We learned from one of our sources earlier this week that AMD's Radeon HD 3870 graphics card will become widely available again next week, but that its price shouldn't drop below $229—$10 more than AMD's officially suggested retail price. We may very well see that effective price increase considering the current scarceness and inflated prices of Nvidia's GeForce 8800 GT. However, a report by DigiTimes suggests AMD will eventually apply a price cut to the Radeon HD 3870 that could see the card selling for less than $200.
According to DigiTimes, AMD sent a notice to its graphics card manufacturing partners discussing plans to drop both Radeon HD 3870 and Radeon HD 3850 prices by $20. After the planned reduction, prices for the 3870 would range from $199 to $219, and prices for the 3850 would be between $159 and $179.
Eventually dropping those two products' prices would makes sense, as once Nvidia's announced GeForce 8800 GT 256MB hits the streets at its announced $179-199 price, it may prove a tough competitor to AMD's new GPUs. That said, DigiTimes reports that Nvidia has also contacted its partners to tell them it "will consider following up with price reductions of its own." The announcement has supposedly resulted in several card makers delaying mass orders.