The Sapphire Radeon RX 6950 XT Nitro+ Pure looks impressive and, at least in my view, quite lovely. Sure, it's big and somewhat boxy, but it's great to see a massive card like this actually getting a triple-slot IO bracket. That provides extra support, though there's also an additional support bar for good measure. The 322x131x71 mm dimensions might not be strictly necessary, as we've seen much higher power draws from cards that aren't quite this large, but it does help keep temperatures down. The card isn't as heavy as some other cards we've looked at, though neither is it a featherweight, tipping the scales at 1582g.
Of course, beauty is subjective, but while most of my fellow editors think the card itself looks good, one voted to award Sapphire the ugliest GPU box of 2022 award—and the year's not even half over. Maybe the blazing gold raccoon face or whatever will help attract some sales on retail shelves, assuming it actually sits on a shelf for any reasonable amount of time. Once you've installed the card in your PC, you can stash the box in your closet and never look at it again (unless you want to).
Sapphire provides a healthy amount of RGB lighting on the Nitro+ Pure. On the top of the card, the Sapphire logo and light bar light up and cycle one set of colors, while the three fans comprise a second lighting zone. Of course, as with so many graphics cards, the instant you install the card in a traditional PC case, the fans will face downward and are only useful for ambient lighting. Regardless, if you like the pretty, shiny lights, the Nitro+ should suffice.
Like most other modern graphics cards, the Sapphire RX 6950 XT includes three DisplayPort 1.4 and one HDMI 2.1 outputs. As noted already, the IO bracket is three slots wide, with two of those slots dedicated to letting air flow out of your PC case. However, the perpendicular orientation of the heatsink fins means almost no air will actually do so.
There are three power connectors, a somewhat unusual arrangement of dual 8-pin PEG with a single 6-pin PEG. PCIe spec means the power connectors alone can provide up to 375W of power, with up to another 75W coming from the x16 PCIe slot. That should be more than sufficient, and we measured peak power draw of around 400W in overclocked mode during testing. Sapphire also notes that it uses a dedicated VRAM heatsink to help keep the faster memory running cool.