The economy right now is in a tight spot, the entire world is fighting off the global financial crisis. As such people will have less to spend on entertainment and niche products, that is where graphics card series like the ones shown today come in. This is one of the reasons why I believe ATI's RV740 products could be a nice success. Products like these offer very decent gaming performance targeted at the budget end-user below a 100 USD level. That's stuff to think about for a minute. I mean, for less than 100 bucks you'll be able to get a videocard that performs fairly close to a Radeon HD 4850. I think that's impressive, an achievement all by itself.
However we must use some caution here, these are preliminary results, done with beta drivers and an early engineering sample board.
But products like shown today always get me going and thinking. For example: think a step ahead in a little more enthusiast manner... what would happen if you place two of these cards in Crossfire in your system? That would get you into the high-end performance segment fairly easy... for under 200 USD.
So here's what you need to fillter out and realize... this product is performance wise, very similar to mid-range products we have already seen, but the pricing is exactly what would make this product grand. If anything, RV740 will be responsible for another shift in current mid-range pricing, and you guys will have AMD to thank for that. See, we expect to see the GeForce 9800 GT (=GeForce GTS 240) make a shift in price towards 100 USD once this RV740 is unleashed. And we expect the GTS 250 (9800 GTX+) to drop towards 150'ish USD. Yeah, interesting times are ahead of us you guys.
Other then that being said, I want to close this preview right here and now. The results you have seen were based on an early sample. Final specifications could even be a little higher yet, also lower with the final SKUs, but from a performance point of view, what you have seen will be the baseline set by this product, results cannot and will not be far off. And that's surely looking mighty fine for ATI.
As a mainstream part, it will be priced around $100, likely less, making it a super deal for gamers on a small budget. We can't wait to get our hands on the final product, to be released in the April timeframe.
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