Graphics business unit of Advanced Micro Devices - ATI - this week decreased pricing of certain performance-mainstream graphics cards and also introduced a new offering in order to better compete against Nvidia Corp.'s GeForce GTX 560 Ti graphics solution.
Starting from this week, select partners of AMD will sell the retail Radeon HD 6950 2GB graphics card for $289 and light-retail flavours of Radeon HD 6950 2GB for $269, or even lower with mail-in-rebate. The official recommended price of the Radeon HD 6950 2GB was $299 when launched in December, 2010. AMD's partners also begin to sell Radeon HD 6950 graphics boards with 1GB GDDR5 memory onboard for $259. In addition, the Radeon HD 6970 1GB for $219, down from $239.
AMD hopes that its Radeon HD 6950 1GB for $259 and Radeon HD 6870 1GB for $219 will be able to offer decent alternatives for Nvidia's GeForce GTX 560 Ti ($249) from price/performance points of view.
AMD Radeon HD 6850 graphics card is based on Cayman graphics chip with 1408 stream processing units with VLIW4 architecture, 88 texture units, 32 render back ends, 800MHz clock-speed and 256-bit memory bus. The chip has maximum compute performance of 2.25TFLOP/s SP and 0.563TFLOP/s DP. The card can connect up to five displays at once (using 2x DVI, 2x mDP + HDMI connectors). The Radeon HD 6870 sports 1120 compute elements with VLIW 5 architect, 56 texture units, 32 render back ends, 900MHz frequency and 256-bit memory bus.
It is interesting to note that the Cayman chip which powers ATI Radeon HD 6900-series graphics cards has die size of 389mm2 and is more expensive to manufacture than Nvidia's GF114, which powers GeForce GTX 560 Ti, that is around 370mm2 large. As a result, AMD's graphics product group does not have a lot of opportunities to further reduce the pricing of the Radeon HD 6950.