As we all probably know, AMD’s Cayman GPU was supposed to be released this week. However, AMD’s partners sent us warning signals during October and early November that the launch was unlikely to happen due to abysmal state of samples, with some partners receiving nothing more than bare-naked silicon. No BIOS, no drivers all caused a lot of dissatisfaction.

Naturally, the call to delay the launch came through and AMD pushed the launch at a later date, causing dual-Cayman part to slip into first quarter of 2011. In meanwhile, nVidia launched its "refined Fermi" or "fixed Fermi", GeForce GTX 580 and received a lot of praise from the reviewers. Our own review came to a somewhat expected conclusion.

According to AMD, the company now "will launch the Radeon HD 6970 and HD 6950 in the week starting December 13 – from November 22, citing market performance and availability of currently available products."

AMD Radeon HD 6950 and HD 6970 will be faced not just by GeForce GTX 580, but with the stripped-down version of GF110 silicon called GeForce GTX 570. Just like GTX 470, GTX 570 has one shader cluster disabled for a grand total of 480 CUDA cores, equal to the number of units on a GTX 480. The performance is expected to be equal or a bit better than GTX 480 due to a higher clock.

All in all, we’re heading to a very interesting Holiday season.