Sapphire's card uses relatively clean geometry paired with highlights in red and silver. The metal backplate explores the "Pulse" theme even further with a waveform resembling a heartbeat line. Dimensions of the card are 25.5 x 13.5 cm.
Installation requires a little bit over two slots in your system, so it's a three-slot card.
Display connectivity options include three standard DisplayPort 1.4a and an HDMI 2.0b.
AMD took the opportunity to update the display controllers handling these outputs by leveraging DSC 1.2a (display stream compression), which unlocks very high resolution and refresh-rate combinations over a single cable. Among the single-cable display modes supported are 8K 60 Hz (which took two DP 1.3 cables until now), 4K 240 Hz, and 1080p as high as 360 Hz. On top of these, the outputs support HDR and 30 bpc color-depth for better color accuracy in creative applications.
The board uses one 8-pin and one 6-pin power connector. This input configuration is specified for up to 300 watts of power draw.
AMD's Navi generation of GPUs no longer supports CrossFire. DirectX 12 does include its own set of multi-GPU capabilities, but the implementation requires game developers to put serious development time into a feature only a tiny fraction of their customers might ever use.
In this area, you'll also find a dual-BIOS switch, with the default setting being "Boost" and the other BIOS "Silent". It not only runs a quieter fan curve, but also comes with slightly lower clocks and voltages, which helps the card stay cool with even the reduced fan speeds.
Sapphire's cooler uses a copper baseplate with five heatpipes to transport heat away from the chip quickly.
Once the main heatsink is removed, a secondary cooling plate becomes visible; it provides cooling for the memory chips and VRM circuitry.
The backplate is made out of metal and protects the card against damage during installation and handling.
On the next page, we dive deep into the PCB layout and VRM configuration.