Availability check: Radeon HD 5850, 5870 drought ends

Due in large part to manufacturing problems at TSMC, AMD’s Radeon HD 5800-series graphics cards have suffered from dismal shortages since the very beginning. These cards became so hard to find that, in our Christmas system guide, we were forced to recommend older, DirectX 10 GPUs in our primary configs and relegate the DX11 Radeons to the alternatives. After checking availability at major North American online retailers this week, however, we can say the drought is now over—or at least in its last throes.

To probe availability and pricing, we searched for cards at Newegg, TigerDirect, and ZipZoomFly in the United States, because those are the three computer hardware e-tailers with the most reviews on both our price search engine and ResellerRatings.com. North of the border, we looked at NCIX. The cards we found are listed below with available models highlighted in green. All prices are in U.S. dollars except for NCIX’s, which are in Canadian dollars. We didn’t factor mail-in rebates into our prices.

Incidentally, we should point out two rather major changes to our availability check methodology. First, we’ve taken Buy.com out of the equation, since that e-tailer rarely stocks many graphics cards in general, and limiting our scope makes it easier to conduct these comparisons. Also, the tables below now show median prices instead of averages at the bottom. Median numbers should do a better job of representing general trends, filtering out outliers on both ends of the spectrum.

Here’s what we found for the Radeon HD 5850:

  Price Price (CA)
Model Newegg TigerDirect ZipZoomFly NCIX.com
Asus EAH5850/G/2DIS/1GD5 $309.99 $319.99   $309.99
Diamond 5850PE51G $314.99   $304.99 $329.99
Gigabyte GV-R585D5-1GD-B $314.99   $349.99 $339.99
HIS H585F1GDG $314.99   $339.99  
MSI R5850-PM2D1G     $319.99 $329.99
MSI R5850-PM2D1G OC $329.99   $334.99  
PowerColor AX5850 1GBD5-MDHG       $324.99
Sapphire 100282SR $309.00 $319.99 $323.99 $319.99
Sapphire 21162-00-50R       $319.99
VisionTek 900297 $309.99     $329.99
XFX HD-585A-ZNBC $354.99   $379.99 $409.99
XFX HD-585A-ZNFC $309.99   $389.99 $344.99
Median $314.99 $319.99 $337.49 $329.99
Overall median $319.99  

…and for the Radeon HD 5870:

  Price Price (CA)
Model Newegg TigerDirect ZipZoomFly NCIX.com
Asus EAH5870/G/2DIS/1GD5/A $399.99     $449.99
Diamond 5870PE51G $429.99 $429.99 $409.99 $459.99
Gigabyte GV-R587D5-1GD-B     $409.99 $439.99
HIS H587F1GDG $429.99   $439.99  
MSI R5870-PM2D1G     $429.99 $449.99
PowerColor AX5870 1GBD5-MDH       $429.99
PowerColor AX5870 1GBD5-MDHG       $459.99
PowerColor LCS AX5870 1GBD5-WMDH       $569.99
Sapphire 100281SR $409.99 $419.99 $439.99 $455.99
Sapphire 100281VXSR $429.99   $499.99  
Sapphire 21161-00-50R       $459.99
Sapphire 21161-03-50R       $519.99
VisionTek 900298       $449.99
XFX HD-587A-ZND9 $434.99 $439.99   $499.99
XFX HD-587A-ZNF9 $404.99   $439.99 $429.99
Median $429.99 $429.99 $439.99 $455.99
Overall median $429.99  

We’re still not looking at a flood of cards, but the situation has improved quite dramatically since our last availability check in late October. Nevertheless, none of these cards are selling anywhere close to their suggested retail prices. AMD launched the Radeon HD 5850 at $259 and the Radeon HD 5870 at $379, but today, you’d be hard-pressed to find a 5850 below $300 or a 5870 below $400. Supply and demand at work, folks.

What about other 5000-series Radeons? The dual-GPU Radeon HD 5970 looks to be largely absent from the scene. The only available 5970 we found among our four North American e-tailers was a lone Diamond card at ZipZoomFly, which charges a whopping $849.99. Newegg, meanwhile, doesn’t have a single 5970 in stock.

At the bottom of AMD’s new product line, Radeon HD 5770 and 5750 graphics cards look to be plentiful, as usual. Prices haven’t budged in a while, though, and the 5750 1GB still starts at a relatively expensive $139.99. For more details on these cards, be sure to check out our reviews of the Radeon HD 5770 and 5750, Radeon HD 5850, Radeon HD 5870, and Radeon HD 5970.

Comments closed
    • roont
    • 13 years ago

    not at the prices above.

    anything listed in the $300 are still out of stock or backorder. anyone who HAS them in stock the stickers have gone up to $450-500.

    ridiculous.

    • Draxo
    • 13 years ago

    look for the rebate puke to rear it’s ugly head before prices start to approach m.s.r.p

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 13 years ago

    You have quite a point about the resolution. Mainstream LCDs jumped from 1280×1024 to 1680×1050 to 1920×1200 in a relatively short amount of time, likely driven by the move to HDTV. However, that’s long since come to a stand still.

    1920×1200 was problematic because even two years ago, pricey video cards had much less memory and bandwidth. A $200 8800GT only had 256MB, and a $150 8800GS had its bus width chopped down to an insufficient level. That’s unheard of now.

    I tried a 9600GT for a while in my computer I use with a 1280×1024 monitor, and it turned out to just be a waste of electricity. The 6600GT I used with it five years ago has moved back in.

    It’s going to be a very similar case with new high end cards at 1920×1200. It looks to be the “new 1280×1024,” meaning we’ll likely be sitting there for a few years.

    • LovermanOwens
    • 13 years ago

    They aren’t suckers…they just want a good product now. Are you saying that buying something that is fast makes you a sucker? Come on man. Make some sense.

    • LovermanOwens
    • 13 years ago

    At first i thought you were serious. Then I saw that you were totally joking. Next time use “/sarcasim”.

    • WaltC
    • 13 years ago

    ATi hasn’t changed its MSRP for the 5850. Note that MSRP means “Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price”–that means Ati /[

    • pogsnet
    • 13 years ago
    • khands
    • 13 years ago

    5870’s are overkill for 1080P, hell, a 5850 right now is overkill for 1080P. I looked at doing exactly that setup not too long ago myself actually, it looks like Xfire is actually starting to work well.

    • Nictron
    • 13 years ago

    So it has nothing to do with the fact that AMD/ATi has a superior specked product!

    Hell I have a GTX280 and will never buy a Nvidia card *[

    • Skrying
    • 13 years ago

    No such thing as abusing your lead. If you have the best product on the market and people are buying it then you can charge whatever you want.

    • NeelyCam
    • 13 years ago

    NVidia should sue AMD for abusing their dominant market position, and forcing out competition with their shady deals with TSMC. AMD doesn’t care about the consumer, they only care about their own bottom line.

    AMD is giving bulk discounts to Dell, HP and such, in order to push NVidia out of business. It’s obvious! Just look how badly NVidia’s graphics chips are selling!! That’s undeniable proof that AMD must be doing something wrong and illegal. There is no question that this is a case of AMD abusing their monopoly on 40nm graphics chips, and acting in anti-competitive ways by not staying on 55nm with the competition.

    • Fighterpilot
    • 13 years ago

    Get a clue..

    • d2brothe
    • 13 years ago

    Look at the MSRP for the price AMD would like to charge for them.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 13 years ago

    so much for pricing the cards for the mainstream market. the 5850 is over 300 the 5870 is over 400. sounds like ATI is abusing its lead.

    • rhema83
    • 13 years ago

    Ditto. I’m reluctantly holding on to my HD4850 512MB, which I bought a week after launch in Jun 08 for $185. (I don’t feel so bad paying near MSRP for it, after seeing how the HD5850 is going for MORE than MSRP these days.) The card can still hold its own, stuttering only occasionally at 1600×1050. However, I have been holding back the new game purchases since I connected the rig to my 1080p HDTV in the living room. No point embarrassing myself trying to get my wife to join me in a game and end up showing her a glorified slideshow.

    • SomeOtherGeek
    • 13 years ago

    Yea, I agree with you. When I got the GTX260, it was second to the 280 (that thing was way over priced). Cost me an arm and leg tho, ~$240. But it has paid for itself 2x over with all it can do to blow my mind and fold very very well. Sticking with it until some prices are right or like you, skipping the whole generation from both sides. I have a feeling that the fermi cards are going to be expensive as hell. I hope not, but we’ll see.

    • balzi
    • 13 years ago

    I think he was just suggesting a correction to the pricing table up top. Not whinging that he couldn’t pay exactly $399.

    • shank15217
    • 13 years ago

    So? get the one thats $5 more..

    • pdjblum
    • 13 years ago

    I built a new box for my son centered around an i5 running at 3.6ghz so far without a voltage tweek. I was going to get him a 5870, but with the previous shortage and price gouching I held off. Instead, as a temporary solution, I replaced his aging 8800gtx from his old build with a couple of 4830s I had sitting in my machine. Believe it or not, those two cards, $90 each, in crossfire get a 3dmark06 score of 20570 in the new box, not much below what a 5870 for over $400 gets. They seem to run everything well at high settings on a 1920 by 1200 monitor. What I am suggesting is that the 5870s are way too expensive for what they offer. I am so glad I held off, for now I am in a position to wait and see what nvidia has up their sleeve with the fermi.

    • glynor
    • 13 years ago

    They’ve been in stock at Newegg for about the same time period here in the US as well.

    • SomeOtherGeek
    • 13 years ago

    I’m definitely waiting until some competition kicks in cuz these prices are silly! 900 bucks for a graphics card, um, nooo! A new PC comes to mind instead. Even 300 bucks is crazy. SSD will really make people more happy. Well, ATI struck gold with all the suckers.

    • SomeOtherGeek
    • 13 years ago

    You could always avoid the rush by ordering everything online? Or is it really better to go shopping carrying a baseball bat? Ok, I’m going for the rush!

    • Creamsteak
    • 13 years ago

    That 5870 at $399 is currently restricted to a $5000 computer “combo”…

    One with a $900 case and processor.

    • bdwilcox
    • 13 years ago

    To help take the sting off, Newegg is currently offering an additional 10% off (up to $50) on orders $200 or more if paying with PayPal.
    §[<http://promotions.newegg.com/PayPal/10Cash/index.html?cm_sp=Homepage_TopRt-_-PayPal10Cash-_-http%3a%2f%2fpromotions.newegg.com%2fPayPal%2f10Cash%2f362x130.jpg<]§

    • UberGerbil
    • 13 years ago

    g[

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 13 years ago

    I bet they drop sooner. Something tells me TSMC’s problems, which they’ve had for almost an entire year now, haven’t magically been resolved all at once.

    It’s probably just that demand for the cards at those prices has topped out.

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 13 years ago

    While I am not so quick to put such behavior past the computer hardware/electronics industry, Nvidia’s 40nm GPU lineup is abysmal, and they normally just shrink their old cards.

    TSMC really dropped the ball, big time.

    • Vaughn
    • 13 years ago

    i’ve seen them available in canada for about 2 weeks already.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 13 years ago

    (/[

    • Welch
    • 13 years ago

    Ahaha, the sad thing is I was almost thinking the same thing. One of AMD’s largest video card releases and THEN they have “Production Problems” what bad timing.

    Intentionally tampered with or….. Coincidence, you be the judge!

    • MadManOriginal
    • 13 years ago

    Haha wouldn’t that be a funny twist.

    • tomc100
    • 13 years ago

    LOL. Definitely not into conspiracy theories but I wouldn’t doubt it.

    • Welch
    • 13 years ago

    I hope your right and this is the end of it :|. Of course this would happen AFTER all of the Christmas shopping rush, unless your like me and you buy your gifts last second 🙂

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 13 years ago

    This is only because nVidia forgot to pay TSMC to have “production problems” again. The check is still in the mail.

    • khands
    • 13 years ago

    I really hope they all drop 15% after the holidays, probably not till Fermi finally shows up though.

    • potatochobit
    • 13 years ago

    just in time for christmas
    don’t forget to choose express 2 day shipping

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