AMD cuts 7900-series prices, throws in free games

And so the 28-nm price war begins. AMD has let us know that, starting today, you should be able to find Radeon HD 7970 and 7950 graphics cards for as little as $479 and $399, respectively. Also, "select etailer and retailer partners" will be offering the cards with a trio of free games: Codemasters' Dirt: Showdown, Alientrap's Nexuiz, and Ubisoft's Deus Ex: Human Revolution. AMD calls this the "Three for Free" promotion.

Considering the the 7970 and 7950 launched at a respective $549 and $449, those price cuts are sizable. Not to mention appropriate. The 7970 should now be slightly cheaper than Nvidia's new GeForce GTX 680, which outperforms the AMD card overall and costs $499. Yes, the GTX 680 still isn't in stock at Newegg, and that spoils its competitive position somewhat—but still.

AMD also tells us its Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition should now be available "as low as $139," which is a good $20 below the launch price. I always thought the 7770 was a tad overpriced compared to previous-gen offerings, so that's another welcome adjustment.

I'm surprised AMD hasn't touched pricing in the Radeon HD 7800 series, though. All of a sudden, higher-clocked variants of the Radeon HD 7870 are looking awfully unappealing. Why spend $389.99 on one of those when you can get a 7950 for an extra sawbuck? Even $349 for a vanilla 7870 might not be such a bargain anymore.

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