If every PC gamer had $550+ to spend on a graphics card, AMD's Radeon HD 7970 would be the hottest selling GPU around. Not everyone does, however, and for some people, AMD's upcoming Radeon HD 7950 presents a compelling compromise between owning a card based on Santa Clara's next-generation GPU architecture and pocketing a few extra bucks in the process. Your time is coming.
There are a couple of 7950 graphics cards already available for pre-order. Provantage is selling Gigabyte's GV-R795WF3-3GD for $481.58 and Bottom Line Telecommunications has XFX's listed for $514.96, the latter of which is estimating a February 16, 2012 release date.
Prices seem a little high, which isn't unusual for upcoming graphics cards on pre-order, and we suspect things will level out when more vendors jump in. This is purely speculation, but it seems likely 7950 cards will go for around $450, and maybe much lower with a mail-in-rebate.
The listings don't reveal much about the specs. Gigabyte's card is said to have 3GB of GDDR5 memory on a 384-bit bus, a DVI port, HDMI, and a pair of mini DisplayPorts.