Update 4/12/2010: Now that the week of the 12th is upon us, let's see how a quick stock check at the usual suspects turns out.

Due to most retailers taking pre-orders, everyone seems to be listing what cards they will be carrying. As a result we're seeing a lot of cards right now that show up as out of stock or on pre-order status. Amazon for example hasn't begun shipping any cards, while Newegg (who as we noted in the original blog post was already shipping their first-arrivals) and MWave have a mix of cards that are still awaiting arrival and cards that are genuinely sold out.

In any case the supply situation is such that cards have been coming in and going out of stock all day long. When I started writing the first paragraph of this short update you could find both GTX 470s and GTX 480s in stock at MSRP, and now all that's left are cards above MSRP. Judging from Newegg's data in particular, we should be seeing more cards arrive later this week but at this point it looks like most retailers have received a significant portion of their stock.

It's worth noting that of the two cards, it's the GTX 480 that's the hard one to get. Most of the day someone, somewhere, at some price has a GTX 470 for sale, but GTX 480s are a rare sight. At this point we're not sure whether this is a product of allocation with NVIDIA sending out more GTX 470s than GTX 480s, or if it's a popularity issue since the GTX 470 performs so closely to the Radeon 5800 series. More than likely it's a combination of these two factors, which means if you want a GTX 480 you're going to be doing some scouring.

April 2010 Video Card Prices
Video Card Original MSRP Available Price
Radeon HD 5850 $259 $299
Radeon HD 5870 $379 $419
Radeon HD 5870E6 $479 $499
GeForce GTX 470 $349 $379-$399
GeForce GTX 480 $499 $539

As for pricing, it remains heavily retailer-dependent. Amazon (pre-order) and Newegg have been pricing things at MSRP, while others like ZipZoomFly, MWave, and Best Buy (backordered) are priced above MSRP. Consequently we've seen Newegg sold out of non-overclocked cards most of the day, while ZipZoomFly and MWave have been able to maintain a few different GTX 470s (and the errant GTX 480) in stock. This leaves us in a middle of the road situation on pricing with some cards going for MSRP and some cards going above it, meaning you can either play the lottery for an appropriately priced card or pay more to get a card now. This kind of scheme is economically efficient, but it ultimately distorts pricing and results in gouging. In fact we're surprised that anyone with stock is sticking to MSRP given what we've seen over the last 6 months with the Radeon shortage, but unless demand drops off or NVIDIA sends even more cards we can't imagine MSRP pricing will last.

Ultimately this isn't so bad for the GTX 480 where the only card above it is the even less available Radeon 5970, but this means that most GTX 470s are priced at nearly $400 and end up costing entirely too much for what they do. There's no sense in picking up a GTX 470 at anything but MSRP.

As for AMD's response, Radeon 5850 prices have been holding flat at $300, while Radeon 5870 prices have snuck up a bit in the past couple of weeks - if you want a 5870 right now, the average cheap card is a $420 affair. None of this is surprising since NVIDIA only priced their cards competitively with AMD's existing prices, so there's absolutely no downward price pressure. If prices do end up falling, it will be AMD moving their prices down to put pressure on NVIDIA, and right now there doesn't appear to be an incentive for AMD to do this.

As some of our astute forum readers have noticed, NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 400 series have started showing up early. Officially they have been and are still scheduled for a full retail launch next week, but for the past few days a few of them have been showing up in small batches at etailers.

We shot off a quick question to NVIDIA about the matter and got a response last night. The gist of the matter is that NVIDIA started shipping the first retail GTX 400 boards to their partners last Saturday, which means that those partners with a fast turnaround time in boxing and air shipping have already managed to get them in to etailers’ hands. NVIDIA isn’t enforcing a hard launch date here, so everyone is allowed to sell their cards as soon as they can.

Even with this initial availability, NVIDIA is sticking to their official line that broad availability won’t be until next week. This allows for all of their partners to catch up, since not everyone had such a fast turnaround time. This also allows for larger batches to make their way in to etailers’ hands, since larger batches are almost always sent via a slower method of shipping. In any case, current availability shouldn’t be considered representative of what we’ll see next week according to NVIDIA.

As for current availability and pricing, it’s highly variable. Some etailers are holding to MSRP and as such are quickly selling out, while other etailers are charging more than MSRP (e.g. $400 for a GTX 470) and still have cards in stock. The fact that anyone is charging MSRP right now is a good sign that pricing shouldn’t get too far out of hand, but we’ll have to see how things go next week. In the mean time if you’re dying to have a GTX 400 card, you should be able to get a GTX 470 right now but you’re going to be paying entirely too much for it.

We’ll have more on this next week once the GTX 400 series reaches broad availability.

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  • leexgx - Friday, April 9, 2010 - link

    to Both comments

    if ATI could get there drivers sorted out on the High end cards i use them until then i cant risk getting an high end ATI card and be one of them unlucky users who has issues with textures and and some other bugs

    (5970 is an Dual GPU if your not using an game that is buggy with ATI then 2x 5850/70 are faster and less bugs as well CF can be disabled as well cant do that on the 5970)

    2 of my friends has ATI and both having flashing issues and texture issues that have not been fixed for 3 months now (and annoying 1 customer/friend (got an 5850 for him) that i got credit for an GTX280 that died on me {my fault} i may have issues with it guessing later on, may have to sell it if he starts playing newer games get him an replacement as one of the Benchmarks would crash when i went into and out of an heavy used tessellation object wireframe mode)

    soon as my local trade place gets new stock in (last lot was pre pre ordred so could not get 1) i am getting the GTX480 my self (From an 9800GX2 before that dead GTX280),

    i love to buy there very good and priced ATI hardware but there Drivers/Cat drivers suck when it does not work correctly and it seems to take them months to fix the issues (3-4 seems the norm)

    3 other of my friends are getting it as well (1 is getting 2 god knows why 1 of them will be plenty unless he going to be doing that Nvidia surround thing when drivers support it, and one other friend may get an GTX470 as he cant play BF:BC2 smoke flashing when in tank if hit by an rocket/ other texture issues and C&C4 due to Strobe affect on the ground)

    ATI Bring out an ATI Clean tool and .Net reset tool (Driver and .net CCC problems)
  • Galid - Friday, April 9, 2010 - link

    Two of my friends got 5850 and they'Re running perfectly, myself am still on my 4870 and seeing no point to upgrade unless I'd really want to play crysis in 1920*1080 which I won't.

    Get Ati tray tool!! ATI drivers are not that bad, Catalyst control center certainly is not the best but still. Wanna talk drivers ok I'll do like you.

    I'd buy a nvidia card if only it wasn't so high priced, hot, noisy and that their drivers wouldn't burn down cards...
  • leexgx - Saturday, April 10, 2010 - link

    thats the issue not every one has the issue it seems most do not, but an small amount is still a lot as there are way more Nvidia cards out there and these issues seems like drivers but also seems like the card it self

    a lot seem to stick there heads in the sand that mine works so should yours

    this gui just keeps posting that his works for the most part not giving any useful info apart from saying mine works very well

    ATI Needs to be working With the users who are having these issues or its simply the cards that has the issues not the drivers ?
  • Phate- - Saturday, April 10, 2010 - link

    And you're doing the same, but then the other way around.
    "A couple of my friends are having problems with their Ati cars, so there are more problems with Ati cards then with Nvidia."
  • Quidam67 - Saturday, April 10, 2010 - link


    That was anectdotal; unscientific and emotive speculation
  • Galid - Friday, April 9, 2010 - link

    Speaking like if everyone was a gamer. Light up your brain, 95% of video cards sold are mid and lower range... So yes, people care about noise and heat, simply gamers mind less but it doesn't mean they do not. If I had to change power supply or case(which is possible in that case) I'd simply not buy the thing.
  • Quidam67 - Friday, April 9, 2010 - link

    But the performance gain is not big enough to really make a difference except for bragging rights. Further more, the ratios of performance to power makes Fermi clearly inferior to Cypress.

    And I have to disagree that no one buys cards on the basis of my criteria: better performance per watt; cooler; and quieter. If Fermi met those requirements, and still offered the same performance margins, I'd be in, and I bet a lot of other people would be as well. As it stands, buying a card like that is like hanging a Idiot sign around your neck, IMO.
  • Griswold - Saturday, April 10, 2010 - link

    Most people? Bullshit. Most people do not buy enthusiast products such as these. You need to stop living in this small performance world...
  • SlyNine - Friday, April 9, 2010 - link

  • robert3892 - Friday, April 9, 2010 - link

    Looking at the EVGA forum it appears a few members there have received their EVGA 480 video cards

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