Got around to restoring my PowerColor HD 5970 that I've been sitting on for a few months.
The first GPU that I ever restored was actually an ATI HD 5970, just last October - it was extremely nerve-wracking being dual-gpu. This time I got to do it with much more confidence and relative skill, and I get to do quad-CrossFire in the end.
The decal sticker was peeling slightly at one end. Rather than peeling it all off, it's now kept down with electrical tape.
Blower designs are my absolute favorite in terms of aesthetics, and this card takes the cake. This whole generation from ATi was beautiful, and very well-built.
Vapor-chamber cooler, which according to AMD was built to dissipate ~ 400W. This card has a 300W TDP, and so AMD in marketing was saying it's "meant to be overclocked." The only kicker is that the VRM cooling is a bit lackluster - it will overheat at high voltages (which is possible via software control thanks to Volterra
) and is the real limiter for OC on this card. The GPU cores are binned for lower power leakage than the average Cypress, and as expected they often will OC higher on lower voltages than say a HD 5870.
In my experience with my reference ATi HD 5970, if I set the GPU voltage to > 1.200v, the VRM knocks against 124⁰, thermal throttles and overall tries to self-immolate. The GPUs, however, will run at a very reasonable temp for a multi-GPU card, at or below 78⁰c on either GPU IIRC. This is with the fan manually maxxed out in Afterburner. I've yet to stress the PowerColor card, but I'm hoping it fares a bit better with the thicker pads.
That reference one was done with 0.5mm APT2560 (slowly being rebranded as Arctic TP-2) pads only, as well as MX-4 for the GPUs. This PowerColor card received 1.0mm TP-2 pads for the entire front side (GPU MX-4), and the rear memory modules received 0.5mm TP-2 pads. The backplate of these cards gets massively hot without reasonable airflow - those 8 GDDR5 modules can really get up there when overclocked.
21 screws total for disassembly. This is including the 3 that hold the fan in place, and excluding the two PCIe baffle screws + DVI nuts.
1GB per GPU (1GB usable b/c CF) of Hynix AFR GDDR5.
PLX chip dated Wk46/2009.
Both GPUs are dated Wk23/2010.
If I recall correctly, my first reference HD 5970 had the PLX dated 44/09, one GPU was 40/09, and the other was 39/09. I did not notice the PCB date code on that GPU when I restored it.
This PowerColor card has a PCB date of Wk20/2010.
Me like ATi.
edit: Since when goes this GPU have a little green LED?!