As more or less expected, AMD announced the availability of a new ATI graphics card today, the Radeon HD 2900 Pro. The announcement came with no pricing, nor any specific clock speeds, although the general assumption is that the Pro is a cheaper, slightly slower version of the $399 Radeon HD 2900 XT that came out earlier this year. The press release cites 1GB and 512MB variations of the Pro card, as well as 9-inch and 12-inch versions, depending on the fan and heatsink assembly.
Our hope is that the HD 2900 Pro will finally deliver the midrange, next-generation 3D card ATI has lacked here in the Windows Vista era. Your choices so far have been the sluggish Radeon HD 2600 XT for $150, or the $400 Radeon HD 2900 XT powerhouse, leaving the true $200 to $300 midrange sweet spot to Nvidia. The Radeon 2900 Pro may not come in below $300 (especially if the laws of supply and demand come into play due to the card's initial availability "on a limited basis subject to supply contraints," as reported by AMD's press release), but we welcome any expansion of the Radeon product line, if only to help keep consumer-friendly competition alive in the graphics card market.
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