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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  • N4g4rok - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    A little better. Late, but better.

    I don't really feel like $20 off the 7970 will cut it, but i guess it's better than nothing.
  • chizow - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    $479 is actually $70 off the original MSRP of $549 (yes it does seem absurdly overpriced now when you actually type it out doesn't it?) and really closer to $100 off MSRP for many of the non-reference models that were the only parts available for quite awhile.

    I think it helped to clearly define what enthusiasts will and will not spend on a high-end component when they were buying the cheaper reference versions but unwilling to spend the 5-10% premium on the non-ref/factory OC'd models.

    Still needs to drop $80-$100 imo, then that would force some pressure on Nvidia to drop the GTX 680 to the price it should've launched at for a mid-range ASIC, but that's obviously not going to happen. Expect GTX 660/670Ti to slot in right around that $400-$450 range to mirror the 7970/7950, respectively.
  • N4g4rok - Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - link

    I meant to say $20 of the 680, for similar reasoning. nVidia doesn't have any reason to sweat over $20.

    I can't decide whether or not waiting to grab a 7950 would have been worth it. It was a factory overclocked model, so $450 would most likely have been what i would have paid for it anyway.

    Had it not been for the fact that i've had particularly good luck with AMD GPUs from XFX's products, i wold have absolutely waited for the 680. Either way, a price drop in the 28nm space in general will be welcome within a couple weeks, but there's no telling when it's actually going to happen.
  • CeriseCogburn - Wednesday, April 18, 2012 - link

    It just blows my mind you consider $450 for a 7950 an acceptable thought when the 680 is only $50 more - i mean the 3 free games has to be part of that consideration for a 7950 because that's what the 7970 should cost max in comparison to the 680.
    The gaming experience on 680 is far superior.

    Also with all that great investigative fury we usually see in these articles, how come none of these review sites ever tell us what amd or nvidia pay for these added games bundles - certainly they hear the prices in all their channels... I'd bet a grand it's another NDA big fat no-no to tell the public.
    I just love all the secret agents we have everywhere.
    Well I'm all for someone spilling the beans, and it's far past time someone did.
    The 'internet" isn't really working as well as it should be for all of us. It should be a bleeding sieve with information like that, but it appears people are all but brain dead still.
    Anyway good luck with whatever you do in any card changes or future upgrades.
  • N4g4rok - Wednesday, April 18, 2012 - link

    680 is definitely superior in games, no question about that. I was sort of caught up between the fact that my desktop is mostly used as a four monitor workstation for day to day, with the occasional gaming on the weekends. Always capped at 60fps due to Vsync (Screen tearing drives me nuts), and occasionally with multiple monitors.

    From that aspect, i felt like a higher frame buffer and memory bandwidth would help out, in comparison to the quicker GPU in Kepler. Still, the enthusiast graphics market is well beyond what i've delved into, and i'm sure some of my purchasing decisions were less than informed. I would be lying to say i didn't go with brands i've already had good luck with for the most part.
  • Royal Tee - Wednesday, April 18, 2012 - link

    "It just blows my mind you consider $450 for a 7950 an acceptable thought when the 680 is only $50 more "

    Actually, you can get:
    an HD 7950 for $399 right now
    Looking all over for an unavailable $499 (or any) GTX 680

    For me, I'd love to get a GTX 680 but for a $100 premium plus other factors like power, noise (which is important in my build) I am going w/ a Sapphire HD 7950 OC'ed Edition for $399 (Just look @ the review that was done here).

    At one point it was $479 and though it was a non ref card I was thinking along the same lines you are but for $399 considering the features and reviews it's a sweet spot.....

    That said, .. if Nvidia plays the price never know... :)
  • CeriseCogburn - Sunday, April 22, 2012 - link

    Better late than never means exactly that. With that kind of purchase few weeks wait seems the right thing to do.
    I don't see 20% in price a deal maker at the level of purchasing one item.
    With your disagreeable reasoning you might as well get the $450 7970 at the egg and take the 3 free games and make $50 bucks back, no waiting to game.
    Good luck navigating the bad driver patch.
  • CeriseCogburn - Wednesday, April 18, 2012 - link

    I don't feel like the 7970 $20 cheaper will cut it either. The 3 games they are adding though helps, that is if the (3 million Dirt3) game code keys aren't stolen off the 3rd party provider site, resulting in end users having to scan in a photocopy or a picture of their promo code cards, or search endlessly for a chance to redeem them, or run into things like the website being down like it is now...
    Worse than all that 2 of the games aren't even out yet, so AMD is selling some future promise with a really bad prior track record on downloadable content game promos by them.
    I guess they aren't going to say if Steam and microsoft Live ID are gaming requirements, and I suppose they care very little for the thousands of dirt3 users who had their Steam accouhnts banned because they were given or purchased one of the STOLEN dirt3 promo code numbers, losing in the "ban" from Steam their THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS WORTH of years of accumulated games...
    I certainly hope someone takes them to court and sues the ever loving snot out of them.- meaning AMD, amd4u, and steam, plus the jerks banning entire accounts, and the DRM or whatever one calls their MASTER CONTROL of purchased software, which they are implementing bit by bit with the help of the emotional wild eyed gyrations of young gamers drooling to "play", and therefore getting hooked in.
  • Wreckage - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    Anything more than $299 for the 7970 is overpriced.
  • A5 - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    I was thinking $450. You're going to have to explain $299.

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