AMD has been on a roll since the launch of their HD7000 series, and they’re showing no signs of slowing gown, even with the moderately successful launch of Nvidia’s GTX680 (stock sold out so quickly you’ll have to wait at least a month for things to calm down). AMD’s prize launch as always been their dual-GPU products, and it looks like the HD7990 isn’t too far away.
TechpowerUp! was the first to spot it and the international community has been hitting up the link below for a while now. Standard on the card is two full-size AMD Tahiti chips with 2048 Stream processors each packaged in AMD’s new Graphics Core Next architecture. The chips are assigned 3GB of RAM each for a total of 6GB, and feature four mini-DisplayPort outputs and one dual-link DVI output. Its going to be a monster with power draw, requiring two 8-pin PCI Express power connectors which, added to the power received from the motherboard, adds up to a total of 375 watts. I’d expect the card to at least reach 280watts on full load, so all of you readers out there with 750watt power supplies should have enough juice to run at least one of these babies.
Heat distribution should be sorted in the HD7990 thanks to the single 70mm blower fan found off-center in the housing. Previous generations HD5990 and HD6990 cards had noise issues in the reference designs because they used a centered bilateral blower fan that exhausted hot air out the sides of the housing, causing conflicting airflows and producing a lot of noise because of the high speeds of the fan. Because GCN employs the 28nm process in its design, a single blow fan should be more than enough to keep the beast from overheating.
The only thing keeping this card from being the ultimate dual-GPU solution is the bandwidth – 240GB/s, unchanged from the Radeon HD7970. One can only hope that PCI Express 3.0 solves the bandwidth issue, and allows the card to crunch through the GTX690 when it launches later this year.