Updates to this story
Nvidia's GeForce GTX 460 could be doomed as early as next week, with news surfacing that AMD is planning to release its answer to the highly-successful graphics card in the form of the Radeon HD 6850 and 6870.
The new 1GB Radeon cards are expected to launch on October 22, but AMD has not confirmed this date. Some sources suggested that AMD had previously slated October 12 for the launch, which was delayed to October 19 and now further delayed to launch on the Friday of that week instead. If this is the case then further delays could be expected.
Regardless of when the GPUs are released, benchmark tests on XFastest show both cards clocking in above the GeForce GTX 460 and GTS 450, as well as being higher than AMD's 5750 and 5770.
Price will be the crux of the matter, however, as the success of the GTX 460 was in providing a reasonable good performance for an extremely good price, effectively making it the best value for money on the market.
AMD has not confirmed prices, but they are expected to be in the region of cards in the 5700 series, which could mean a price tag of $150 to $200. A 1GB GTX 460 currently retails for between $220 and $280, so AMD could win the war against Nvidia by offering a higher performing card for a significantly cheaper price.
AMD is also expected to offer the Radeon HD 6890 and 6900 series for hardcore gamers, but release dates and prices for these are not currently available.