After the Radeon HD 5800s and 5700s, it's over to the Radeon HD 5970 to make its appearance. A bi-GPU Radeon HD 5800 model, it completes the top end of the AMD range of cards and should reinforce current AMD domination.
The range is growing
With the Radeon HD 5970 now out, AMD has launched 5 DirectX 11 cards in a very short time, the sort of perfect and rapid execution of their roadmap that we're unaccustomed to seeing. Unfortunately, though AMD has managed to develop its new range of GPUs in record time, TSMC is not yet up to speed. There still seem to be some problems with the foundary's 40 nanometre fabrication process and of course this is having an impact on GPUs that use it.
The problem was probably accentuated due to an underestimation of demand by AMD several months ago. They no doubt thought that because of the economic situation, gamers would be holding back on renewing hardware. As a result AMD stopped production of the Radeon HD 4800s. NVIDIA also reined in production of its high-end cards to avoid having to sell them off cheap and lose too much money opposite much more competitive products.
All this means that there are not that many high-end cards floating around at the moment, whatever the make. The supply of the Radeon HD 5800s is down to a drip, which, as you can imagine, is forcing prices up. The same goes for the Radeon HD 5970, which will only be available in very small numbers for now.