AMD is getting ready to launch a new version of its enthusiast-grade Radeon HD 6970 graphics card with half the amount of onboard memory and a much more palatable price-point, according to X-bit Labs. The card would be based on the same fully-fledged Cayman GPU with 1,536 stream processors clocked at stock speeds of 880MHz, but featuring only 1GB of GDDR5 memory instead of the 2GB found on the current flagship.

The site claims to have obtained the information directly from AMD and says add-in partners will have the new cards ready by mid-February with prices starting at $280. If accurate, that would make this new card roughly $70 cheaper than the lowest priced 2GB Radeon HD 6970 and even cheaper than a 2GB HD 6950, which has an MSRP of $300.

The price would basically make the HD 6950 irrelevant at its current price point, although Hexus has been hearing that a 1GB version of this card might also be making its way to retailers some time soon so perhaps some adjustments in the lineup are in order. There are no details on pricing or availability for this card, but reports suggest AMD is looking to put some pressure in the sub-$300 segment with the new cutback cards as Nvidia readies the launch of its GTX 560 Ti.

Apart from new Radeon HD 6970 and 6950 models, factory-overclocked versions of the previous-generation Radeon HD 6870 are also expected to hit the market at $229 to $259 from the likes of Sapphire, PowerColor and XFX.