if the 7xxx series comes out and gamers no longer want 6990s.. the 6990 may fall in
price and be quite a nice deal for mining. More so then today i mean.
What about the rumor that the SHA-2 will be disabled as was speculated on this thread?http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=21365.0
I am actually thinking the opposite scenario:
If certain things are disabled and the 7xxx series suddenly becomes bloated with non-mining features, the 6990 might be secure as the best mining card for at least another year. If so, the opposite effect might occur.
I do think the 7xxx will improve in energy efficiency but at what cost to any possible features being disabled? I think it's still too early to know.
As far as the gamers not wanting 6990 which will lead to a drop in price, I feel the only reason many cards are sold out are actually due to the surge in demand from not only miners but other password hackers in the industry that are driving up prices. I know this because I have spoken to a few hackers who purchase 6990 purely for password breaking purposes for jailbreaking cellphones.
In summary, I think the gamers aren't the ones driving up prices at all for the 6990 and if they want to migrate to the 7xxx, all of their cards would still be easily absorbed by the mining community. Unless of course the official specs for the 7xxx are divulged and it turns out the specs are better for mining than the 6990.