The other day, we brought you the unfortunate story of XFX ditching both the GTX 480 and GTX 470 from their line-up but now it’s time for some welcome news for NVIDIA.
There is no denying the fact that NVIDIA’s GTX 400-series runs hot, consumes a lot of power and the cards aren’t even available yet but consumers don’t really seem to care. At least that’s what retailers are telling us based on their pre-sale numbers and with the April 12th availability date quickly approaching, it sounds like you may want to get your orders in soon.
We here at Hardware Canucks enjoy a relatively close relationship with several retailers based in North America and a few throughout Europe as well. Within the last 24 hours we have sent inquiries to them regarding the pre-sales of NVIDIA’s latest and greatest. Naturally, some did not want to discuss sales figures but many were more than willing to talk candidly (though we can’t quote them directly since they wish to stay anonymous) about the relatively brisk pre-orders of 400-series cards. Others erred on the side of caution and have decided to avoid taking early orders for stock they don’t have but expect their first shipments of higher-demand SKUs to sell out in a matter of minutes. Yes, minutes and not hours.
While not all retailers have chosen to set up pre-sales of these products, the ones which have are almost all reporting that the GTX 480 in particular is proving to be a good seller. One large US retailer even went so far as to say they have received “slightly over 300” pre-orders for the high end card alone since they put up their listings. This retailer also projected the pre-sale numbers to increase to well over 400 by the time stock is ready to ship on April 12th. Other retailers of all sizes expressed comparative numbers based on their volume with one small local shop listing 25 pre-orders which outstrips their initial allocation by a massive amount. These numbers are not remarkable for a new graphics card but according to our contacts they are still impressive due to the $499 price point this product carries.
Even though most of this launch’s focus is being put on the high-end GTX 480, the pre-sale numbers for the GTX 470 are reportedly good as well. Nonetheless, what should be a popular alternative to the HD 5850 is reportedly selling at 1/3 to 1/2 the pace of the GTX 480. Believe it or not, this is supposedly par for the course when it comes to NVIDIA launches since early adopters historically go for the higher-end products while sales of budget friendly versions pick up quickly afterwards. These numbers are actually more than some retailers expected due to the limited press coverage of this card. Interestingly enough, one of our contacts in Europe reported the exact opposite with pre-sales of the GTX 480 and GTX 470 being about equal. Supposedly, initial allocation of these budget friendly Fermi-based cards is much better than their big brothers so if you are hell-bent on getting a 400-series product as soon as possible, a GTX 470 may be your best bet.
NVIDIA has stated they will be shipping “tens of thousands” of units for the April 12th retail launch but the question must be asked: will it be enough? We don’t know but it certainly looks like demand could be outstripping initial supply and contrary to many reports, Fermi may end up being remembered as a sales success for NVIDIA after all. As usual, only time will tell.