Monday, November 16th 2009

Radeon HD 5970 Offers Massive Overclocking Headroom

AMD's dual-GPU flagship graphics accelerator, the Radeon HD 5970, is closer than you think it is. Slated for 18th Nov, it includes every feature that allows AMD to reclaim the performance leadership it yearned for since the beginning of this year. In a series of company slides sourced from XtremeSystems Forums, it is learned that this could be one of the first accelerators which AMD "openly" markets as having a "Massive Headroom" for overclocking. While the clock speeds on the HD 5970 are lower than those on the single-GPU HD 5870, AMD lifted limits on what the driver-level ATI Overdrive software can offer in terms of clock speeds. While the engine (core) and memory speeds are set at 720/1000 MHz, the unlocked ATI Overdrive lets users take the clock speeds all the way up to 1000/1500 MHz. That's 30% for the core, and a stellar 50% for the memory.

To back such speeds, AMD seems to have splurged heavily on top-notch components on the PCB. To begin with, the PCB holds two high-grade AMD Cypress GPUs, each with all its 1600 stream processors enabled. The GDDR5 memory, while clocked at 1000 MHz or 4 GT/s, is technically rated by its manufacturer to run at 1250 MHz or 5 GT/s. All systems are powered by high-grade digital PWM voltage regulators, with independent Volterra VRM controllers that allow real-time monitoring, and software voltage control. Barring the five-odd cylindrical solid-state capacitors, Japanese pure ceramic surface-mount capacitors are extensively made use of.

The card's cooling assembly isn't any less descriptive either. It consists of a back-plate that cools memory chips on the reverse side of the PCB, while its obverse side is cooled by a large, consistent vapor-chamber plate, which covers the main components such as GPUs, the PCI-Express bridge chip, and the VRM chips. This is a design change compared to the R700 and R680, in which each GPU had its own heatsink, and one of the two would end up with second-hand (pre-heated) air from the other. Instead, the vapor-chamber plate conveys heat directly to a large, monolithic heatsink, which from the looks of it, features aluminum-fabbed air-channels. AMD's workhorse leaf-blower is still around, though this time, it is controlled by an SMSC EMC-2103 multi-point programmable PWM fan controller. The specs sheet shows the card's idle and maximum board power draws to be 42W and 294W, respectively.


Source: XtremeSystems Forums
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90 Comments on Radeon HD 5970 Offers Massive Overclocking Headroom

#1
happita
All I gotta say is.....availability. Check the current 58xx series...newegg has none of them in stock, its a shame. I could only wonder how many of these cards will be distributed to retailers and e-tailers. Probably not much, just so they can get a rise in demand so they can justify a price increase because of the lack of competition atm. :shadedshu
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#2
vaiopup
What sort of money are we talking about with these things?
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#4
TooFast
The clocks are lower for one reason! POWER:D not everbody needs to play cod4 @ 100000fps. Its good enough to play any game at any res, but if you need more its ready to roll hard @1ghz.
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#5
Kantastic
by: Binge
I give it to ATI, this exceeds my expectations of them :toast:
You're the first person that came to mind when I saw this thread. :p
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#6
Marineborn
hey whats the 295 looking like so small down there, now this is what i call fair no longer a single gpu against a duel gpu, nows its a duel gpu against a duel gpu, apples to apples baba! WHAT WHAT, where you at. lol and i dont care if its next gen! lol, im buying one of these, as soon as they come out

i like on the graph for the hawx test for the nvidia bar it just says FAIL! lol that made me laugh
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#7
WarEagleAU
Bird of Prey
This is just a bad ass card with an awesome stock cooler. FINALLY!
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#8
Binge
Overclocking Surrealism
by: Kantastic
You're the first person that came to mind when I saw this thread. :p
I'm not unreasonable when all the pieces are laid out on the table.
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#9
nugzo
Ive been waiting for weeks for 3-5870's to come available somewhere. Maybe 2-5970's would be a better way to go......
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#10
phanbuey
is anyone else noticing the 5870 CF kicking the crap out of the 5890 in the bottom graphs? Thing better OC... otherwise it would get eaten alive by the dual card setups.
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#11
devguy
Yeah, I assume that clocking the core and memory up higher will also increase the power drawn. Since they had a target limit (say 300), they set it to the nearest "nice" number below there. So, while it may very well run faster (maybe even at acceptable temperatures), it is up to the user to draw the extra power to achieve it.

by: phanbuey
is anyone else noticing the 5870 CF kicking the crap out of the 5890 in the bottom graphs?
Higher stock clocks + finished drivers on 5870s. We'll see. Although in the end, I'd expect to see the 5970 (I assume you meant that and not 5890) perform in between 2x5850, and 2x5870.
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#12
phanbuey
by: devguy
Yeah, I assume that clocking the core and memory up higher will also increase the power drawn. Since they had a target limit (say 300), they set it to the nearest "nice" number below there. So, while it may very well run faster (maybe even at acceptable temperatures), it is up to the user to draw the extra power to achieve it.



Higher stock clocks + finished drivers on 5870s. We'll see. Although in the end, I'd expect to see the 5970 (I assume you meant that and not 5890) perform in between 2x5850, and 2x5870.
yeah I meant 5970 lol... Im wondering if they are touting the OC performance beacause of the super low stock clocks. It has that "marketing" smell to it...

Still an amazing card though. Just in time for the Christmas rush too.
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#13
1Kurgan1
The Knife in your Back
I been figuring this all along, I mean they are 5870 cores, I would assume they arent binned down, once water blocks are on these, they should clock no different than a 5870.
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#14
EarlZ
Wow, if all of the 5970's OC to 1Ghz core and 5Ghz memory then i might consider switching over back to ATI, but i really doubt they can pull this off.. still hoping though..
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#15
Kenshai
by: EarlZ
Wow, if all of the 5970's OC to 1Ghz core and 5Ghz memory then i might consider switching over back to ATI, but i really doubt they can pull this off.. still hoping though..
They didn't say the cards WOULD clock that high they simply allowed catalyst software to allow overclocking that high.
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#16
sideeffect
I will believe it when I see it.

1 x 8 pin = 150 watts
1 x 6 pin = 75 watts
PCI-e power = 75 watts

300 watts total and max power usage at stock clocks is 294 watts. So where are the extra watts coming from to overclock this thing? There is a reason that they downclocked it to only 5850 speeds.
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#17
wahdangun
WOW, just wow i'm really speechless right now
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#18
Relayer
I think the slower clocks are because of 1; power draw and 2; that's all they need to beat the 295. This then leaves lots of room for consumer and, probably more importantly, partner overclocking.

A question for those who know these things... With an 8+6 pin connectors would that be enough to supply 1.3v to each GPU? Just thinking about the ASUS voltage tweek cards and reading that 1.3v is about the practical limit. Or should someone who seriously wants to OC this card wait until someone comes out with one that has 8+8 pin connectors?
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#19
Nick89
Looks like they went high end with the cooler this time.

Giant vapor chamber FTW.
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#20
inferKNOX
by: happita
All I gotta say is.....availability. Check the current 58xx series...newegg has none of them in stock, its a shame. I could only wonder how many of these cards will be distributed to retailers and e-tailers. Probably not much, just so they can get a rise in demand so they can justify a price increase because of the lack of competition atm. :shadedshu
I really doubt that. ATi would want these cards to flood the market whilst nVidia is still without a DX11 competitor. The lack of availability is undoubtedly a result of the sheer demand. I don't think even ATi expected the market to go this much in their favour and didn't quite manage the stocks they needed. Let's hope ATi keeps giving the people what they want, and quicker if at all possible.:)
by: Kantastic
You're the first person that came to mind when I saw this thread. :p
+1

If ATi has released cards on this level now, and the rumors of them holding GT300 killers (5790s, 5890s & 5990s) in hand are true, waiting for their nVidia, in order to counter-launch, those must be just beyond words!:rockout:
Just yesterday there were celebrations about the first GPU with TeraFLOP performance, now we're already at 5!:eek:
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#21
W1zzard
by: sideeffect
I will believe it when I see it.

1 x 8 pin = 150 watts
1 x 6 pin = 75 watts
PCI-e power = 75 watts

300 watts total and max power usage at stock clocks is 294 watts. So where are the extra watts coming from to overclock this thing? There is a reason that they downclocked it to only 5850 speeds.
those numbers are no hard limit.. given a decent psu (any) you can easily overdraw the external power connectors without any harm. 150w from a single 6 pin is no problem.
if an intel cpu is specced to 3 ghz and you can run it at 4.5g you dont ask "where do the mhz come from?"
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#22
wolf
Performance Enthusiast
This is the best news about the 5970 yet, still waiting on price....

While OC headroom does seem gimmicky, its good to know for the enthusiasts out there (me :))

also good to know solidly from ATi themselves 5870CF is decently superior as of yet, and god I hope they drop prices on the 58's to release this at $499, that would MAKE MY DAY.
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#23
bogie
This is begging for a danger den water block!!!

Gonna be mega fast! Anyone know uk prices yet?
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#24
zCexVe
Sw33t!!!! Im waiting till w1zz's review pops up XD
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#25
laszlo
good job amd all i can say
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