It has been widely speculated that NVIDIA will be launching their latest family of graphics cards - GeForce 7900 - at this week's CeBit exhibition in Hannover, Germany and those rumours have gained momentum today with the first indication of retail pricing.
Following the recent leaking of various photos of the 7900 GTX and 7900 GT, UK online retailing giant Dabs.com
has posted pre-order pages on their website a full six days before the show is due to begin on Thursday 9th March. Needless to say, the numbers make for some interesting reading.
Starting at the top-end, the MSI GeForce 7900 GTX 512MB
is available for pre-order for £393.98 inc vat. To sweeten the deal even further, all orders above £250 qualify for free delivery this weekend.
In comparison, Dabs sell the MSI 7800 GTX 256MB
for £329.00. Of course, the extra 256MB of 1.1ns Samsung GDDR3 memory doesn't come cheap - a GeForce 7800 GTX 512MB from ASUS costs a whopping £505 inc vat. Next to that, £400 for a 7900 with half a gig is a bargain.
Moving down a rung on the speed ladder, Dabs list the MSI GeForce 7900 GT 256MB
for £237.09 inc vat - barely £3 more than the existing MSI GeForce 7800 GT 256MB. As befits the name change, we are expecting all 7900-series cards to outperform their respective 7800-series counterparts. For the price of a coffee and donut over the existing card, we expect the GeForce 7900 GT 256MB to be even more popular. If your budget is stretched to bursting point, you can save yourself 15 quid and get the DabsValue-branded version for £222.58 inc vat.
How does this compare with ATI? At today's pricing, very favourably we'd suggest. Sticking with MSI, the X1900XT is £428.99 and the X1900XTX is listed at £467.99. Of course, canny shoppers will know that the Sapphire X1900XTX
- winner of our Excellence Award - is better value at £414.98. The Sapphire X1900XT is cheaper still at £351.25. Nobody yet knows exactly whether the 7900 GTX will reclaim the performance crown recently stolen by the X1900XTX, though if it can, we could be looking at a faster card for less money.
In response to this, ATI are rumoured to be preparing a "massive price slash" according to some sources. We have had no official confirmation of this, but we will bring you the final pricing as soon as it is made available.
Our thanks to eagle-eyed forum regular M@tt for alerting us to this story.