It appears that some retailers and/or AMD AIBs are preparing to cut HD 5800 prices in order to maintain their lead over Nvidia and fend off the GTX 460. Bear in mind that there is still no official confirmation on any price cuts and we are merely monitoring some early listings in the US and EU.
For example, HD 5830 prices on Newegg appear to be going down and several cards are listed at $199. This is not a major cut, just $10 to $20, but it doesn’t have to be, as Nvidia’s GTX 768MB cards are selling for $199. However, the HD 5830 ships with 1GB of memory and it features a 256-bit bus, so it has a bit of an advantage over Nvidia’s 192-bit card. EU prices appear to be following suit, but bear in mind that some EU retailers were offering HD 5830 for less than €199 more than a month ago.
The situation is somewhat more blurry when it comes to the HD 5850. A British e-tailer is apparently shipping them at €239, but most prices on the mainland remain unchanged. Amazon.de is listing HD 5850 cards at €243, but they are still not available at the list price. Stateside there are no major changes, but there were some slight drops and the HD 5850 can be yours for $299.
Basically it appears that some price cuts are coming, but they will not be significant. Distributors might just cut prices by as little as 5 percent in order to match the GTX 460 price point, especially with the HD 5830. However, take this with a grain of salt. Thanks to unstable currency exchange rates and the depreciation of the euro, EU prices have been erratic in past weeks. In fact, many products in the EU still retail at higher prices than several months ago thanks to weakness of the euro.