Board, Cooler, And Power Supply
Taking the Sapphire Toxic HD 7970 GHz Edition 6 GB Apart
The first thing that caught our eye when we took Sapphire's Toxic HD 7970 GHz Edition apart was its large, flat vapor chamber. It’s fastened to a plate that cools the RAM modules and is secured to the board. Four heat pipes transfer thermal energy away from the chamber itself and into the cooler's aluminum fins. Two of those pipes are 8 mm in diameter, and the other two are 6 mm.
The card has good voltage regulator module (VRM) cooling. An aluminum brace beneath the cooler’s fins sits right on top of the VRM heat sinks.
Superimposing the cooler over the board reveals where the heat sink touches the PCB.
The memory on the back of the card is cooled by the support plate. Thermal pads in between are quite thick and soft.
The backplate features a thick, isolating foil with holes cut out for the thermal pads.
The back of the card sports the parts that Sapphire doubled up on, including its Black Diamond chokes.
Sapphire employs an 8 + 1 + 1 power regulator design, dubbed Lethal Power Suite. Eight phases correspond to the GPU, and the others are for the memory. Black Diamond chokes and MOSFETs with DirectFET packaging technology by International Rectifier on both sides of the board are meant to keep temperatures under 100 degrees Celsius. The heat sink and fans handle the rest.
There are several voltage measurement points under the small blue plastic shroud for the eight-phase circuit, which is a nice feature for extreme overclockers.
You can see the digital CHiL voltage regulator and two eight-pin power connectors toward the bottom of the picture.
And here we have a mystery button! Read on to find out what it does.