commissioned Radeon cake was the highlight of the night.

The ATI Radeon HD 5870 also won the CES 2010 Best of Innovations award in the Computer Hardware category.

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RE: Grats !
By Sahrin on 1/12/2010 11:46:48 AM , Rating: 2
Well, 2 things.

1) They do (check Valve's simultaneous players stats on Steam) - but there isn't the marketing machinery of a Microsoft, Nintendo or Sony to hawk the platform; Microsoft's support of PC games comes in the form of developer tools (DirectX), not marketing. So even when there are huge sellers on the PC, there's no one to crow about it. Similarly, there is no 'licensing authority' for PC - meaning that it's not even particularly easy to assemble reliable information on sales.
2) Tie-in ratio: Sales of a graphics cards do not necessitate sales of games (as opposed to consoles - which exist to play games). Many PC manufacturers will bundle more powerful graphics cards with more expensive PC's (particularly in hte $1,200+ segment) as a way of boosting margins (look at my checkboxes!).
3) I think you're dramtically overestimating sales success; a GPU generation lasts 12-18 months; AMD launched the 5800's in October, and have faced absolutely no competition in an upgrade starved market (the prior 12 months was abysmal for sales) into the holiday season (where more than half of all sales in a whole year can occur). AMD will be fortunate to sell 10 million discrete 5000 series GPU's.

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