If you’ve never heard of PowerColor, I wouldn’t be surprised. They’re a very popular budget brand in Taiwan and like Sapphire, they’re a partner that works very closely with AMD. Unlike brands such as Gigabyte and ASUS, partners like PowerColor use their clout to produce stuff other AIBs can’t – like the Devil 13 HD7990, for example, or the scary HD4870x2. They haven’t had a strong presence in the market because other Taiwanese brands, such as Inno3D, VTX3D, MSI and Sapphire itself have all done their bit to secure the budget market for themselves. But that’s about to change, as I saw for myself on Wootware this morning.
This isn’t a shill for Wootware, although I do like their service (they couldn’t pay me enough to shill for them). That’s not a hoax either – it really is a genuine HD7950 3GB Radeon graphics card for R3200. Hop over to Wootware and you’ll see some really jaw-dropping prices, like a HD7850 2GB for R2100. I’ve been hoping for prices like these for years as its exactly how things are in American and European markets at the moment. There’s even stock of the HD7990 for much, much less cash than two GTX680s or a GTX690.
I’m still pinching myself here. It pretty much invalidates my existing System Builders Guide prices, although I’m not going to go back and re-do those (Edit: Screw it, I’m updating the guide). This is good news, though. If Wootware can keep enough stock coming in of these parts, other retailers are going to have to adjust their margins and drop prices to more acceptable levels because this is just insane value.
If you were keen on buying a new GPU but the prices put you off, have a serious gander at these deals. Because they’re a much closer board partner with AMD than most others, all the cards will be reference designs, aside from the HD7990 (which will be going into my SBG very, very soon!) The only thing different so far are the coolers used. The fact that the Tahiti LE is available is just icing on the cake – in reviews it pulls away from the GTX660 Ti very convincingly and now that most GTX660 Ti cards cost at least R500 to R1000 more, there’s little reason to consider them, even if Tahiti LE is more power-hungry than a vanilla HD7870.
Here’s hoping they sort out availability of AMD’s FM2 stock as well.
Discuss this in the forums: Linky