The AMD Radeon R9 285 has just been announced, and already a number of card designs are hitting the web. One of the designs that stood out to us comes from Sapphire, in the form of a Mini-ITX-oriented card.
The card that Sapphire has revealed is the R9 285 ITX Compact Edition, which will also be available in an OC variant. The reference R9 285 features 1792 stream processors and will run at up to 918 MHz. Sapphire’s card will carry 2 GB of GDDR5 memory and will run at the reference frequency, which is an effective 5.5 GHz. It communicates with the GPU over a 256-bit memory interface. The OC variant of the card will have its GPU clocked at 928 MHz, which is a measly 10 MHz overclock.
As we mentioned, it's the form factor that makes this Sapphire card stand out. The unit is just 171 mm long, which is a mere 1 mm longer than a standard Mini-ITX motherboard. We still have to wait until September 2 for the reviews to show up, but this may well be the most powerful Mini-ITX graphics card to date.
Display outputs are handled by two Mini-DisplayPort interfaces, along with a single HDMI interface and a dual-link DVI port. The card also supports CrossFire without the need for a CrossFire bridge.
There's no official word on availability yet, although AMD indicated that the launch date for the R9 285 is September 2. Pricing for reference cards is set at $249, but we should probably expect a small premium for this card.