Radeon 3800? What's In A Name?

It seems that the Radeon 2950 we all wanted to know and love (and own two of!) might be getting a pre-launch name change to Radeon 3800.  Please remember that this is only a rumor so take it with a grain of salt.

“Previously, they are known as Radeon HD 2950 series. Interestingly, one of the AIB partners has even listed out Radeon HD 3800 on their website. Earlier, AMD has made changes to the naming of the Phenom processors and now the changes are being made to the graphics cards too. As such, AMD has decided to drop PRO, XT, GT, XTX from their future HD 3000 series graphics series and the last 2 digits of the series will determine the performance of the card. RV670PRO will be known as Radeon HD 3850 while RV670XT will be know as Radeon HD 3870 when they are launched on Nov 15th.”

If you're scratching your head and wondering why AMD decided to change the name to the 3000 series, you're not alone.  One possible explanation that comes to mind is that ATI is trying to distance the new product from the 2900 series, which didn't launch with a fully optimized driver and many of the initial reviews of the product were less than kind.

Oh R700, wherefore art thou?