Apart from the GTX690, there are no dual-GPU monsters launching this year and there’s been little word from AMD on why their HD7990 didn’t make an appearance. One of the issues plaguing the market is a lack of PLX bridging chips to create PCI-Express lanes between the two GPU cores (because Nvidia ate them all up). Another issue has been cost and heat, but that’s not stopped a few manufacturers from making their own designs. However late to the party it may be, HIS is joining that group with something a little different…
One of the many ways to get around the lack of PLX chips is to figure out how to link the buses of the GPUs together. Because splicing up a new connection standard by yourself is usually a time-consuming and costly affair, HIS turned to the other company in the industry manufacturing PCI-Express bridging chips – LucidLogix. Famous for their collaboration with MSI on the Big Bang motherboard that fused Nvidia and AMD cards in tandem, they’re the only other company that makes chips that fulfill the same purpose as the PLX units.
The card features a triple-slot cooler, redesigned phase layout, 6GB of DDR5 RAM at 5.0GHz, both chips are 1GHz cores with the PowerTune ability and its all fed through three 8-pin PEG power connectors. Its a mammoth and also sports two DVI-D ports and four DisplayPort outputs. Those of you looking for a single AMD card that can easily drive three 1080p screens in Eyefinity need look no further than something like this. Alternatively, you can just wait until January for the “Oland” announcements, where AMD’s GCN architecture enters into its second generation and may even feature a few power optimisations and a dual-GPU contender.
HIS hasn’t made any mention of availability or price of the HD7970 x2, although its probably going to be too little, too late.