We don’t typically run pipeline stories on video card price cuts, but then again most price cuts are gradual affairs that even the manufacturers themselves rarely draw attention to. However today we have a case where we’re looking at a far more substantial price cut on a far more substantial product: AMD's Radeon HD 7990.

For the launch of AMD’s frame pacing enhanced Catalyst 13.8 drivers earlier this month, AMD’s partners were able to get reference 7990 cards down to as low as $799. That was $200 below the 7990’s official list price and still $100 cheaper than it was earlier in July. That alone is a fairly stiff price cut for a product that only launched less than 3 months prior.

However after doing our weekly price checks and noticing that prices were lower still, after poking some contacts we’ve been told that AMD has since then enacted a further official price cut, which in turn has already pushed down prices even further. Officially the price on the 7990 is being reduced to $799, which is the price we already saw it at last week. But as is usually the case, AMD is quoting the MSRP rather than the price their partners are actually paying for 7990. By taking a hit on their own margins AMD’s partners could hit $799 before this week’s price cut, and now with this new price cut in effect those same partners have room to lower prices once again.

The end result is that while the official MSRP on the 7990 is $799, street prices are consistently lower; much lower in fact. PowerColor and XFX have their respective reference models down to $669 and $699 after rebates respectively, while HIS, Gigabyte, and VisionTek are all $749 and lower without rebates. This gives the 7990 an effective price cut of somewhere between $250 and $330 since its launch 3 months ago, and around $100 cheaper than it was just last week. $799 was already a good deal 7990 for the product, so it goes without saying that this puts the card in an even better position.

AMD for their part isn’t in the business of giving away hardware, so significant price cuts like this are both a boon for buyers and a concern for the company. The timing of the 7990 launch – a product that should have ideally been released months earlier as opposed to coming after the release of FCAT – was undeniably poor. Consequently when we see this large of a price cut this quickly it hints to AMD sitting on a lot of unsold inventory, possibly a consequence of that weak launch, but in the end that’s a matter for AMD and their partners.

Ultimately $669 is by no means cheap for a video card – we are after all still talking about a luxury class dual-GPU card – but it does represent a not so subtle shift in the market. At these prices 7990 is no longer directly competing with NVIDIA’s GTX Titan and GTX 690, but rather we’re now seeing the 7990 priced a stone’s throw away from NVIDIA's lower end GK110 based card, the GTX 780. The GTX 780 was itself something of a spoiler for the $1000 GTX Titan, so at these prices the 7990 serves much the same role.

More importantly however is that AMD now has a direct counter for what’s technically NVIDIA’s fastest consumer card, no longer leaving NVIDIA unchallenged there. We won’t wax on about the performance of the two cards, but with AMD’s frame pacing improvements in play the 7990 is very strong contender for this segment. The wildcard, as always, is going to be faith in whether AMD will be able to continue quickly delivering performance-consistent Crossfire profiles for new games, a never-ending challenge for dual-GPU products.

Summer 2013 GPU Pricing Comparison
AMD Price NVIDIA
  $1000 GeForce GTX Titan/GTX 690
AMD Radeon HD 7990 $700  
  $650 GeForce GTX 780
Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition $400 GeForce GTX 770

 

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  • Ryan Smith - Thursday, August 08, 2013 - link

    The standard 2560x1440 monitor is 27-30 inches diagonal. That's still around 96ppi, the same as the other common monitor form factors (23" 1080p, etc). In other words we're not talking about smaller pixels, just more of them. Reply
  • nathanddrews - Thursday, August 08, 2013 - link

    ... Or 2560x1600 at 75fps with everything cranked up. Sony FW900 is almost 13 years old now, I'll probably cry when it dies. Reply
  • mapesdhs - Thursday, August 08, 2013 - link


    I obtained an FW900 a while ago but it has a screen scratch. Lives in my
    kitchen doing duty as a pseudo-table. Besides the scratch, the guns need
    completely realigning, etc. Overall, considering the size, weight, power
    consumption, etc., I gave up, ditched my SGI 2048x1536 monitor and
    bought an HP 24" 1920x1200 IPS (desk #1), then later a Dell 24" at the
    same res (desk #2), then more recently a Dell 27" 2560x1440 (desk #3).
    It would have been nice to get a 2560x1600 IPS, but the prices were
    crazy.

    All I can say Nathan is that when your FW900 does finally tank, at
    least there will be some decent options available by then.

    Ian.
    Reply
  • wumpus - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    Except that if you are doing Eyefinity, 13.9 doesn't improve microstutter at all (or at least the main improvements can't be used). If your 2560x1440 display requires two inputs (I think that is typical, but check before buying), you are also out of luck.

    AMD is getting there, but the 6990 appears to be pretty specialized for those who really, really, love to claim high framerates and isn't ready for those who want to cover lots and lots of pixels.
    Reply
  • Da W - Thursday, August 08, 2013 - link

    Rome total war 2 on eyefinity with three 1900X1200 screens. Reply
  • Chaser - Thursday, August 08, 2013 - link

    Ha ha! Reply
  • Will Robinson - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    *1920 x 1200 Reply
  • chizow - Thursday, August 08, 2013 - link

    Admission of failure by AMD, this card should have launched at this price to begin with, especially given the embarrassing state of CF at the time. Reply
  • ambientblue - Friday, August 09, 2013 - link

    orly? cause last i checked the entire 7000 series line-up got a price cut. Reply
  • ewilliams28 - Thursday, August 08, 2013 - link

    I realize that this is an inappropriate place for my question. That said, can i disable crossfire in the driver for this card so it's seen by the system as two separate cards? I ask because i would like to run folding@home on this and i am sure that would need crossfire disabled to work properly. Reply

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