Sapphire Teases RX 7900 Vapor-X GPUs With Triple 8-Pin Connectors

Sapphire RX 7900 XTX & XT Vapor-X Teaser
(Image credit: Twitter - @SapphireTech)

Sapphire teased new Radeon RX 7900 XT and XTX aftermarket graphics cards on its Twitter page just a few hours ago. But these aren't your ordinary GPUs; these GPUs will be carrying the Vapor-X sub-brand, which we haven't seen from Sapphire in eight years.

Vapor was one of Sapphire's higher-up GPU lineups in 2014 and earlier, being the runner-up to its Toxic sub-brand of flagship cards. As the name implies, the Sapphires Vapor and Vapor-X Radeon GPUs featured a vapor chamber cooler design, which at the time was very rare and could be considered an exotic trait among GPU coolers.

Models like the Vapor-X R9 290X packed huge triple fan cooler designs beyond two slots in thickness, which was massive for GPU coolers at the time. It also packed massive power delivery systems and power targets that could be adjusted by a whopping 50% beyond the card's default power limit (which was probably already boosted beyond the reference design, to begin with).

It'll be exciting to see how Sapphire treats the Vapor-X brand now that it's been taken out of retirement for 2022 and beyond. But, of course, a lot has changed over the past 8 to 10 years, including that many cards now use vapor chamber coolers - including some of Nvidia's own Founder Edition cooler designs.

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If Sapphire wants Vapor-X to stand out, it'll have to do much more than just feature a vapor chamber cooler. We suspect these cards will be massive, some of Sapphire's biggest cooler designs to date, and will probably have an enormous power delivery system with dual BIOS chips to match.

But this is just speculation on our end; all we know is that the RX 7900 XTX and RX 7900 XT will be getting Vapor-X models, and we don't know if the non-X versions are returning. One thing that does stand out in the teaser video from Sapphire is that the memory and the GPU core are covered in a pure copper baseplate that appears to be a completely separate piece from the graphics card's heatsink. This suggests the card will feature excellent cooling characteristics, mainly because the baseplate is made out of copper - which is more thermally conductive than other metals.

Another interesting note is that the card also features triple 8-pin power connectors, one step up from the dual 8-pin power connectors we saw on the reference 7900 XTX. Unfortunately, this might confirm that AMD's Radeon 7000 series GPUs are incompatible with the 16-pin power connector since triple 8-pins are far bulkier than a single 16-pin.

Pricing, availability, and specifications are unknown, but we should expect more details to arrive soon, with the RX 7900 XTX and XT launch date fast approaching.

Aaron Klotz
Freelance News Writer

Aaron Klotz is a freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering news topics related to computer hardware such as CPUs, and graphics cards.

  • TechieTwo
    The triple 8-pin connectors are probably so people with modular PSUs can finally use all the extra 8-pin cables that come with their PSU. :)
    Reply
  • MergleBergle
    "Unfortunately, this might confirm that AMD's Radeon 7000 series GPUs are incompatible with the 16-pin power connector since triple 8-pins are far bulkier than a single 16-pin."

    Not sure how this is "unfortunate", since the 16 pin connector has been (relatively speaking) a complete disaster for the 4090.
    Reply
  • Alvar "Miles" Udell
    Nothing says "efficient" like equipping it with the capability to draw 525w.
    Reply
  • -Fran-
    Sapphire already has plenty of experience with GPUs that have triple 8pins. My 6900XT and Vega64 (OC version) came with 3x8pins. Plus, the 6950X already draws around 400W, no?

    While I kind of agree on the "just more than a vapour chamber" comment, I'll give Sapphire the full benefit of the doubt, as they've constantly produced the best AMD coolers to date, putting even Asus to their deserved shame on more expensive models.

    Regards.
    Reply
  • watzupken
    MergleBergle said:
    "Unfortunately, this might confirm that AMD's Radeon 7000 series GPUs are incompatible with the 16-pin power connector since triple 8-pins are far bulkier than a single 16-pin."

    Not sure how this is "unfortunate", since the 16 pin connector has been (relatively speaking) a complete disaster for the 4090.
    I agree there is nothing wrong with the existing 8 pins PCI-E power. Sure they are bulky, but most people still uses a PSU that natively provides these 8 pins connectors. While it may make cabling difficult, but looking at the existing 16 pin connector, there seems to be restrictions as to how much you can bend, where should not start bending the cable, which honestly does not make cable routing any easier. So again, I don't see anything negative about it. Furthermore, there is very low risk of melting cables and connectors because you are not sure if you have properly connected the 16 pins connector. May be I am oversensitive, but I feel this statement in the article is very Nvidia biased.
    Reply
  • watzupken
    Alvar Miles Udell said:
    Nothing says "efficient" like equipping it with the capability to draw 525w.
    All the high end AIB models are never power efficient because they will try to outdo one another with higher power limits for overclocking. If this is the Vapour X version, then this will not be an exception.
    Reply
  • hannibal
    So they are gonna OC these GPUs like there is no tomorrow!
    These could give 4090 really run for the money for a speed (but also using electricity!)

    Good that we also get normal versions with two 8 pin power connectors. Those will be cheaper and IMHO much more sensible in every other way too!
    Reply
  • ddcservices
    AMD has been making an effort at efficiency in its designs, but at the high end, many people don't care about efficiency all that much. So, reference is two 8-pin power connectors, custom high-end will have three of those power connectors. If they put the power connectors on the top of the card, then length of the card is less of a problem than it is when the power connectors increase the effective length of the video card. There are a number of features in the Radeon Settings as well that will allow for adjustments to power draw and speeds.

    I have the feeling that these Sapphire cards won't be using the brute force approach of just throwing larger cooling systems at the card, and due to a lot of the expense of these custom cards is the physical size and weight, vapor chamber might help in a number of ways. We will know next week.
    Reply