Friday, December 16th 2011

AMD Radeon HD 7970 Reference Board Design Detailed, Single Slot Capable - Finally!

AMD Radeon HD 7970 launch is just around the corner. Ahead of its launch, AMD conducted its usual press briefing. DonanimHaber has access to some of the slides shown in that meeting. Earlier this day, we brought you perhaps the most important of them all, specifications. Let's take a look at the reference board design itself. AMD is sticking to the black+red colour scheme, and has come up with a swanky new cooling assembly design. The design, unlike those of higher-end Radeon HD 6000 series graphics cards, is surprisingly curvy and features dashes of red plastic making up its contours, surrounded by tougher black ABS.

A welcome change here from the previous generations, is that the card is truly single-slot capable, when say, a single-slot full-coverage water block is used. High-end cards from previous generation HD 5000 and HD 6000 have a dual DVI connector cluster that extends into two expansion slots, which many enthusiasts found to be annoying, especially when setting up benches with four single-GPU graphics cards in scenarios where PCI-Express slot spacing isn't kind. Moving on to display connectivity, the card has one DVI, one HDMI, and two mini-DisplayPort connectors, all arranged in the confines of a single expansion slot. The space of the second slot is dedicated to a hot-air exhaust of the cooling assembly. All board partners are required to ship HDMI-to-DVI dongles, and active mini-DP dongles.
The cooler uses a full-coverage vapor-chamber plate to collect heat from all major components on the obverse side of the card, and convey it to the aluminum fin channel array attached to it. These components include the 4.3 billion transistor Tahiti GPU, 12 GDDR5 memory chips, and MOSFETs found across the various V-reg areas of the card. The aluminum fin channel array is ventilated by a blower. AMD claims to have improved the blower design from previous generations to have higher air-flow and improved acoustics.

Like with the HD 6900 series, the HD 7900 series reference boards feature two sets of BIOS, located in two separate EEPROM chips that can be toggled using a small switch on the top of the card (next to the CFBI connectors). The 1st EEPROM is "unprotected", it packs reference speeds, but you can flash it with your own modified BIOS. The second EEPROM is "protected" from flashes, and packs failsafe reference speeds. It's your insurance against BIOS flashing screw-ups, and cuts down the cumbersome process of BIOS recovery using a second display card, or the rocket-science of "blind-flashing".

Lastly, AMD talks about overclocking headroom. The HD 7970 looks to have default core speed of "a little over 900 MHz", could be 925 MHz for all we know, looking at that last slide. AMD says that overclocking to 1 GHz core is well within reach using the reference cooler, "and beyond".Source: DonanimHaber
Add your own comment

37 Comments on AMD Radeon HD 7970 Reference Board Design Detailed, Single Slot Capable - Finally!

#1
pantherx12
overclocking101 said:
"AMD Radeon HD 7970 Reference Board Design Detailed, Single Slot Capable - Finally!"

I see no pictures that show a single slot cooler???? I guess I'm confused LOL
Did you read the entire article ?

If no here's the important bit "High-end cards from previous generation HD 5000 and HD 6000 have a dual DVI connector cluster that extends into two expansion slots"

This one does not.

Hence single slot capable.
Posted on Reply
#2
bear jesus
If the 7950 will be available from release on custom boards with custom coolers it makes me wonder if any company would be attempting a single slot version or if it is even possible with an air cooler.
Posted on Reply
#3
pantherx12
bear jesus said:
If the 7950 will be available from release on custom boards with custom coolers it makes me wonder if any company would be attempting a single slot version or if it is even possible with an air cooler.
It's possible even today, it's just the heat sink would be very expensive :laugh:
Posted on Reply
#4
Gjohnst4
Just got a second 5870 for 150$ shipped.....maybe should have waited a few weeks..:banghead:
Posted on Reply
#5
bear jesus
pantherx12 said:
It's possible even today, it's just the heat sink would be very expensive :laugh:
Well i was not thinking along the lines of a pure silver vapor chamber with diamond fins or something :p

I was thinking along the lines of the 4850 single slot cooler but with a big vapor chamber but i assume the 7950 probably puts out too much heat, if so i guess the only time they will be single slot cards is with a water block.
Posted on Reply
#6
mediasorcerer
Hey wow, they look really good!!!!!
I gots to admit, im a big fan of the black and red color scheme,
theyre well funky looking cards! they kinda almost look retro,anyway, i like them a lot.

It gives them a very ,how do you say?= i dont know, they just look like theyre designed to do the job with style.

Gracious thanks to Btarunr and Qubit ,who both take the time to provide us fortunate tpu users with the chance to get all the latest and greatest news in the wonderful world of tech!!!
Posted on Reply
#7
bear jesus
Gjohnst4 said:
Just got a second 5870 for 150$ shipped.....maybe should have waited a few weeks..:banghead:
That's not so bad, don't forget a pair of 5870's is a lot of GPU power but also the new cards apparently will not be cheap so unless you have several hundred $ spare you probably did the right thing although benchmarks will tell for sure i guess.
Posted on Reply
#8
DualAmdMP
Hope they made a true single slot 256bit card some day.
Posted on Reply
#9
radrok
bear jesus said:
That's not so bad, don't forget a pair of 5870's is a lot of GPU power but also the new cards apparently will not be cheap so unless you have several hundred $ spare you probably did the right thing although benchmarks will tell for sure i guess.
It's good GPU power but I'd never go CFX with the previous generation of graphics card let alone two generations old cards, the support always comes so late that it is probably frustrating... One example lately was with Skyrim, I've seen several 5xxx users getting shafted with profiles.
One thing in defense of AMD is that different architectures require different driver support.
Posted on Reply
#10
pantherx12
bear jesus said:
Well i was not thinking along the lines of a pure silver vapor chamber with diamond fins or something :p
I'm waiting for my carbon nano tube vapour chamber heatsink personally :p :laugh:


I'd take that heatsink you mentioned though ;)
Posted on Reply
#12
cadaveca
My name is Dave
Technically, that's a troll, and offtopic, largon. :p Where's that report button now...
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment