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
Romir
The GTX 295 has a tdp of 289w and uses a 6 + 8 pin connector as well. It obviously doesn't have just 11w of head room as people have been overclocking it just fine all year.
Posted on Reply
#3
OneCool
by: TAViX
Nice! I'm curious about nVIDIA response. When it will come... Next year, or next millennium...:banghead:
Dont worry...big green is lurking and you better believe their soaking it ALL up.

I can only imagine what they are conjuring up. :shadedshu

Ati has its day now but we ALL know what this means....
Posted on Reply
#4
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: OneCool
Ati has its day now but we ALL know what this means....
That ATI is having its day :D

80 minutes for the reviews.
Posted on Reply
#5
Steevo
by: TheMailMan78
You know what would be more awesome than this?! If there were actual 58XX series cards on the F*#KING market to be bought!
Zipzoomfly had them for about the same prices and deals at the egg.
Posted on Reply
#8
W1zzard
by: sideeffect
You can draw 150w from a single 6 pin no problem? Evidence please because from what I have seen with my ATI 4850 which had 1 x 6 pin this was not the case and it was power starved. I was using a 1KW OCZ ProXtreme to power it as well.
there is your proof. 13.29 A @ 12V = ~160W. hd 5970 running gputool stresstest. cable's not even getting warm to the touch

sorry for censoring out the box, it's not relevant for this, it's just convenient because it lets me connect 1 or 2 6 or 8-pin to 2x6 and 1x8pin.
Posted on Reply
#9
sideeffect
by: W1zzard
there is your proof. 13.29 A @ 12V = ~160W. hd 5970 running gputool stresstest. cable's not even getting warm to the touch
http://img.techpowerup.org/091118/Capture250.jpg
sorry for censoring out the box, it's not relevant for this, it's just convenient because it lets me connect 1 or 2 6 or 8-pin to 2x6 and 1x8pin.
Thanks for running that test. It is not typical of a 6 pin PCI-e connector though and the greater power draw was something that was allowed for in the design.

"The PCI Express specification calls for a maximum provision of 300W for graphics, both HD 4870 X2 and HD 5970 max this specification out. With the Cypress GPU, though, we knew it would be require more power than RV770 becuase it was designed as a bigger chip; when designing the HF 5970 we had two options - keep within the specification and the standard infrastructure that exists (and tune the voltages and speeds accordingly) or break the infrascturcture and go beyond the specification. In the end we chose a hybrid - the default speeds are designed to fit within the spec and the default infrastucture, but we designed the board to facilitate higher current draws and allow users with higher quality power supplies to tweak the performance more. Can we guarantee OC specs? No, we can't, but we can say that the GPU's on those boards are screened to be high speed capable. "

Dave Baumann ATI

by: TheMailMan78
Yeah I know what your talking about. I also know W1zz is the owner of the website and has a vast amount of experience and wouldn't be talking out of his ass. I am far more inclined to take his word over yours.

Saying his "analogy sucks" isnt the smartest thing to do.
I never asked you to take my word for it try some independent research and thought. A lot of people have experience that doesn't mean you should never question their information or results or ask for evidence. I have a lot of respect for W1zzard and this website I didn't say he sucked but I still think the analogy was inappropriate.
Posted on Reply
#10
pantherx12
My 3870 Pulls about 270-280 when I've got it over clocked, it only has a single 6 pin connector and the power coming from the PCI-E slot.

How can it draw so much power, 150+75 doesn't = 270-280.

Sorry for slightly off topic but it is sort of relevant to the PCI-E power cable discussion.
Posted on Reply
#11
W1zzard
by: sideeffect
Thanks for running that test. It is not typical of a 6 pin PCI-e connector though and the greater power draw was something that was allowed for in the design.
sigh ... it has nothing to do with the board .. you want me to run this with a 4870 x2 ? or anything else?
Posted on Reply
#12
W1zzard
by: pantherx12
My 3870 Pulls about 270-280 when I've got it over clocked, it only has a single 6 pin connector and the power coming from the PCI-E slot.

How can it draw so much power, 150+75 doesn't = 270-280.

Sorry for slightly off topic but it is sort of relevant to the PCI-E power cable discussion.
let's try another analogy (why is water so popular to explain electronics?).. take a garden hose .. run water through it at 100 psi .. works fine ... please note your garden hose is rated for 100 psi max. .. now run water through it at 150 psi... omg more water! and it doesn't explode. how is that possible?
Posted on Reply
#13
pantherx12
Yes you can run more if you turn the tap higher, but I thought it was standardised so it COULDN'T allow more for safety reasons.


That's why I was asking how can it be possible.

Not because I don't understand how current works.
Posted on Reply
#14
W1zzard
your hose is standardized to 100 psi too but nothing stops you from running it higher, and nothing will happen if you run it at a reasonable amount out of spec
Posted on Reply
#15
TheMailMan78
Big Member
by: W1zzard
let's try another analogy (why is water so popular to explain electronics?).. take a garden hose .. run water through it at 100 psi .. works fine ... please note your garden hose is rated for 100 psi max. .. now run water through it at 150 psi... omg more water! and it doesn't explode. how is that possible?
Thats funny because my father was a weapons avionics expert and instructor during the Vietnam era for the U.S. Army. All his notes and lectures were based off of water analogies. I guess its something everyone can relate to. Water.

Anyway back to topic :D
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