Good to be back
Today marked the official launch day of AMD/ATI’s new family of GPUs: the Radeon HD 4800 series. Specifically that means the $199 4850 and the $299 4870.
Darren Grasby, whose business card reveals is ‘Director EMEA GFX’ for AMD, gave HEXUS.channel an early look at how the launch is faring in the channel. “The sell-out we’ve seen right across Europe [of the 4850] in the past few days has been incredible,” he said.
Talking to a number of AMD execs, in Malaga for the launch and subsequently, the overall theme is of extreme optimism and confidence in this launch. Grasby summed up the sentiment by saying: “The 3850 got us back in the game and the 4850 puts us back on top.”
AMD’s aim from this launch is to provide the best performance at its target price points and the HEXUS review of the 4850 recommended it as the best available at the £125 mark. Grasby reported that he’s seeing a lot of buzz on the net around the launch. “I’ve never seen the forums so alive; they’re all saying it’s great to see ATI back.”
Of course NVIDIA’s not known for taking challenges lying down and when the launch unofficially started last week, it responded immediately by bringing the price of its GeForce 9800 GTX down to the same price as the 4850 and announcing the 9800 GTX+ at $229.
“To make NVIDIA respond by cutting prices by $100 and still beat them is significant,” said Grasby. “When you’ve got competition you suddenly have to start looking at your own price points. But an interesting issue is what consumers think of it.”
That all depends on whether the consumer had bought the product before the price cut, of course, but Grasby doesn’t think this will initiate a price war. “The only person that wins in a price war is the consumer,” he said. “It all comes down to who has the best technology at that price point and we are leading the technology race with DirectX 10.1, GDDR5, 55nm process, etc.”
The Radeon HD 4850