Tom's Hardware Guide received word that AMD has begun shipping Radeon HD 4850 graphics cards to OEM partners and retailers. The site says AMD hasn't finalized the MSRP of the Radeon HD 4850 512MB GDDR3 yet but it seems to be certain that it will be in the $179 to $219 range.
We were told that AMD/ATI will decide on final pricing during the Computex tradeshow (which is scheduled to open on Monday) in order to have all the puzzle pieces for a June 18 in place. It certainly does not look like a paper launch at this time and the June 18 is an as-of-now date, since the company could revise is launch schedule to avoid a launch right on the heels of Nvidia’s new high-end parts.
The good news here is certainly that ATI is aiming for $199, sub-$299 and $499 price targets. However, the release dates of the faster SKUs may be problematic: Nvidia is working on new mainstream chips as well, which will debut in Q3 of this year, our sources indicate.
The Radeon 4870 512 MB is expected to ship in volume sometime this summer. This will be the first graphics card in the market to integrate GDDR5 memory. However, the 4870 X2, will face stiff competition from the GeForce GTX 260: Radeon 4870 X2 cards will sell for $499, while the GeForce GTX 260 is likely to debut at $449.