So, some photo's then, below you can see the reference Radeon HD 7970 GHz edition card, this is a 3GB model. We expect the product to retail for roughly 450 EUR or 499 USD in the initial launch phase.
The GHz edition card is 100% identical to the original R7970 -- seriously nothing is different other then a tweaked BIOS and binned GPUs. Over the past few months yields obviously have gotten better, the best ICs as such are being used.
Overall, an all too familiar looking nice and dark/red card with what you may expect from AMD. The 28nm Tahiti XT2 based GPU is tied to 3GB GDDR5 graphics memory.
The reference GHz edition cards are clocked at a 1000/1050 MHz core frequency and the GDDR5 memory runs at a good 6.0 Gbps (which is an effective data rate as GDDR5 has a quad data channels).
Here we can see the backside, the card will fit pretty much any chassis as its 27cm in length. The backside of the PCB shows a very non-complex design, a very good sign.
As always in the enthusiast range, AMD allows you to opt for multi-GPU functionality with Crossfire(X) as an option. You can pair two, three or even four cards in one PC and have them do a decent workout.
Crossfire is setting the same cards up in multi-GPU mode, and CrossfireX is mixing different cards say a Radeon HD 6970 and 7970 and set them up in Crossfire mode.
If you peek to the right of the PCB on the photo in-between the 1 and 2 position you'll notice a switch, it's actually a Dual BIOS toggle switch. Setting two returns the card to factory default, setting 1 is an unprotected mode which allows you to overclock and tweak.
The reference R7970 GHz edition has a maximum power consumption of roughly 250 Watts, our measurements actually show numbers below that value but we'll address that later in the article. The board design power / typical board power is 250W
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