Sapphire launched its flagship graphics card, the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition Toxic 6GB. The card has been in development for over six months, and we've been tracking it all the way back since CES. It combines a 28 nm "Tahiti" chip on steroids, with 6,144 MB of memory. Yeah, that much!
Sapphire's "Spruce Goose" finally takes flight, as the company launched it as its newest flagship graphics card, the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition Toxic 6GB. The card has been in development for over six months, and we've been tracking it all the way back since CES. It combines a 28 nm "Tahiti" chip on steroids, with 6,144 MB of memory. Yeah, that much!
The Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition Toxic 6GB was earlier based on the conventional HD 7970 chip, with AMD's out-of-the-blue introduction of the HD 7970 GHz Edition, the company was forced to make some last minute changes. The card ships with out of the box clock speeds of 1,050 MHz core, 1,100 MHz boost frequency, and 1,500 MHz (6.00 GHz GDDR5 effective). These could have made for impressive clock speeds, if the HD 7970 GHz Edition hadn't come to be. Yet, one should appreciate how Sapphire managed to get 6 GB of memory clocked at 6.00 GHz (taking into account stability and power draw). The 6 GB of memory is spread across twenty four 2 Gbit GDDR5 memory chips.
To power the beast, Sapphire is using an 8-phase VRM design, which uses "Black Diamond" chokes (lower core energy loss, doesn't whine on load), and International Rectifier DirectFETs (quality meets avoinics standards). To improve signalling efficiency, Sapphire is using a 12-layer PCB. The card draws power from two 8-pin PCIe power connectors.
To cool the beast, Sapphire deployed an in-house design cooling solution, which makes use of Vapour-Chamber technology. The primary cooler design consists of a vapour-chamber plate and a heatsink surrounding it, that make contact with the GPU and memory chips on the obverse side of the PCB; from which the aluminum fin stack draws heat. Heat is conducted directly from the vapour-chamber plate, and by four nickel-plated copper heat pipes (two 8 mm-thick, two 6 mm-thick). The aluminum fin stack is ventilated by two 90 mm high-airflow fans. An anodized aluminum back-plate cools memory chips on the reverse side of the PCB.
The Sapphire HD 7970 GHz Edition Toxic 6GB packs a suite of features for overclockers, including the TriXX software, with which clock speeds, fan speeds and voltages can be tweaked, diagnostic LEDs on-board that indicate temperatures, and dual-BIOS, with a failsafe BIOS, which protects against sloppy BIOS updates.
Display outputs include two-each of dual-link DVI and mini-DisplayPort 1.2, and an HDMI 1.4a connector. The card can pair with three more Radeon HD 7900 series GPUs, in CrossFireX configuration. Based on the 28 nm "Tahiti" silicon, the AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition packs 2,048 Graphics CoreNext stream processors, 128 TMUs, 32 ROPs, and a 384-bit wide memory interface. It supports the DirectX 11.1 API.
The card will be available from later today, in select markets, and in limited quantities. The company did not give out pricing.