We've been hearing many good things about AMD's upcoming DirectX 11 GPU, code-named RV870. Starting with an early demonstration back in June, the company has been touting new features like tessellation, soft shadows, and ambient occlusion -- even offering a glimpse at them running on an “Evergreen” reference card at QuakeCon.

There are also rumors floating around about a 1.6x performance increase over current RV770 chips; and yet solid details regarding price are still elusive to us. Several sites have suggested a starting point at around $249. However, if Bright Side of News is correct, the first cards could sell for a bit more than that.

According to the site, the Radeon HD 5850 should retail for $279-299 (about the same price that the 4870 launched last year) while the 5870 will sell for $100 more. They also expect AMD to announce a dual-GPU, single PCB variant dubbed Radeon HD 5870 X2, which will reportedly launch at a hefty $599. The graphics firm will leave the $499 bracket empty, perhaps waiting for Nvidia to make its move and then adjusting its pricing strategy accordingly.

Nvidia may be a little late to the party, though. The latest rumors suggest their competing GT300 card will begin shipping "in December at the earliest," while AMD is prepared to launch its Radeon HD 5800 series in late September and will start mass shipping in October.