ATI Radeon HD 5000 / Nvidia Geforce GTX 200 Availability Updates

A whole host of rumours regarding availability, short supplies and EOLs have hit the internet in the recent weeks. We have been keeping an eye on North American e-tail to pick up any trends in graphics board availability.

First up, ATI’s Radeon HD 5800 cards are suffering from excess demand. At any given time, you would be lucky to find a HD 5850 card in stock and available. Check back a few minutes later, and hey presto! It’s gone! It was the HD 5850 first, now this excess demand problem has hit the HD 5870 as well. Both HD 5800 cards are difficult to come by on e-tail at this moment. ZipZoomFly seems to have the best availability. At the writing of this article, two HD 5850 variants were available at ZipZoomFly, one at Amazon and one at PROVANTAGE. This situation, however, is as variable as British weather. Even if you do land up a HD 5850, expect it to cost a bit more than the $259 SRP – $269 appears to be the new retail price. This is expected, of course, with an excess demand (or short supply).

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A whole host of rumours regarding availability, short supplies and EOLs
have hit the internet in the recent weeks. We have been keeping an eye
on North American e-tail to pick up any trends in graphics board
availability.

First up, ATI’s Radeon HD 5800 cards are suffering from excess demand.
At any given time, you would be lucky to find a HD 5850 card in stock
and available. Check back a few minutes later, and hey presto! It’s
gone! It was the HD 5850 first, now this excess demand problem has hit
the HD 5870 as well. Both HD 5800 cards are difficult to come by on
e-tail at this moment. ZipZoomFly seems to have the best availability consistently.
At the writing of this article, two HD 5850 variants were available at
ZipZoomFly, one at Amazon and one at PROVANTAGE, and these were pretty much the only ones available. This situation,
however, is as variable as British weather. By the time this article is published, there might be none! Even if you do land up a HD
5850, expect it to cost a bit more than the $259 SRP – $269 appears to
be the new retail price. This is expected, of course, with an excess
demand (or short supply).

Even at this price, the HD 5850 has virtually no competition. Regardless, three weeks+ into what was a successful HD 5800 release, AMD are still struggling with getting enough cards out. Clearly, the massive demand is there, more than they ever expected/were prepared for. It is a shame they cannot get enough HD 5800 shipped. We’ll keep an eye out for when HD 5800 availability improves. 

On the other hand, Radeon HD 5700 boasts of far better availability, and both the HD 5750 and HD 5770 1GB cards are available at their SRP – $129 and $159, respectively. However, HD 5750 512MB, at launch for $109, are hard to come by. Fudzilla’s report that HD 5700 will sell a lot more than HD 5800 does make a lot of sense at this point, and it is not because of the more affordable price tag.

Coming to the Nvidia side of things, it does seem like the EOL rumours are shaping up. More and more GTX 285 cards are moving out of stock and to the dreaded “Notify” buttons. Instead of price adjustments to compete with the HD 5850 (which is simply a better product in nearly every way at ~$269) the GTX 285 is only getting more expensive. The average retail price is ~$349, with the cheapest one at $339. Importantly, unlike the HD 5850, which is seeing a trend of cards popping up and selling out – there are no indications of any GTX 285 cards that are going out of stock being replenished. It is clear that supply is short, and the sudden price increases are as a result of short supply rather than excess demand. It must also be noted that the cheapest cards are going out of stock (such as the $319 GTX 285 listed just 5 days ago) with no signs of being available again. This is raising the cheapest prices as well. It will probably be a slow process, but GTX 285 is gradually being phased out.

The same can be said of GTX 275 – fewer cards are listed for sale than before. Apart from two cheap cards available at $199 and $205 at Newegg, most seem to have increased to $229.

GTX 260 and GTX 295 are still widely available though. However, both are selling at higher prices than they were in late September. Average GTX 260 prices are around $169 and $179, and GTX 295 at $499. There’s a bargain on an MSI GTX 295 available at Newegg though. $459, with a $50 mail-in rebate making it a $419 product. We would still prefer the HD 5870 over the $419 GTX 295, if it is available. That said, it is possible that the GTX 260 and GTX 295 cards have similar disappearing supply to the GTX 275/285; just that they had more inventory stocked before.

On a side note, HD 4800 products seem to be widely available, though some HD 4850s have been going out of stock since the HD 5700 release.

To summarize, the availability trends seem to indicate – HD 5800 is experiencing excess demand, GTX 200 series short supply, increasing prices and eventual EOL, HD 5700 series are widely available (except the HD 5750 512MB) and HD 4800 cards are still available.

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