Tuesday, May 31st 2011

PowerColor to Challenge ASUS MARS II with Monstrous Dual-HD 6970 Graphics Card

While between the GeForce GTX 580 and Radeon HD 6970, the former is clearly the faster graphics card, the two share a disputed lead over each other in their dual-GPU avatars, GeForce GTX 590 and Radeon HD 6990, attributed to the HD 6990 sustaining clock speeds closer to those on its single-GPU implementation, and a better electrical design. While NVIDIA is fixing the electricals on a revised PCB design scheduled for release in the weeks to come, companies like ASUS are wasting no time in designing their own PCBs that can let the two NVIDIA GF110 GPUs sustain clock speeds identical to those on the single-GPU GTX 580. This would pose serious competition to the HD 6990. To ward that off, PowerColor is working on a new Radeon HD 6970 X2 graphics card, which has two AMD Cayman GPUs clocked on par with single-GPU HD 6970, and having the same overclocking headroom.

The new card from PowerColor is not just an overclocked HD 6990, but also has the overclocking headroom of the HD 6970. Further, unlike the HD 6990, it uses Lucid Hydra technology. The PLX-made, AMD-branded PCI-Express bridge chip is replaced by a LucidLogix-made bridge chip that gives each GPU PCI-Express 2.0 x16 bandwidth. Users can run the two GPUs in either AMD CrossFire (with Hydra features disabled), or enable Lucid Hydra Engine features, and let the two GPUs work in tandem with any other graphics card installed in the system, that uses GPUs of any make and generation.

The card draws power from three 8-pin PCI-E power connectors, power is conditioned by two sets of 6+2 phase VRM. Each GPU has 2 GB of GDDR5 memory across a 256-bit wide memory interface. The GPUs are said to have clock speeds equal to, or higher than those of the HD 6790, that's 880 MHz core, 5.50 GHz memory. The beast is cooled by a humongous triple-slot cooler that uses a 120 mm and a 140 mm fan, to cool dense aluminum fin array heatsinks. Display outputs are the same as HD 6970, that's two DVI, two mini-DP, and a HDMI.
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31 Comments on PowerColor to Challenge ASUS MARS II with Monstrous Dual-HD 6970 Graphics Card

#2
Ev1LrYu
That is gonna be one bad-ass, expensive card :eek:


Off topic:
by: btarunr
While between the GeForce GTX 580 and Radeon HD 6970, the latter is clearly the faster graphics card
Not one to really nitpick (my english sucks), but shouldn't it be the former?
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#3
DeadSkull
I like the generic 120mm fan on the right.
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#4
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: Ev1LrYu
Not one to really nitpick (my english sucks), but shouldn't it be the former?[/SIZE]
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#5
Jiraiya


PowerColor to Challenge ASUS MARS II
:laugh:
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#6
jalex3
well... atleast it will be cheaper :laugh:
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#7
LAN_deRf_HA
To challenge Asus MARS? That's why Asus has the ARES line. They can challenge themselves just fine, and probably with more visual flare.
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#8
Bjorn_Of_Iceland
Id like to see some whacked off dual gpu card that has a GTX580 and an HD6970 with one of them nifty lucid hydra bridge with a killer nic, an xfi, and a g92 for physx all in one board :D
Posted on Reply
#9
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
and I'd like one with an SME coffee warmer that uses the GPU's heat.
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#10
micropage7
pretty interesting
but how it gonna chalange Mars? power color need to fix their apperance first, those fans looks like generic fans and makes it like ghetto
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#11
il-leso
incredible card...... but fu@ng ugly
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#12
link2009
by: btarunr
This would pose serious competition to the HD 6990. To ward that off,
In all seriousness, was anyone else thrown off by this sentence? What competition?! Who is going to buy that horrific MARS II card? The only 10 enthusiasts in the world?

This looks like horrible strategic planning on Powercolor's part imo. They're wasting money by trying to show off. Spend it on research you twits!
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#15
Yukikaze
Aha. And there I was asking a while back why there isn't a GPU with a Hydra chip on the same PCB. Of course, this isn't nearly what I meant (I wanted something a bit more sane), but at least the idea is out there now.
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#17
Jonap_1st
people sometime got sensitive about the looking of product. this one looks ugly,

but still, i will not underestimate "the juice"..
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#18
micropage7
by: Jonap_1st
people sometime got sensitive about the looking of product. this one looks ugly,

but still, i will not underestimate "the juice"..
its a premium level, and the buyer is enthusias, hard core or any one who has much much money. as premium product they should give better performance, better package, better bundles, better looks and so
now the question is does it looks like premium stuff?
maybe the performance is out standing but power color aint put nice design on fans
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#20
Sihastru
Unfortunately it says "Lucid" on the bridge chip... if some call the NF200 the "decelerator", then Lucid should be called the "thing that makes your PC go slow".
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#21
blibba
by: the54thvoid
I kinda agree but i think the only difference is that this will be overclockable? I'm not sure if the 6990 has voltage control?
Even if that's the case, overclocked 6970s cannot compete with overclocked 580s.
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#22
WarraWarra
BT the coffee warmer is very easy.
Just convert a water cooling system like ~h50 and mod in between the cpu and radiator a coffee machine heater element / spiral some thin copper tubing same as stove cooker top spiral appearance and place the coffee pot on this new spiral copper tubing + make it nice then rest of hot liquid flows out of this spiral into normal h50 radiator and gets cooled and back to cpu. This extra loop + extra cooling liquid should not affect the h50 too much.

Obviously this needs some effort but can be done. Can do the same or combine the gpu and cpu in parallel into a dual spiral heater thingy.

The card looks nice and short enough to fit in most cases. 2x 6950 is about 450w so this card is about 500~600w and 2x xfire should be ~900w. Would love to have seen the more power efficient 6950x2 and then 2x xfire them (4x 6950) . If the price is wrong then this wonderful idea is just a idea, so lets hope for commonsense on the pricing. $400 or less would be great at this time. $350 = perfect.
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#23
theJesus
by: Bjorn_Of_Iceland
Id like to see some whacked off dual gpu card that has a GTX580 and an HD6970 with one of them nifty lucid hydra bridge with a killer nic, an xfi, and a g92 for physx all in one board :D
That made me think of my favorite graphics card ever.

Posted on Reply
#24
Jonap_1st
by: theJesus
That made me think of my favorite graphics card ever.
this is second time i said "What the f*ck!" on TPU

:laugh:
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