Tuesday, November 1st 2011

Sapphire Announces New HD 6970 Graphics Card with Dual-BIOS and Dual-Fan Cooling

SAPPHIRE Technology has just announced a new model in its successful HD 6900 series of graphics cards - the HD 6970 2GB with a new super efficient Dual fan cooler and Dual BIOS giving users the choice of fast, quiet operation or performance tuning.

The new SAPPHIRE HD 6970 has the same internal architecture as the standard model, with 1536 stream processors and 96 texture processing units, and clock speeds are 880MHz for the core and 1375Mhz (5.5Gb/sec effective) for the 2GB of GDDR5 memory. This new design has two 90mm fans with thin impellers that can move the same amount of air at 10% lower rotation speeds than conventional fans, keeping noise low, and their special dust repelling bearings contribute to high reliability.

With the Dual BIOs set to the standard position, the Dual fans keep this model quiet and up to 25% cooler than the standard model even under load conditions. With the BIOS switched to the performance setting, the core voltage of the GPU is raised to 1.2V, the fan speed is set to a high performance profile and the powertune adjustment for overclocking is raised to 50% allowing the user to maximise performance of the card by increasing clock speeds either with AMD Overdrive or with SAPPHIRE TriXX up to a ceiling of 1500MHz core, 2000MHz memory.

SAPPHIRE TriXX is a dedicated overclocking tool which allows users to adjust and save settings of core clocks, memory clocks, core voltage and fan speeds to optimize performance whilst continuously monitoring temperature. It is available free for anyone to download from the SAPPHIRE website.

Eyefinity and APP acceleration
The SAPPHIRE HD 6970 has the versatile output configuration of two DVI, one HDMI and two mini DisplayPort connectors, and can support a VGA monitor with the dongle supplied. Using the DVI or HDMI outputs together with the two DisplayPorts enables this card to support multiple monitors in Eyefinity (SLS) mode.

The third generation UVD (Unified Video Decoder) in the SAPPHIRE HD 6970 supports MVC (Multi-view Video Coding) for the smooth decoding of Blu-Ray 3D with reduced CPU load as well as other file formats. Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio are supported, and HDMI capability has also been upgraded to HDMI 1.4a. This provides deep colour, enhanced high resolution output for Digital Theatre applications and 3D stereoscopic support as well as 7.1 high bit-rate audio.

The multiple stream processors of the HD 6900 series can be used to accelerate other applications such as video transcoding. The latest generation of web browsers can be GPU accelerated, and this is also supported for enhanced productivity in Microsoft Office 2010.

Second Generation DX11 support
The SAPPHIRE HD 6900 series features the second generation of graphics technology from AMD designed to support all the features of Microsoft DirectX 11 and DirectCompute 11. These GPUs are built in AMD’s 40nm process to deliver high performance with low power consumption.

Advanced hardware features include an enhanced Tessellation unit, dedicated HDR Texture compression, multi-threaded communication with system CPU cores, embedded support for many of the DirectCompute 11 instructions, 3D stereoscopic support, HDMI 1.4a and DisplayPort 1.2.

The SAPPHIRE HD 6900 series is supported by AMD's DirectX 11 WHQL certified graphics driver which delivers support for all of the key DirectX 11 features required for enhanced gaming experiences as well as GPU acceleration of supported applications.
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20 Comments on Sapphire Announces New HD 6970 Graphics Card with Dual-BIOS and Dual-Fan Cooling

#1
cadaveca
My name is Dave
The heatpipes on this cooler seem HUGE. I also see VRMs ahve their own heatsink?

Seems like this is a good card for watercooling? It's too bad the PCB is blue though.
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#2
Edgarstrong
Is dual-fan design becoming the new norm these days? The card looks interesting but one thing bothers me - it took ages since the release of the reference Sapphire 6970 model to release this card (which isn't even available yet, just announced). So if you want to have higher-end last gen GPUs then you have to either use reference designs that run hotter and are noisier, or you have to wait for many months for a nicer, custom designed cards but at that point you are buying it not long before the next gen cards are announced.

In the case of 6850 and 6870 Sapphire released their custom cards pretty fast, in february/march I believe. But why do they wait so long with higher end models? If the current tendency persists, there will be a custom HD 7870 shortly after the 7xxx series go live, and it will cost only a fraction of this card's price.
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#3
cadaveca
My name is Dave
Sapphire already has severla models with custom cooling...three or four, at least. Toxic Vapor-X Dirt3 edition, and the BF3 edition. There might be another 2 or three there as well.

http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/?cid=1&gid=3&sgid=1041&pid=0&psn=000101&lid=1&leg=0


Most of the custom cards are 6950's but they are basically the same thing.

And the way it works, as far as I understand things, AMD OEM GPU partners have to buy so many reference cards bfore they are allowed to do their own cards. As the 6950 is so popular, it could simply be down to them being unable to sell all of the reference 6970 stock till now.

Either way, I really want a couple more AMD cards, hopefully by the time I'm ready buy, these will be in retail!
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#4
Edgarstrong
by: cadaveca
Sapphire already has severla models with custom cooling...three or four, at least. Toxic Vapor-X Dirt3 edition, and the BF3 edition. There might be another 2 or three ther eas well.
Sorry but I think you are getting confused there. There was a 6950 Dirt 3 duo-fan design, yes. And there was a 6950 Toxic (and even that was released pretty late actually, and isn't as widely available as lower end models).

Now, in case of 6970, I can't find any custom designed card by Sapphire. There was a BF:BC 2 edition but it wasn't any different from the reference one. And now there is this. This is it.

http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/?cid=1&gid=3&sgid=1041&pid=0&psn=000101&lid=1&leg=0

P.S. Just saw your edit.

Yes I guess they wanted to get rid of reference 6970s that probably weren't selling too well ( I don't have the numbers though). But still, buying this now is like buying some super custom edition of 4870 at full price not long before 5850 became available.
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#5
radrok
I'm still a bit sad because Sapphire didn't release a beefed up air cooled version of the 6990 like this 6970, well no one did.
I know that such card screams for water and probably I'll switch to it because the heat they put up is unbelievable but anyway I would have loved a 6990 version of this :)
Posted on Reply
#6
cadaveca
My name is Dave
by: Edgarstrong
But still, buying this now is like buying some super custom edition of 4870 at full price right before 5850 became available
One:

http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/?cid=1&gid=3&sgid=1041&pid=1081&psn=&lid=1&leg=0


Two(FLEX is very close to reference, so I'll give you that, but the cooler IS differnt):

http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/?cid=1&gid=3&sgid=1041&pid=1359&psn=&lid=1&leg=0


Plus the two reference makes for four models of the smae card, with 3 differnt cooling solutions. I mean, I understand where you are coming from, but this really is NOT the first custom-cooled 6970 from Sapphire. It IS, however, the first to catch my interest.

Anyway, do you know something I don't? Are new AMD VGAs near on the horizon? ;) :laugh:
Posted on Reply
#7
Edgarstrong
by: cadaveca
One:

http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/?cid=1&gid=3&sgid=1041&pid=1081&psn=&lid=1&leg=0


Two(FLEX is very close to reference, so I'll give you that, but the cooler IS differnt):

http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/?cid=1&gid=3&sgid=1041&pid=1359&psn=&lid=1&leg=0


Plus the two reference makes for four models of the smae card, with 3 differnt cooling solutions. I mean, I understand where you are coming from, but this really is NOT the first custom-cooled 6970 from Sapphire. It IS, however, the first to catch my interest.

Anyway, do you know something I don't? Are new AMD VGAs near on the horizon? ;) :laugh:
Well, the BF3 edition was released only recently, and this was my complaint in the first place - that for people who really wanted a custom sapphire 6970 the waiting period was too long. So both BF3/Flex edition and now this duo-fan version are pretty recent additions to the range.

Until Flex version appeared (which I personally can't find anywhere anyway), you really had to use the reference design or customize the card yourself (but it renders your warranty void, doesn't it?). Yes I know that there is an ASUS Direct CU version of 6970, but I've had by now like 8 years of Sapphire - only GPU experience with 0 troubles, so I am extremely reluctant to change the manufacturer.
Posted on Reply
#8
cadaveca
My name is Dave
You are right, that it has nearly been a year since these cards were launched. But at the same time, I think we are spoiled by these yearly releases of new GPUs. 10 months isn't really THAT long, and I gues that's the caveat for only purchasing from a specfic OEM. MSI, Gigabyte, ASUS, and Powercolor have all had custom cooling and custom cards for months now.


I understand wanting different cooling, but dammit if I don't personally want nothing but refernce cards...I'm stuck with one refernce Sapphire 6950 2GB, and one non-reference XFX.
Posted on Reply
#9
Casecutter
I would say that Sapphire and others originally didn't see the need to release this type of thing (but probably have been design for sometime) or was actually considered for "Tahiti". I think several months back the slip of the 28Nm as to issues with TSMC, the implementation of GCN Architecture and XDR™2 memory are all probably making it a little tricky to get Tahiti out the door. The word is now at best like first weeks Q2 2012. While the "Lombok" still on the VLIW4 architecture will be the first SI card and quite soon.

So it means AIB are looking how best to refresh and possibly find opportunities to start using some of these new solutions right away. Sapphire and others had readied some of these solutions as I think AMD had already told AIB’s they would break from the tradition of reference design. Start almost from day one of 7XXX releases’ to be more like Nvidia allowing partners work their magic with cooling solutions and upgrade PCB/power sections. Yes, there will be still reference boards, but AMD will let loose the reigns to better compete with all the Nvidia partner boards and coolers that hit the market from the start and less reliance on reference models, it’s a market AMD doesn’t (as Nvidia has found) really improve the bottom line any longer.
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#10
Super XP
Sapphire being one of ATI/AMD's most respected customers is continuing it's trend in which they release cool looking ATI based cards with neat coolers with current generation tech. and just before newer gen releases, in this case would be the pending HD 7000 series.

This IMO is an indication of a HD 7000 launch coming in the next few months.
Posted on Reply
#11
erocker
by: Edgarstrong
Is dual-fan design becoming the new norm these days? The card looks interesting but one thing bothers me - it took ages since the release of the reference Sapphire 6970 model to release this card (which isn't even available yet, just announced). So if you want to have higher-end last gen GPUs then you have to either use reference designs that run hotter and are noisier, or you have to wait for many months for a nicer, custom designed cards but at that point you are buying it not long before the next gen cards are announced.

In the case of 6850 and 6870 Sapphire released their custom cards pretty fast, in february/march I believe. But why do they wait so long with higher end models? If the current tendency persists, there will be a custom HD 7870 shortly after the 7xxx series go live, and it will cost only a fraction of this card's price.
I've found this to be the case since discreet GPU's have been popular.
Posted on Reply
#12
mediasorcerer
Either way its still a funky looking card and probably goes like hell to most of the time.
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#13
xBruce88x
looks like someone paid attention to my comments about heat sink design on video cards a while back.
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#14
pantherx12
by: cadaveca
The heatpipes on this cooler seem HUGE. I also see VRMs ahve their own heatsink?

Seems like this is a good card for watercooling? It's too bad the PCB is blue though.
I can't see the vrm heatsink could you circle it?

I'm surprised the ram isn't actively cooled ....

Ahh well I can order custom ram unisinks these days :laugh:
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#15
alexsubri
The card looks badass, but I'll wait till the 7xxx series come out :)
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#16
cadaveca
My name is Dave
by: pantherx12
I can't see the vrm heatsink could you circle it?
Yep:

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#18
[H]@RD5TUFF
looks solid, would look better if Sapphire didn't make it.
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#19
H82LUZ73
by: [H]@RD5TUFF
looks solid, would look better if Sapphire didn't make it.
Uh ? Sapphire makes half of AMD`s reference boards so if you have one that is black with AMD at the gold fingers chances are your using a Sapphire card,also Diamond does the rest (after Sapphire reaches its cote so they can do there own).

Also Dave that one 6970 that you posted with the big silver button on the heat-sink is also the bios switch,There is also 6970 BC2Vietnam (with free game ,I still have 2 codes for it ) http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/?cid=1&gid=3&sgid=1041&pid=1019&psn=&lid=1&leg=0 That was out when 6970 launched ,I have one Also there is this http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/?cid=1&gid=3&sgid=1041&pid=1018&psn=&lid=1&leg=0 with aluminum case (like the XFX one the year before)also cost about 75$ more for it.Now in the last 3 weeks they have had 4 new cards out see this http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/?cid=1&gid=3&sgid=1041&pid=1359&psn=&lid=1&leg=0 They release cards with new coolers like a porn star gets STD .....:roll::roll::roll:
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#20
random
Heatsinks are the same as the DiRt3 editions

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