On Thursday, we got to see the first images of PowerColor's new Radeon HD 7970 Vortex Edition graphics card. At CES we got to take a closer look at its VRM. PowerColor carried forward the VRM design of its Radeon HD 6970 Devil 13 graphics card. At the heart of the VRM is a CHiL CHL8228 VRM controller, which allows software volt-modding using most of the popular tools out there. The card uses an 8+1+1 phase VRM. It uses High Current Power Beat chokes which offers PWM frequency range of up to 3 MHz. Interestingly, while the HD 6970 Devil 13 itself, like the Radeon HD 7970 AMD reference board, used expensive International Rectifier DirectFETs in typical configuration, the HD 7970 Votex uses cost-effective driver-MOSFET (DrMOS) chips that appear to be made by Renesas. Cost effective doesn't necessarily mean "cheap", these chips, according to PowerColor, offer 93% efficiency with up to 1 MHz switching frequency. On the reverse side of the PCB, we can find the power stage to be complemented with SP capacitors that offer 40% lower ESR with and support higher switching frequencies. This doesn't change our matter-of-fact observation from the older article that PowerColor used cost-effective components (compared to the CPL-made chokes and International Rectifier DirectFETs featured on AMD reference PCB), but that doesn't necessarily make it lower quality. AMD has a knack of going overkill with component quality on its reference boards that offer little real-world advantage over custom designs by AIBs, such as this card from PowerColor.