Nvidia drops GTX 460 prices

Nvidia is to gamble millions as it drops the price of one of its best-selling and most well-received graphics cards, the GTX 460, the first step in a price war with rival AMD.

KitGuru reports that Jay Puri, Executive Vice President of Worldwide Sales at Nvidia, and Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO and co-founder of the chip manufacturer, are considering a significant price drop for the GTX 460, just before the launch of Nvidia’s latest card, the GTS 450.

Initial indications suggested a $20 drop in price, but more recent reports see a further $10 drop, to a total of $30.

It is not clear if this drop applies to both models of the GTX 460, the 768MB and 1GB versions, but with the lower memory GTX 460 selling for around $180, a $30 discount is pretty substantial, putting the card at a very reasonable $150.

The somewhat more expensive 1GB version ranges from around $220 to $260, so the discount puts the cheapest of those at $190, which is just enough below the $200 mark to encourage more buyers.

So, what has prompted this move? Well, Nvidia’s newest card, the GTS 450, is expected to retail for between $129 and $149 (or between £99 and £129 in the UK). While it is a much less beefier piece of kit than the GTX 460, the price is low enough for some people to consider dual-SLIing two GTS 450s instead of having just a single GTX 460. 

Cue the price cut, which will either see Nvidia lose millions or make several million more. Some people think the drop will mean multiplying $30 by the number of sales and writing it off as a loss, but the market doesn’t work like that. Nvidia would not consider a $20 drop, let alone a $30 one, if it did not believe it would increase sales, and increased sales mean more profit, even if each individual unit pulls in a smaller amount than previous. 

With new cards on the horizon, Nvidia needs to give consumers an extra incentive to buy its older models, even if they are technically superior to some of the newer ones it’s offering. A price cut is one of the most effective incentives available.

While it’s unclear what this means for Nvidia, and whether or not AMD will follow suit, sparking a price slashing war, one thing is for sure: the GTX 460 will now be even more bang for your buck.