The month of November is a very important period for AMD, which for the first time, is launching a complete platform, the Spider, that will include new CPUs (the Phenom), chipsets (the AMD 7 series), and graphic cards (the Radeon HD 3800). This last product was introduced on November 15 a few days before the rest of the platform.
If you have been following closely, you probably know that there is a fierce competition between Nvidia and AMD on the performance market segment. Moreover, new video game releases coincide with the possibility for these two manufacturers to offer more cost efficient versions of their architectures and will enable them to unload a large amount of high performance graphic cards. As you may have realized, it’s a very interesting market. And for this reason, products and prices have been modified on several occasions in the two opposing camps.
Nvidia wanted to be sure to be the first to offer a high performance product and released the GeForce 8800 GT which was equipped with more activated scalar processors than planned. As for AMD, they don't play with redundancy in the same way and couldn't increase functionnal units in a similar way. However, this manufacturer came up with a much smaller and consequently cheaper and more easily producible GPU which enables to rival Nvidia with very aggressive prices. AMD prices varied a number of times and in fact just increased as we write this article at the product launch’s press conference.
To counter the GeForce 8800 GT at 220-250€, AMD is relying on a Radeon HD 3800 which will be offered to users from 180 to 230€. This is less expensive than Nvidia’s solution but more than what was originally announced by AMD (160-200€).
As we already mentioned in the GeForce 8800 GT’s test, the end of 2007 will offer great deals to gamers who for lower prices will get high end performances. With the Radeon HD 3870, AMD will try to come close to the Radeon HD 2900 XT and at half the price. Will it be enough to get back in the race which has been so easily dominated by Nvidia for a year now?