As AMD prepares Radeon HD 6000 graphics cards, is Nvidia ready to cut price on GTX 460?

Summary:Even if Nvidia's recent roll out of graphics cards based on its new Fermi architecture has slightly dulled AMD's momentum in the graphics market, the Radeon brand is still rolling along, with Nvidia supposedly mulling a price cut on one of its new boards. At the same time, AMD is readying its new Radeon HD 6000 series, which will be more of an evolutionary step forward from the 5000 series, but should continue to put pressure on Nvidia.

Even if Nvidia's recent roll out of graphics cards based on its new Fermi architecture has slightly dulled AMD's momentum in the graphics market, the Radeon brand is still rolling along, with Nvidia supposedly mulling a price cut on one of its new boards. At the same time, AMD is readying its new Radeon HD 6000 series, which will be more of an evolutionary step forward from the 5000 series, but should continue to put pressure on Nvidia.

The GeForce GTX 460 is supposedly the fastest-selling of the Fermi bunch, but that hasn't stopped rumors from circulating that Nvidia is considering a $30 price cut on the card, which currently retails around $200. That puts it roughly in the same range as the Radeon 5830, though a price reduction of that amount would make it more competitive with the Radeon 5770. Considering that hands-on reviews (like this one) have shown that the GTX 460 outperforms the Radeon 5830, that makes a cheaper 460 look like a great deal.

That is, until AMD fires back with the new Radeon HD 6000 series, which is rumored to ship in October. Apparently, the 6700 cards will appear first, and they would presumably hit that midrange spot that would appeal to most gamers. The pair, code-named Barts XT and Barts Pro, will replace the 5770 and 5750, and supposedly come with a 256-bit memory interface instead of their predecessors' 128-bit interface. If the 6700 cards outperform the GTX 460 -- and early benchmarks are showing the Radeon HD 6870 smoking the GTX 480 -- then Nvidia's advantage could be short-lived.

That short-lived advantage could come from the new cards as well as the HD 5000 series being marked down -- the Radeon HD 5850 might fall in price to the GTX 460's level, for instance. Nvidia may not have imagined getting squeezed from both sides in this manner when it introduced its Fermi lineup, but that could be the case very soon.

Topics: Hardware, Processors

About

Sean Portnoy started his tech writing career at ZDNet nearly a decade ago. He then spent several years as an editor at Computer Shopper magazine, most recently serving as online executive editor. He received a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from the University of Southern California.

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