We wanted it and now we've got it. The HD 2900 PRO has been one of the most talked about products since the release of the HD 2900 series from AMD. Sure the HD 2900 XT offers great value for money these days due to some excellent driver updates from AMD, but the bottom line is that the card still comes in at around $500 AUD or $400 USD meaning that it's simply out of reach for a lot of people.
When the X1950PRO launched it wasn't greeted with the warmest welcome, much like the HD 2900 XT. While on paper it looked like it was going to be the next best thing, poor drivers at launch and a high price tag saw the card not really wowing a lot of people. The 7900GS from NVIDIA thanks to its extremely high overclocking ability was simply the low high-end card or high mid-range card to have.
Hopefully AMD have learnt from their mistakes and the HD 2900 PRO is simply going to blow us away as the next best thing. Its main competition is the 8800GTS 320MB from NVIDIA.
Initial pricing from HIS shows the card's MSRP at $250USD, for comparison the 8800GTS 320MB starts at about $290 USD. As we see more brands come on though and the initial price premium drop there isn't any reason why we won't see the HD 2900 PRO closer to the $200 USD mark.
All it really has to do is perform better than the 8800GTS 320MB and the card is an absolute shoe-in but that might be easier said than done.
The particular HD 2900 PRO we have in hand today is the 512MB model from HIS. Before we get stuck into the benchmarks we will have a look at the card and what HIS have managed to do with the package.