First Round of Price Cuts Hit The AMD Radeon R9 280X, Radeon R9 270X and Radeon R7 260X
A few days ago, we reported that AMD might slash prices off of their Radeon R9 280X and Radeon R9 280 series graphics cards and from the looks of it, the first round of price cuts have already hit the market. While their have been a few pricing adjustments from manufacturer's, AMD is now sending out the word to slash prices from the Radeon R9 and Radeon R7 series graphics cards.
First Round of Price Cuts Hit The AMD Radeon R9 and Radeon R7 GPUs
Computerbase managed to find out that HIS, one of AMD's biggest AIC partners have started offering price cuts on their cards by as much as $10-$30. The new price cuts aren't just limited to the Radeon R9 280X and Radeon R9 280 graphics cards but the Radeon R9 270X and Radeon R7 260X are also receiving price reductions which can be seen through several retailers. Judging from the new prices, the HIS Radeon R7 260X is retailing at 99.90 Euro, HIS Radeon R7 265 for 119.90 Euros, HIS Radeon R9 260X for 149.90 Euros and the Radeon R9 280X for 219.90 Euros. Currently, HIS is the only manufacturer who have started offering price cuts on their graphics cards how-ever, other manufacturers will soon follow.
Taking a look over at Newegg, I spotted some really interesting listing under the HIS GPU section. I recently published a review of the HIS Radeon R9 280 IceQ X2 graphics card last week and at that point of time, the card was retailing at $279.99 US over at Newegg. Now its down to $259.99 US and the cheapest variant which comes with the IceQ cooler can be bought for $219.99 US. The official cost of the Radeon R9 280 at launch was $279.99 US and it did receive a price cut to $249.99 US so we are looking at a $30 reduction in its average price. Similarly, the flagship Radeon R9 280X non-reference IceQ x2 variants can now be purchased at the reference MSRP of $299.99 US and we are expecting at least $279.99 US for the reference variants.
These price cuts will leave a huge market gap between the Radeon R9 280X and Radeon R9 290 ($279.99 US vs $449.99 US) which I believe will be covered up by the upcoming Tonga GPUs. The Tonga chip which is rumored to be a Radeon R9 280 successor will go for sale around a price of $299.99 – $329.99 US or AMD could take a similar approach as NVIDIA did with their Maxwell cards which offered higher performance per watt but were priced a tad bit higher than their competitors regardless of being slower in performance. NVIDIA marketed the card over its performance per watt, not performance per dollar but the pricing has somewhat been adjusted since the launch. The highest and most unlikely price range we could expect is $349.99 US but we don’t believe AMD will hit such a high note with this card since they are already facing decreased demand for the Radeon graphics cards and a 40% GPU shipment decline this quarter due to the end of the cryptomining craze.
There's also the HIS Radeon R7 260X iCooler variant which was also reviewed last week which was a cheaper variant manufactured by HIS to retail at $129.99 US and its now listed at $119.99 US. The 1 GB variant will sell for $10 cheaper at $109.99 US which is the launch price of the Radeon R7 260 (Non-X) and finally, the card is down to a more affordable price of $139.99 US of the fastest non-reference variants. The Radeon R9 270X has also received a massive price cut down to $169.99 US and $189.99 US for the IceQ X2 and Mini IceQ X2 variants which were otherwise retailing at $189.99 US and $219.99 US respectively. The 2 GB GDDR5 Radeon R9 270X launched at a price of $199.99 US for the reference models while non-reference variants retailed for $200 plus.
There's a reason behind this price cut, the Radeon R9 and Radeon R7 cards are majority rebrands which have spanned around two years in the graphics industry. Reports that AMD is planning to replace them with the new and upcoming chips which include the Tonga GPU are actually true and we will see the launch of the new cards in August 2014. The price cuts will pave the way and replace the current Tahiti, Pitcairn, Bonaire and Cape Verde GPUs which are currently selling in the form of Radeon R9 and Radeon R7 cards. Its not known whether only Tonga GPU will come in August or will it be followed by other launches to replace the other existing GPUs but we can wait for more information to come by.