The gloves are off. Having wrestled the performance crown away from NVIDIA with their Radeon X1900 XTX, ATI are intent on tightening the screws by hacking prices across the board.
Last week, we saw evidence of US prices being cut up by up to US$100 - a Radeon X1900 XTX down to around US$549 for example. That pricing did not immediately filter through onto the British (digital) High Street, but after a week, we have some numbers worth talking about.
Over the weekend, we reported the early leaking of today's GeForce 7900 GTX pricing
on a major UK online retailer. At that point, the price of ATI's X1900 XT and X190 XTX had changed little since launch: MSI's cards were around £430 and £470 inc vat respectively on Dabs.com
. Gamers looking for a bargain today will still have to choose carefully, but we are seeing the first hints of the new price levels.
PowerColor has emerged as the least-costly of all the partners: we found their X1900 XT for £317 inc vat, in stock, at Overclockers
. That's £100 less that MSI's price last week, and a handy 10% less than the cheapest XT at that time (Sapphire - £351).
Even better, PowerColor's X1900 XTX is just £340 inc vat right now at Scan
- again, over £100 cheaper than MSI, and £75 less than last week's bargain XTX (again, Sapphire - £415). Indeed, this PowerColor is over a tenner less than Sapphire's X1900 XT would have cost you a mere 7 days ago.
As we reported
just a few hours ago, the NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GTX is the contender to the Radeon's place on the top of the performance pile and if you bought one today, it would cost between £380 and £480 inc vat, depending on clockspeed. The GeForce 7900 GT is expected to compete with the Radeon X1900 XT, where the former looks to be cheaper at £260-£320 compared with £317 at best for the Radeon.
Of course, there is still the complex web of which card is faster at what game - both ATI and NVIDIA have admitted they expect to be a bit faster in some titles and a bit slower in others. 3DMark clearly doesn't count in our book, since it isn't a game and you can't play it. We will be bringing you our take on the performance of GeForce 7900 GTX vs X1900 XTX - single card and SLI vs CrossFire - shortly.