Nvidia cuts prices on GTX 260, 280 graphics boards

Nvidia slashes the price of boards with its newest graphics processors only a few weeks after it launched the chips.

Brooke Crothers
Brooke Crothers Former CNET contributor
Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

Nvidia has slashed the price of products with its newest GTX 260 and 280 graphics processors only a few weeks after it launched the chips, in response to stiffer competition from Advanced Micro Devices' ATI unit.

Nvidia said Sunday night that the GeForce GTX 280 is now available for $499 and the GTX 260 for $299. The high-end GTX 280 was originally $649, while the 260 was priced previously at $399. Both products were rolled out less than a month ago.

Nvidia's graphics boards are now more in line with ATI's newest offerings. At $299, the GTX 260 price now matches that of ATI's comparable HD 4870.

There's more to come from ATI too. Later this quarter, ATI is expected to launch the 4870 X2, which combines two chips on one board. This will be ATI's high-end offering for the enthusiast gaming market. The lower $499 price for Nvidia's high-end GTX 280 should bring it close to 4870 X2 pricing.

ATI appears to be faring well in this round of graphics chip competition, putting more pricing pressure than usual on Nvidia. Not only are its individual chips more competitive than previous generations, but its strategy of building smaller, lower-cost chips is paying off. Instead of building one large, expensive graphics processor as Nvidia does, ATI is building less power-hungry chips for the mid-range market, then ganging them together to boost performance for the high-end enthusiast market.