According to conversations with fellow journalists and AIB partners, AMD brought forward the launch of HD 7970, while the availability and HD 7950 should launch on January 9, 2012 - one day before CES.
Last minute decisions can turn in quite a mess when people involved aren't afraid to speak up and voice out their concerns. Yesterday, there was flurry of activity on various chat boards between board vendors and journalists, all trying to figure out what happened.
According to the information at hand, AMD wishes to end the 2011 year by winning the accolades for the best microprocessor and the best graphics processor in the world. In order to do that, the company brought forward the launch of Radeon HD 7970, Which was here revealed. As you know, AMD's CEO, Rory P. Read proudly announced that the company started to ship 28nm GPUs for the revenue, and there are numerous pictures leaked, rumors and pricing specifications slide on alleged leak.
Now, it looks like the Radeon HD 7970 will launch on December 22, 2011, bringing a Christmas gift to all the current AMD users and those that want to become one. This will be a very limited launch, with the only real availability coming on January 9, 2012 - Which should be the launch date for the Radeon HD 7950th
The interesting bit about the Radeon HD 7950 is that the board is coming out as a custom part, and gave freedom to AMD partners to clock the part anyway they want, there is flexibility in terms of amount of memory, 3rd party cooling - just like GeForce GTX 560 launch, expect a lot of different parts coming from all the usual suspects.
As far as availability is concerned HD 7950, several sources in the know gave out conflicting information. One information floating around claim a limited launch on December 22 for HD7970 only, with widespread availability of HD7970 and HD7950 coming on January 9, 2012, and another rumor is that both HD7970 and 7950 are coming on December 22, 2011 albeit in very limited quanties. Again, both sides of the coin revolve around Dec. 22nd and Jan 9th.
The truth will be known on next Monday, December 22nd.