Originally Posted by JasonPC
That's not such a fair comparison because it includes the 5700s which I believe were much more plentiful than 5800s/5970. In other words that number is split up into quite a range of cards. Also don't you have 5970s? That also is a bad comparison as they are still as rare to find today as they were when there were yield issues because AMD is just not mass producing them because of the hit on profit margin with them. Again we don't know how many of these are going to be at launch but I'm willing to bet it will go a bit smoother than AMD's launch because, if nothing else, TSMC's 40nm fabrication process has had time to mature.
Well put it this way,of the 300 000 cards,about 50 000 were 5850's and 5870's,not just 10 000 like the fermi rumors,mainly because the 5700 series will outsell the more expensive HD5850's and HD5870's by a large margin,so those lower end cards don't get the attention/PR promotion that the higher end ones obviously do,but they're the ones that pay the bills basically.
As for the HD5970 problems,and yes they're hard to come by in terms of seeing them on retail shelves,there's a few problems that are specific to those,such as needing cherry picked Cypress chips that can run at the speeds of an HD 5850,but only use 1.05 volts,rather than the 1.16 volts the standard ones use.
The main reason for the above is so that the card comes in just under that 300 watt TDP mark for PCI-e certification,then add the actual retail price for them,which all of them are still selling above the ATI suggested MSRP of 599$,as they're still between 650 to 700$ even after 3+ months on the market,so they're not cheap and are definitely aimed for the enthusiast market,and that market isn't even close to the largest money maker in the overall scheme of things....It's a halo product basically.
A final consideration is that card makers would rather use the GPU's and memory that would normally go towards making HD5970's,and make a pair of HD5870's instead,and make more money that way,since each card still sells for 400$ each,coming to 800$ in total,rather than the 650~700$ each HD5970 would fetch,so they mainly make just enough cards for people who pre-order HD5970's,rather than keep them piled up on store shelves.
And as for Fermi,the one thing that is sure is that even if yeilds are perfect with it,it is a chip with 3 billion transistors,so it's quite a bit larger than Cypress,so even in ideal conditions,Nvidia is getting fewer chips for every wafer than ATI is,since Cypress is quite a bit smaller than Fermi.