Radeon HD 5800 series price rises while supplies drop
It is pretty rare to be writing an article like this, as it is a situation that I have never seen happen before in all my years of being a PC enthusiast. Prices on AMD’s 5800 series will rise, and availability will be limited.
This is a knock-on effect of TSMC having difficulties with their 40nm process
as well as ATI having the only high end GPU on the market which is currently very limited very limited in availability, meaning they can pretty much charge what they like thanks to the laws of supply and demand.
Looking at Scan’s prices the rise can definitely be seen across ATI’s entire 40nm 5700/5800 range, albeit to a less extent compared with some other sites. Scan’s prices are averaging around 10% more than they were after the 5800 series launch, although you won’t find either the 5850 or the 5870 in stock possibly till early next year as TSMC get back up to full speed and AMD clear their backlog of cards to produce.
The supply of 5850 cards will be easily the worst affected, as AMD try to maximise their revenues by using as many fully functional dies in 5870’s as they can get away with. Most of the dies TSMC make will either be fully functional or completely unsalvageable, while considerably less will be the ‘just slightly broken’ parts which AMD based the 5850 on, disabling faulty portions of otherwise working 5870 dies.
Hopefully the market picks up soon. We all really need a release from NVIDIA to shake things up a bit more, although with TSMC producing GPU’s for both companies, and unable to fulfil the unprecedented demand for ATI’s 5800 series, a new NVIDIA release could be ‘interesting’ albeit highly unlikely. We can only hope for something to come along anyway. Interestingly the availability of ATI’s 5700 series cards seems pretty much unaffected at the moment, possibly due to the mainly high end user base of ATI’s early adopters, and maybe also something to do with the companies well established 4870 cards now being available well below £100 and offering mostly equal or greater performance against the new mid-range 5770’s.