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Exclusive: HIS Radeon 7970 X2 (''7990'') Arrives in the Lab - Is This the World's Fastest Graphics Card?

By - Source: Tom's Hardware DE | B 74 comments

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!

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Top Comments
  • 27 Hide
    dudemcduderson , October 25, 2012 2:51 PM
    For the love of God Tom's please do some benchmarking with a 3 X 2650x1440p setup!!! or 1600p : )

    Thanks guys.
  • 22 Hide
    cats_Paw , October 25, 2012 3:08 PM
    Electricity bill... ITS OVER 9000!!
  • 15 Hide
    Cryio , October 25, 2012 3:40 PM
    In my books, Nvidia lost this gen.
Other Comments
  • 27 Hide
    dudemcduderson , October 25, 2012 2:51 PM
    For the love of God Tom's please do some benchmarking with a 3 X 2650x1440p setup!!! or 1600p : )

    Thanks guys.
  • 11 Hide
    grimworld , October 25, 2012 2:51 PM
    biiiiiiiiiig!
  • 9 Hide
    davemaster84 , October 25, 2012 3:03 PM
    I think 1000w or 850 gold power supplies are best recommended, damn I want one :) 
  • 3 Hide
    rdc85 , October 25, 2012 3:04 PM
    My drool come out....

    I'm wonder if it will had same fate with HIS 7970 IceQ X² Turbo that not available in NA...
  • 22 Hide
    cats_Paw , October 25, 2012 3:08 PM
    Electricity bill... ITS OVER 9000!!
  • 6 Hide
    captainblacko , October 25, 2012 3:10 PM
    Lets be honest here. it would look better with a bit of pink detailing on it.
  • -9 Hide
    EDVINASM , October 25, 2012 3:16 PM
    captainblackoLets be honest here. it would look better with a bit of pink detailing on it.


    Pink is for girls and little kids. No offence.. Also I don't think you can even classify it as a color - its faded red.
  • 10 Hide
    jerm1027 , October 25, 2012 3:29 PM
    The official dual-GPU's have historically been down-clocked versions of the flag ship chip from both camps. The fact that 7970x2 is already overclocked 7970GHz edition with more room to OC ought to make enthusiasts wet.
  • 9 Hide
    ekho , October 25, 2012 3:32 PM
    Please include some sort of Video Editing benches as well :) 
  • 10 Hide
    Cryio , October 25, 2012 3:38 PM
    "Is This the World's Fastest Graphics Card?"

    Given the last few video drivers, and 7970's MAD OC potential, well, yes it is.
  • 15 Hide
    Cryio , October 25, 2012 3:40 PM
    In my books, Nvidia lost this gen.
  • 0 Hide
    EDVINASM , October 25, 2012 3:42 PM
    ekhoPlease include some sort of Video Editing benches as well


    For what software? Usually video editing is for Cuda cards (Adobe and Sony suites). Others might be different but usually they wouldn't even "see" the second GPU, so.. Not much to say there.
  • 2 Hide
    spookyman , October 25, 2012 3:44 PM
    I bet we see these for Xmas this year.
  • 3 Hide
    mazty , October 25, 2012 3:46 PM
    If you can, please include benchmarks which also include an OC/d CPU so we can see the best possible frames :) 
  • -9 Hide
    dscudella , October 25, 2012 3:56 PM
    If the benchmarks are on par with the PowerColor Devil 13 this will sell more, in my opinion, just by being a 2 slot card (like the 690) and not 3 slots (Devil 13).
  • 9 Hide
    twelch82 , October 25, 2012 4:11 PM
    dscudellaIf the benchmarks are on par with the PowerColor Devil 13 this will sell more, in my opinion, just by being a 2 slot card (like the 690) and not 3 slots (Devil 13).


    It's a 3 slot. It's referenced in the article, and you can see it in the picture too.
  • 4 Hide
    spasmolytic46 , October 25, 2012 4:23 PM
    I want to start seeing 3d stuff in the benchmarks. I want to make the jump after x-mas. I know you guys did a good segment just about 3d a while ago, but even just benchmarking a couple titles using both AMD/nvidia solutions would be a nice addition to the charts.
  • 7 Hide
    dscudella , October 25, 2012 4:44 PM
    Quote:
    It's a 3 slot. It's referenced in the article, and you can see it in the picture too.


    You are absolutely correct, I don't know how I missed that. Thank you.
  • 1 Hide
    murzar , October 25, 2012 5:54 PM
    That is a huge card.
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