HIS has PowerColor’s Devil 13 in its sights and is aiming to bring the world’s fastest graphics card to the market soon by coupling two Radeon 7970 GPUs. At Computex 2012, we got to see the mockup, but now we’ve got our hands on the actual card.
If you’re surprised that AMD still hasn’t launched an official Radeon HD 7990 with two GPUs, it seems you’re in good company – and we’re not referring to ourselves. Board Partner TUL has started selling its own dual-GPU design based on the Tahiti XT chip using one of its brands PowerColor. Now HIS is joining the fray with its own take on the two-GPU Tahiti XT, which it calls the 7970 X2, making very sure to avoid the HD 7990 designation. At any rate, the Tom’s lab in Germany recently received just such a card a short while ago, and it bears all the markings (literally) of an engineering sample, down to the production number 007. After some back and forth with HIS, during which we provided some feedback and suggested some improvements, our German colleagues just received a revised sample – which they're already hard at work testing. As such, we’re proud to be able to say we are the first site, worldwide, to be able to check out one of these cards in the flesh and talk about its speeds and other specs.
Like TUL’s versions, HIS' new card uses an impressive, massive three slot cooler. The card itself draws its power from a full three 8-pin PCIe power connectors. The main difference compared to the competition is this: The card's two fans cool two separate heatsinks, since each GPU sports its own cooler. This allows the GPUs to run at no less than 1050 MHz, and HIS claims there is still some overclocking headroom left as well. That would make HIS' sample faster than PowerColor's Devil 13, which 'only' reaches 1000 MHz when OC is enabled.
The two GPUs are connected using a Lucidlogix switch, which is a fairly uncommon find. Meanwhile, the memory frequency is cranked up to 1500 MHz –- up from the 1375 MHz AMD specifies for the Radeon HD 7970.
Are you as excited as we are? We’ll be bringing you more detailed information on this card as well as several competitors in an upcoming article in which we will be pitting the HIS 7970 X2 against the PowerColor Devil 13 and EVGA’s GeForce GTX 690. In that context, we’ll also take a look at possible remedies for micro-stuttering often associated with dual GPU systems. Stay tuned – and let us know what you want to see in the comments!