Availability check: Radeon HD 3870

Yesterday, we covered Nvidia's GeForce 8800 GT as part of our new availability check feature. Today, it's the turn of AMD's Radeon HD 3870. Much like the GeForce, AMD's latest mid-range card suffers from tight availability and inflated prices, so it's interesting to see the prevalence of 3870 stocks on major e-tailers and how much you can expect to pay for one of the cards.

As with the GeForce 8800 GT, we couldn't catalog every possible card on every possible online store, so we restricted ourselves to the four computer hardware-oriented e-tailers with the most reviews on both our price search engine and ResellerRatings.com: Newegg, TigerDirect, ZipZoomFly, and Buy.com. We made a search on each store for "Radeon HD 3870" and cataloged the results:

Model Newegg TigerDirect ZipZoomFly Buy.com
ASUS EAH3870/G/HTDI/512M N/A N/A $269.98 N/A
DIAMOND 3870PE4512SB $249.99 N/A $299.99 $271.99
GIGABYTE GV-RX387512H-B N/A N/A $239.98 N/A
HIS Hightech H387F512N N/A N/A $289.99 N/A
HIS Hightech H387F512NP $249.99 N/A N/A N/A
MSI RX3870-T2D512E N/A N/A $259.98 N/A
POWERCOLOR AX3870 $249.99 N/A N/A N/A
SAPPHIRE 100215L $249.99 N/A N/A N/A
VisionTek 900202 $249.99 N/A N/A $255.99
Average $249.99 N/A $271.98 $263.99
Total average $261.99

We found only three cards in stock: two at Newegg for $269.99 each, and one at ZipZoomFly priced at $299.99. All other listings were out of stock, with prices ranging from $239.98 to $299.99—well above the announced $219.

Out of our four e-tailers, Newegg has the lowest average prices, with all 3870s listed at $269.99. ZipZoomFly has the highest average prices, although it also lists the cheapest 3870 of our roundup at $239.98. Overall, it looks like you can expect to pay $268.65 on average for a Radeon HD 3870 today.

However, as we reported on Tuesday, Radeon HD 3870s are expected to become widely available again next week. Prices should drop by then, although we've learned that they shouldn't drop any lower than $229.

Update 2:10 PM: The PowerColor card is now out of stock at Newegg, but HIS's H387F512N has become available at ZipZoomFly. We've updated the table above accordingly.

Update 4:58 PM: Availability hasn't changed over the past three hours, but Newegg has dropped prices for all its listed Radeon HD 3870 cards from $269.99 to $249.99. We've updated the table once again. Newegg's Sapphire card is now the cheapest available model.

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