As prices for Nvidia's GeForce 9600 GT and GeForce 8800 GT graphics cards continue to drop, AMD is forced to follow with its competing Radeon HD 3850 and Radeon HD 3870 models. According to DigiTimes, an increase in yields of the RV670 graphics processor at the heart of both Radeon HD 3850 and 3870 models could help AMD close the gap with Nvidia and increase the red team's penetration in the mainstream GPU market.
Citing anonymous "industry sources," DigiTimes says RV670 chips "have seen a noticeable increase in yields recently." RV670 GPUs are fabricated using Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company's 55nm process, which is finer than the 65nm process used by Nvidia's mid-range offerings. DigiTimes' sources believe the increase in RV670 yields "will enable AMD to be more price competitive."
In addition to potential price cuts, DigiTimes says the red team has two new graphics cards in the pipeline: a mainstream Radeon HD 3830, which we already talked about last week, and a more up-market Radeon HD 3850 X2. As its name suggests, the 3850 X2 is expected to be a dual-GPU version of the Radeon HD 3850. The card will supposedly launch in May with a price tag of $299 to $379, and AMD will outfit it with 512MB to 1GB of GDDR3 memory clocked at 900MHz.